If you have been seriously harmed by a negligent truck driver, know that you may be eligible to receive injury compensation for your resulting damages. A professional Atlanta overweight truck accident lawyer can offer you their assistance by establishing the liability of the party at fault and conducting an external investigation to help maximize your compensation as much as possible. Read on to learn more about how a skilled injury attorney could represent your best interests today.
Federal Weight Regulations
The federally regulated maximum weight of a truck depends on the truck. The typical configuration of an 18-wheeler with a standard trailer and truck is 80,000 pounds. The truck driver and company must take several steps to ensure their vehicle is an acceptable weight. They must know what the unloaded equipment weighs, generally, they keep track of this information by documenting that weight. Truck drivers are responsible for every aspect of loading and unloading trucks. Further, most of their customers have a scale to weigh the trucks.
The weight tickets are kept as part of the business records on board the truck and in the business records of the trucking company. Truck drivers usually know the exact weight of their load. Once a driver knows the weight of the load and the weight of the truck before it is loaded onto the scale, they know exactly how much the equipment weighs. An experienced Atlanta overweight truck accident lawyer can look up records and evidence pertaining to this information to determine who allowed the truck to become too heavy.
Liability in Truck Accidents
There is a subjective and an objective component to weight restrictions for a truck. The objective component is being under the federal maximum weight. The subjective component has to do with conditions, the type of road, the driver’s route, the speed of the truck, and how the truck is loaded. The truck driver and trucking company determine whether the load is stable, top heavy, or a wide load. They do an analysis to make the safest possible decision for getting the load to their destination without costing anyone their life or causing serious injury. Every single decision a truck driver makes is potentially a life and death decision.
When an accident is caused by an overweight or open loaded truck, several different entities and people can be found liable. The trucking company, driver, insurance companies insuring the truck and/or trailer, and the shipper can all be liable for the accident. Liability depends on the circumstances and who knew the truck was overweight and participated in the decision to put the truck on the road in that condition. Know that a qualified Atlanta overweight truck accident lawyer can advocate for a plaintiff in these situations to prove the liability of the party at fault.
Risks of Driving on an Overweight Load
The two primary risks to other drivers when a truck is overweight or overloaded are a loss of stability and increased possibility of jackknifing which is when the trailer moves laterally to the side of the tractor. Jackknifing increases the risk of a rollover accident. When a 50-foot truck rolls over it can cover the entire road. There are tragic cases where a truck with an unstable load loses control, jackknifes, and leaves the nearby drivers with nowhere to go on the roadway to avoid a catastrophic collision.
Aside from stability and loss of control, another major issue is that being overloaded can affect the truck’s ability to slow down and stop if something happens in the truck’s path. A truck generally needs much more distance than a car needs to stop due to the braking characteristics of a truck and this distance increases when the truck is overweight.
In order to hold a company or driver liable for their reckless actions, consider reaching out to a knowledgeable overweight truck accident lawyer today to schedule your initial consultation.