Trucking businesses provide an invaluable service to the economy, helping to transport important goods and deliver services across the United States. However, truck drivers and the companies they work for can occasionally ignore safety measures, especially when loading their vehicles.
Overloaded trucks may present severe risks to other drivers, regardless of the circumstances. This is because commercial vehicles have lesser agility and braking range, and are more likely to experience structural damage, all of which can result in accidents.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an overloaded/ overweight truck accident in Seattle, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Working with a seasoned attorney could help you hold the responsible party financially liable.
What Does it Mean for an 18-Wheeler to be Overloaded?
Authorities grade every vehicle for how much weight it can safely transport. The rate for most passenger cars is a few thousand pounds, whereas licensed commercial vehicles can withstand tens of thousands of pounds. The federal highway administration restricts 80,000 pounds maximum gross weight, 20,000 pounds per axle, and 34,000 pounds per axle cluster.
Overloading happens when a truck carries additional weight above its gross weight limit. Trucks experience trouble moving and turning when they are overweight. Stopping becomes more challenging on a steep slope, and unexpected moves can lead the vehicle to jackknife or topple. In the event of a crash in Seattle, overweight trucks expose a trucking firm or owner to significant legal consequences.
Overloaded Commercial Vehicles Maximize Profit
Although maintaining the federal weight limit on trucks is the safest option, it can also limit the profitability of trucking businesses and individual operators. To gain more profit, trucking businesses risk violating federal load limitations. Most truckers get away with overloading and breaking federal standards because law enforcement officers rarely check them.
Since more truckers are able to bend or break the rules with consequences, other truckers and truck businesses follow suit, resulting in a cascade of dangerous traffic situations for everyone else on the highway. Whenever these risks cause serious truck accidents, the party responsible for plaintiffs’ loss must be liable.
Who is to Blame for Injuries Caused by an Overweight Semi-Truck?
In the event of an overloaded truck wreck in Seattle, there could be multiple parties who are accountable. Truck drivers must ensure that their loads comply with all transportation regulations, and they do not exceed the maximum load capacity. If the trucking firm or boss deliberately permitted or fostered overloading in order to move more freight, or whether the operator recruitment or maintenance was careless, the employer could be held liable.
People injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer should try to recall the truck’s condition or movements during the moments before the accident. The truck may be overweight if it appears to slump or bend on either of its sides. Another indicator is abrupt, jerky motions. Last, extra weight may lead to an accident if the vehicle’s mechanical pieces break in any way.
Discuss Overweight and Overloaded Truck Accidents with a Seattle Attorney
Whether it was you or your loved ones who got injured in a collision involving an overweight truck, getting great representation goes a long way towards ensuring that you are duly compensated. Odama Law has vast experience in handling cases arising from overloaded/ overweight truck accidents in Seattle and could work with you to ensure that you get the full compensation you are entitled to. Get in touch today to tell us about your accident.