Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers notably require extra effort and attention to maneuver and operate safely due to their large size and heavy weights. If they are involved in a collision, these commercial vehicles have the potential to cause catastrophic damage and fatal injuries. Because of this, adhering to weight and load standards is vitally important.
Having an overweight truck can cause a variety of dangerous issues such as blowouts of the tires and rollovers. It can also make the vehicle more difficult to control, especially when traveling down a steep hill. If you sustained injuries in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Melbourne, seeking qualified legal representation as soon as possible is essential to properly recovering for your losses. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a capable truck accident attorney to begin reviewing your case for free.
The federal limit for weight on commercial vehicles is 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, which is 20,000 pounds on a single axle and 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. Sometimes trucking companies will purposely exceed these limits to increase profit, creating a dangerous situation for everyone traveling on the road with them.
Commercial trucks can also pose significant hazards if they are within the regulations for weight but are overloaded. This is especially the case for trucks with fully or partially exposed cargo. Not only can this result in collisions from Melbourne truckers not being able to maintain control of their vehicles properly, but overloaded tractor-trailers run the risk of items falling off and hitting other motorists or creating road hazards.
Drivers are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations. This includes performing inspections to verify that loads are properly secured and that their vehicle is an acceptable weight. As many people see when they travel on the highways, Department of Transportation (DOT) weigh stations exist where truck drivers are required to pull off to make sure that they comply with standards for weight. Before the vehicle even leaves the lot, though, the trucking company should ensure that the weight is where it needs to be and that the trucks stop at these weigh stations along the way to ensure that nothing has changed due to shifting or other factors.
Because Melbourne truck drivers are responsible for their loads, they are held liable if a wreck occurs due to their vehicle being overweight or overloaded. The company that the driver is employed for will also likely share a portion of the responsibility through vicarious liability, or direct liability, if they were aware the truck did not meet standard FCMSA requirements.
Trucking collisions are much more complex than average car accidents. If you were hurt in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Melbourne, it is crucial to have someone on your side who deals with these claims regularly and understands their legal intricacies.
At Norden Leacox, we have prior experience working for trucking companies and are aware of what lengths they go to take care of themselves when their drivers injure people. This prior knowledge puts us in a better position to fight on your behalf and perform the investigations necessary to identify all possible areas of recovery. Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.