Who Is Liable for an Overloaded Truck Accident?
Large commercial trucks are designed to carry heavy loads of cargo. Unfortunately, truck drivers and trucking companies often exceed cargo limits in an effort to ship maximum loads and meet the company’s bottom line. If a truck is overloaded, it can cause a range of safety hazards that increase the risk of a truck accident. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the truck driver or the trucking company may be liable.
If you were injured in a truck accident involving an oversized truck, there are several parties that may be held liable for the accident, including:
- The truck driver.
- The trucking company.
- The loading company.
- The maintenance company.
In order to file a claim against any or all potential liable parties, it will need to be proven that negligence was a factor. Evidence that can help prove this includes the trucker’s driving logs, the trucking company’s cargo records, witness testimonies, and reports from an accident reconstructionist. A dedicated truck accident lawyer will assist you with every step of the process.
What Are the Main Causes of Overloaded Truck Accidents?
A massive 18-wheeler can be challenging to control, particularly during inclement weather or when road conditions are not ideal. The following factors increase the risk of a truck accident if the truck is overloaded or oversized:
- Longer stopping distance: Large commercial trucks require significantly more road space to slow down and come to a complete stop than a regular passenger vehicle. When a truck is carrying a large amount of weight, it requires even more distance to stop. In fact, for every 20,000 pounds over 80,000 pounds, the stopping distance increases by approximately 25 percent.
- Clearance issues: If an overloaded truck is traveling on a route that has bridges or other overhead obstacles, they can become lodged under the bridge or cause extreme damage to the bridge due to the height of the cargo.
- Increased risk of fatal truck accidents: As the weight of the cargo increases, there is a greater risk of a fatal truck accident.
What Types of Accidents Do Overloaded Trucks Cause?
When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, it can cause massive property damage and catastrophic injuries. Overloaded trucks are at an increased risk for causing the following types of truck accidents:
- Rollovers: Large commercial trucks have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles, particularly if they are carrying an oversized load. If the cargo is not properly secured and distributed evenly, it can increase the risk of a rollover.
- Tire blowouts: A truck that is overloaded puts too much pressure on the truck’s tires, which increases the risk of a dangerous tire blowout. When this happens, it can be very difficult to maintain control of the truck. If there are other vehicles in the vicinity, this can cause a very serious accident.
- Jackknife accidents: Oversized loads are more prone to jackknifing, particularly if the truck driver needs to come to a sudden stop. If there are passenger vehicles driving in the adjacent lane when this occurs, it can cause an accident.
Washington DC Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Clients Who Have Been Injured in Overloaded Truck Accidents
If you were severely injured in an overloaded or oversized truck accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our Washington DC truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.