Pursuing Compensation for Crashes Caused by Overweight or Overloaded Trucks
Why would an overweight truck increase the likelihood of an accident? Trucking companies and drivers are supposed to abide by certain regulations related to weight and loaded cargo partly because these vehicles’ size and weight makes them difficult to operate. The load needs to be appropriately distributed, and the cargo must be secured so that there is no falling debris while the truck is in motion. Overloading or improper loading increases the risk that the truck will roll over, jackknife, or suffer tire failure, or that the driver will lose control of the truck when performing routine tasks like changing lanes.
Many parties may be held responsible for an overweight truck that causes injuries. Truck drivers may be held responsible if they fail to use reasonable care while loading the cargo, inspecting the cargo, or reacting to a situation on the road. To hold a truck driver liable, you must show that they were negligent in most cases. This means that they failed to use reasonable care, and this failure caused your injuries. Sometimes a truck is overweight or overloaded not because of a driver but because a company that loaded the truck did so negligently. In that case, the company may be responsible for the outcome of its negligence.
However, trucking companies may also be held responsible when an overweight or overloaded truck causes injuries. Trucking companies are supposed to adhere to weight and load standards, and any failure to do so may be negligent per se, or negligent as a matter of law. When a truck that travels across state lines is overloaded, the trucking company may be violating regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A violation of safety regulations that causes injuries of the type that the regulation was supposed to prevent may be considered negligence as a matter of law. In these cases, the focus of the lawsuit will likely shift from liability to the extent of the damages.
One problem that is especially common in truck accident cases is the spoliation of evidence. Sometimes trucking companies hide or even destroy evidence to try to avoid liability. It is important to retain a Folsom personal injury lawyer immediately after a truck accident so that a letter may be sent to the company advising it of pending litigation in order to prevent the company from tampering with evidence from the crash.
Contact a Folsom Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been harmed due to an overweight or overloaded truck, you should retain an experienced California truck accident attorney. Not all attorneys are familiar with truck accident cases and how to gather evidence or prevent spoliation. Travis G. Black has this experience and formerly worked in the insurance industry. He understands how adjustors may respond to your claim. Our Folsom firm offers diligent legal counsel to victims. Contact us online or call Black & DePaoli at 916-962-2896 for a free consultation.