Seattle Car Accident Law Firm®™, PLLCN/a
In addition to their length and width, a large part of why tractor-trailers can be so challenging to handle is how heavy they are when fully loaded with cargo. Under current federal law, the maximum gross combined vehicle weight a semi-truck crossing state lines can have with cab, trailer, and cargo combined is 80,000 pounds. Within a single state’s borders, even heavier trucks are permitted to travel with the proper permits.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers and trucking companies knowingly violate federal and state weight restrictions to save money and time, dramatically increasing the risk of a severe accident. As an experienced truck accident lawyer could affirm, overloaded and overweight truck accidents in Kirkland can be exceptionally harmful to everyone involved and uniquely challenging to recover for effectively through a civil claim. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident of this nature, contact our firm today to discuss your legal options with a seasoned attorney.
Even comparatively “small” commercial trucks are still several feet longer than even the largest commuter vehicles. A typical tractor-trailer can stretch up to 80 feet long, cab and trailer combined. All of this extra material makes these vehicles particularly difficult to maneuver, even with proper training. Additionally, semi-trucks are more susceptible to tipping or rolling over if their center of gravity shifts slightly. Putting too much cargo in one of these trucks not only exacerbates this problem, but also makes it harder for them to stop when approaching traffic.
In addition, every mechanical component that makes up a semi-truck is designed, manufactured, and assembled with a specific maximum weight limit in mind. Exceeding that weight limit by overloading a trailer greatly increases the risk of a mechanical failure or tire blowout that could cause a wreck, even if the truck’s operator is otherwise acting safely and carefully.
In extreme situations, overweight trucks may even cause structural damage to roadways, particularly bridges and overpasses with their own specific weight limits. A qualified attorney could help determine exactly how a particular overloaded or overweight truck accident in Kirkland occurred and pursue appropriate legal action against the parties responsible for causing the incident.
Just as there are numerous ways in which overloading a truck could lead to an accident, there are multiple different people and entities who could bear civil fault for an ensuing crash. In addition to the truck driver, the most obvious possible defendant is generally the company that owns the truck and/or employs the driver. Depending on the circumstances contributing to an overweight or overloaded truck wreck in Kirkland, a trucking company may be legally responsible for their employee(s) misconduct or directly liable for their own reckless or careless behavior.
Alternatively, some incidents of this nature stem primarily from negligence by third parties—for example, suppliers or loading dock workers who put too much weight on a truck without the owner’s knowledge or failed to properly secure cargo before transit. Skilled legal counsel could provide irreplaceable assistance with establishing valid grounds for litigation based on all evidence available to a specific plaintiff.
When trucking companies and distributors overload commercial trucks, they potentially put thousands of other drivers and their passengers at risk of catastrophic harm. If this kind of negligence ends up causing a traffic accident, comprehensive civil litigation may be your best means of demanding fair financial recovery for every form of harm you suffered as a result.
Help is available after overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Kirkland from qualified legal professionals. Call today to schedule your consultation.
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