Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks can cause devastating truck accidents
When a truck’s load exceeds state and federal weight limits, the driver and all other motorists on the road face the risk of an accident. Weigh stations exist along our nation’s highways so that truckers may stop and make sure that their trucks do not exceed posted weight limits. However, not all truck drivers adhere to weight restrictions. When truck drivers or companies violate safety regulations, other drivers pay the price. That’s where a truck accident lawyer at Munley Law can help.
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If you have been in a car accident with a truck, an experienced overloaded truck accident lawyer can determine if a serious violation like improperly loaded cargo contributed to the crash. If an overloaded truck caused your accident, you may be able to sue the truck driver, owner of the vehicle, or the company that loaded the truck for damages.
Our truck accident lawyers have decades of experience investigating truck accidents and obtaining millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims. Since 1959, our truck accident team at Munley Law has helped victims and their families after serious truck accidents. Our record of success speaks for itself.
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a truck accident can take, so we offer free confidential consultations. Chat live, email us, or call us for a free case evaluation today.
Why Do Overweight or Improperly Loaded Trucks Cause Accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes requirements for truck loading for good reason: When a truck’s cargo is overweight or improperly loaded, the truck cannot perform the way that it should and the driver is more likely to lose control.
Excess weight and unsecured cargo create problems for mechanical systems and exacerbate already dangerous conditions, such as:
Driving on Steep Grades
An overloaded truck has an increased mass and therefore can excessively speed up when driving downhill. Even without the added problems associated with improper cargo loading, steep grades pose dangers for inexperienced, inebriated, and distracted drivers. Trucks traveling at heightened speeds on hills with downward inclines are more difficult to control and bring to a complete stop. If the truck driver is forced to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash, the trailer may jackknife.
Navigating Turns and Curves
Excessive cargo or improperly distributed weight can also make the truck more likely to tip over when negotiating a tight turn or curve. Unsecured cargo can fall to the turning side and create dangerous weight imbalances An overloaded truck is more likely to have unsecured cargo that may fall, causing a crash. Overweight and improperly loaded trucks are more likely overall to suffer problems such as a tire blowout, loss of steering control, and rollovers.
Wearing Out Brakes
Oversized loads create more breaking friction and therefore more quickly wear out a truck’s brakes. If the trucking company fails to properly maintain the vehicle, the brakes could easily fail while the tractor trailer is hauling an oversized load.
Amplifying the Risk of Tire Blowouts
When unsecured and overburdened truckloads move around, a truck’s weight shifts and become unstable. This can put pressure on a tractor-trailer’s tires at levels that they were not designed or approved to bear and subsequently cause those tires to blow out.
Operating in Inclement Weather
Rain, snow, ice, sleet, hail, and high wind speeds create dangerous driving conditions for all motor vehicle operators. Because trucks are more difficult to turn, slow down, speed up, and stop than other cars. Overloading cargo only amplifies the difficulty of these maneuvers.
Each of these problems makes it more likely that a truck will lose control and hit another motor vehicle or roadside property. When those collisions occur, overweight and unsecured cargo is more likely to spill out onto the road or highway, increasing the likelihood of injuries and other crashes.
How Can Truck Drivers Avoid the Risks Associated with Improper Cargo Loading?
In order to avoid the catastrophic and sometimes fatal consequences of accidents caused by improper cargo loading, truckers should take the following precautions:
- Comply with all FMCSA regulations regarding the inspection of cargo
- Adhere to All FMCSA regulations regarding cargo securing devices
- Never exceed the maximum cargo weight limits
- Use truck weighing stations in order to maintain an up-to-date understanding of a truck’s load weight
- Take extra precautions when driving on inclines and during inclement weather
- Regularly perform all required inspections and maintenance of brakes, engines, tires, and other systems as required by the FMCSA and state law
Can an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Help You?
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury in a truck accident, you may need help getting the compensation you need. As the victim of a negligent act, you may recover damages for medical bills, therapy, time missed from work, future expenses, and pain and suffering. In order to prove that negligence contributed to your accident, you’ll need a lawyer familiar with trucking laws and regulations.
The overloaded truck accident lawyers at Munley Law have established a special focus on these unique types of cases. We have decades of experience winning cases against major transportation companies. Our trucking accident attorneys are dedicated experts in aggressively pursuing the justice and compensation that our clients deserve. And, we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. You will not owe us anything upfront, or out of pocket.
When choosing a truck crash lawyer to protect you and your family, consider the following tractor trailer accident settlements and verdicts:
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an accident with an overloaded truck, don’t wait much longer. Contact an overloaded truck accident lawyer at Munley Law now for a free consultation.
Read what our clients are saying about us:
“I’m so beyond thankful for my lawyers who have never steered me wrong and were ready to go to war for myself and my children. It has been an amazing experience working with them and I’m so thankful for them. As no amount of money will ever change what happened they made sure we were forever taken care of.” – Katy S., A Truck Accident Client
Frequently Asked Questions About Overloaded Truck Accidents
Q: Who Can Be Held Responsible For an Overloaded Truck Accident?
A: Unlike a car accident, there could be numerous parties responsible for the truck accident. For example, if the truck driver was not paying attention to the road and had to stop suddenly, causing the truck to tip over, they would be held responsible for the accident. But the company that was responsible for loading the truck may also be held responsible in this accident. Even though the truck driver was not paying attention at the time of the accident, if the truck wasn’t overloaded at the time of the crash, the accident may not have occurred.
This is why it’s important to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney at Munley Law to learn your options and to see what your next steps should be.
Q: What Should I Do After an Improperly Loaded Truck Accident?
A: The next steps following a truck accident are crucial to your case. Your first step is to call 911 and make sure everyone in your car is ok. Get photos of the accident scene and make sure you collect all contact information from any witnesses. Get the name of the company the truck driver works for as well, this will important later on.
When the police arrive, give a brief statement and don’t admit fault. Then, seek medical treatment as soon as you can. Even if you don’t feel injured at the time, it’s always best to get checked out by a medical professional.
Finally, contact Munley Law as soon as you can. The trucking company will have a response team on the way to the accident scene even before you have a chance to talk to the police so you need someone to protect your rights and make sure evidence is secured.
Q: What is the “Black Box?” Is It Important to My Case?
A: The event data recorder, better known as the truck’s black box, records all data about the truck and how it is traveling. When the tractor trailer is in an accident, the recorded data is transmitted to the truck company. This information is vital to your case since it contains the following:
- The truck’s speed before the accident
- If the clutch was engaged
- The truck suddenly slowing down or the driver applying the brakes
- steering angles
- following distance
- force of impact
- airbag deployment
- tire presssure
- daily or monthly engine activity
All this information can help prove whether the truck driver was at fault for the accident. Securing the black box, however, is extremely difficult and you need an experienced team of attorneys to help you get this vital evidence.
Q: What Should I Do If Someone From the Trucking Company Calls Me?
A: If someone from the trucking company calls, you do not have to speak with them. If you do speak with them, remember not to have your conversation recorded. Anything you say could be used against you later on. And most importantly, don’t sign any documents without your attorney looking at them first!
Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer at Munley Law?
A: We work on a contingency basis. What this means is we do not collect a fee for our services until the end of your case. If we are successful in getting you the compensation you deserve, we will take a small portion of your settlement or verdict. If we are not successful, you do not owe us anything. And as always, the first consultation is always free.
If you were injured in an overloaded truck accident, we’re here to help. Contact Munley Law today for a free consultation.