Texas Overloaded Truck Accident Attorneys
How Much Weight Are Commercial Trucks Allowed to Carry?
Commercial trucks are subject to weight restrictions under state and federal regulations. When they are overloaded, it can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, leading to a crash that causes serious or catastrophic injuries. Both trucking companies and their drivers may be held liable for overloaded truck accidents. If you have been hurt in an overloaded truck accident, you deserve to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Each truck has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) assigned by the manufacturer and noted on the truck’s plate. GVWR is calculated based on the truck’s frame, suspension, powertrain, axels, and brakes. Truck drivers are expected to make use of weigh stations located along trucking routes to ensure their trucks are not carrying more weight than permitted by the rating, and, with certain exceptions, no more than 80,000 lbs. in any case.
Why Are Some Trucks Overloaded?
Truck drivers are under time pressure to transfer their cargo fast. Trucking companies want to maximize their profits by moving as much cargo as possible, as quickly as they can. Drivers may feel compelled to travel with overloaded trucks, and they may fail to lighten their loads at weigh stations when the truck weighs in over the limit. This places other motorists on the roadways at risk.
How Do Overloaded Trucks Cause Accidents?
- When a truck is overloaded, it can affect the vehicle’s performance as well as the driver’s control. For example, an overweight truck may travel down an incline faster than expected and require more braking force to stop.
- The cargo the driver is hauling is more likely to shift, which can result in improper load distribution. When the load is not distributed properly, there may be too much weight on a single axle, throwing the vehicle off balance and making it more prone to rollover.
- Properly securing the cargo is more difficult in an overloaded truck. Improperly secured cargo can lead to items falling off the truck, creating an obstacle course for other vehicles.
- Overloading trucks so they exceed their weight limits can lead to tire blowouts, rollovers, and loss of steering control while the driver is changing lanes or making sharp turns.
Types of Overloaded Truck Accidents
Overloading a truck and exceeding weight limits can cause equipment failure and make the truck more difficult to control. This can lead to deadly truck accidents, including:
- Jackknife accidents: Overloading a truck increases the risk of jackknifing if the driver brakes suddenly.
- Rear-end collisions: The heavier a truck is, the more time it needs to stop. When weight limits are exceeded, it makes a rear-end accident more likely.
- Rollovers: When a truck is overloaded, the cargo can shift, causing the weight to be unbalanced. An improperly distributed load increases the risk of a rollover accident.
- Tire blowouts: Excess weight on an overloaded truck can cause the tires to blow out. When this happens at highway speeds, the driver can easily lose control of the truck and collide with other vehicles.
- Dropped load accidents: Cargo in an overloaded truck is less likely to be properly secured. Portions of an improperly secured load may fall out on the roadway, causing other drivers to crash.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Overloaded Truck Accident?
There may be more than one legally responsible party for an overloaded truck accident. Both commercial truck drivers and the trucking companies that employ them are required to keep detailed records of truck inspections and maintenance and the weight of the loads they are hauling. While the driver may be responsible for driving an overloaded truck, the trucking company may also be held liable in some cases. Some trucking companies encourage overloading their trucks to meet delivery deadlines and increase profits.
Our experienced Texas trucking accident attorneys can thoroughly investigate your overloaded truck accident to determine fault and liability. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP at (903) 228-3299 today to get a dedicated legal advocate on your side. We can travel to meet you if you are unable to come to us.