Federal and state laws strictly regulate the maximum weight permitted for tractor-trailers and the cargo they carry. In the state of Georgia, the weight of tractor-trailers with dual axles may not exceed 40,680 pounds, while commercial trucks with one axle are subject to a maximum weight limit of 20,340 pounds. When a truck driver, shipping company, or other party fails to comply with the legal weight limits, they may be liable if someone is injured in a subsequent accident.
A DeKalb County overweight truck accident lawyer could help you recover the damages you have incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. One of our well-versed truck accident attorneys could ensure you understand your legal rights and advise you on the next steps for your potential claim.
Common Overweight Truck Accident Injuries
Due to the notable difference in their size and weight, an accident involving a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle is likely to result in serious, long-lasting consequences. For example, collisions involving overweight trucks may lead to catastrophic injuries such as:
- Severe head trauma;
- Backbone damage;
- Whiplash; and
- Soft tissue injuries.
When a truck is transporting more than it was designed to carry, it may significantly increase the risk of a serious collision. Excessive cargo places undue pressure on the vehicle’s tires and could eventually cause one or more tires to blow out. This is likely to cause a major roadway collision.
Additionally, an overweight truck may have a longer braking distance and can be considerably more difficult to maneuver if the driver needs to come to a sudden stop. In the event of a collision, surplus cargo could also cause the tractor-trailer to roll over due to unbalanced weight distribution. An overweight truck crash attorney in DeKalb County could help an injured plaintiff determine what led to the accident and build a strong case for compensation on their behalf.
Modified Comparative Negligence
While liability may be easily discernible in some cases, the court may determine that both the plaintiff and defendant bear a portion of the blame in other cases. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-12-33 states that as long as a claimant is less than 50 percent at fault for their injuries, they can still collect compensation.
However, the plaintiff would see their recoverable compensation reduced according to their assigned percentage of fault. The law also states that if the injured party is more than 50 percent liable for their own damages, they would not be able to recover any compensation whatsoever.
Filing a Case Against Liable Parties
Under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, if an overweight truck accident claim is not filed within two years of the date of the collision, the injured party may be unable to collect any damages. A DeKalb County attorney could offer valuable insight about how the statutory deadline may affect a particular case and help the plaintiff file their claim on time.
Get Help from a DeKalb County Overweight Truck Accident Attorney
A DeKalb County overweight truck accident lawyer could be a strong advocate and offer unrelenting support during every stage of the legal process. An attorney from our firm could help you fight for maximum compensation. Call us today to set up your introductory case evaluation.