Overweight or overloaded trucks are a safety hazard for everyone on the roadway. These vehicles are less stable, more prone to rollovers and tire blowouts, and may travel at inconsistent speeds. When a truck driver causes a catastrophic accident, a Marietta overweight truck accident lawyer can help you bring a claim for compensation.
When drivers purposely carry overweight loads, and trucking companies do nothing to discourage them, they may cause accidents. Their negligence makes them liable for the costs of any resulting injuries. A detail-oriented truck accident lawyer can work to hold the responsible party accountable.
Overweight Commercial Trucks in Marietta
The state of Georgia adopted federal regulations to govern commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more. Additional safety regulations apply for combination vehicles, such as tractor-trailers and vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 and above. These vehicles must stop at all weigh stations in Georgia for inspection and to determine whether they are complying with load limitations.
One of the main reason behind the establishment of these weight limitations is safety. Overweight loads are one of the most common reasons for tire damage on commercial vehicles. Further, since the overweight loads shift the center of gravity on these vehicles, they take far longer to stop, can roll over more easily, and often have tire blowouts.
Overweight vehicles not only place undue stress on roads and bridges, but they often cause multiple vehicle accidents. These potentially catastrophic accidents can lead to significant property damage and personal injuries.
When Trucking Companies Value Profit Over Safety
The trucking industry has little incentive to comply with load weight limits, as the fines for violating the limits are very minimal. Unchanged since the 1950s, overweight trucks are subject to penalties of five-cents-per-pound of excess weight. At this excessively low sanction rate, trucking companies still may arguably benefit from the profit gained from running continually overweight loads.
When trucking companies willingly pay overweight fines, they value profits over safety. However, when trucking companies allow and even encourage their drivers to operate with excess loads, they may be liable for any resulting injuries and property damage that occurs.
All truck drivers, and by extension, trucking companies, have a duty to reasonably ensure the safety of others. When they fail to meet this standard, such as by knowingly allowing drivers to operate overloaded trucks, they may be found negligent for causing accidents. Available damages may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Seek Legal Counsel from a Marietta Overweight Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents involve many different state and federal regulations, which can make them complex. An experienced overweight truck accident attorney in Marietta could exhaustively investigate the circumstances that led to a crash in order to establish liability. Evidence in the form of driver logs, weigh station logs, fine payment records, and other documentation all may be invaluable to support a personal injury claim.
Trucking companies will be unlikely to admit liability or responsibility for drivers who continually carry overweight loads. All too often, trucking companies actively encourage overweight vehicles to maximize their profits. Unfortunately, this can be a dangerous and very deadly practice for everyone on the road. However, a Marietta overweight truck accident lawyer can help you hold them accountable. To discuss your rights, call today for a consultation.