Numerous injuries and deaths are caused by truck accidents each year. There are many reasons for these accidents, but an overweight or overloaded truck increases the probability that a crash will result in devastating injuries to one or more victims. Overloaded and overweight trucks present a huge risk to everyone who shares the road with them. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, California trucking accident attorney Travis G. Black formerly worked in the insurance industry and understands how adjustors think. Even when a truck accident is catastrophic, adjustors may look for ways to limit a victim’s compensation.
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.