An overloaded 18-wheeler can turn into a safety nightmare and a huge liability for more than just the trucking company that owns the vehicle.
If you are the victim of an accident involving an overloaded truck, be aware that an investigation may require a team of experts and that courts may determine multiple parties to be negligent in a single incident.
The dangers of overloading
Overloading is high on the list of reasons for truck-related accidents. One problem is that overloaded cargo is likely to shift, causing the truck to be off balance. If this happens when the driver is making a sharp turn or a sudden lane change, the truck could be in danger of rolling over. Overloading also puts additional pressure on operating performance. Braking distances increase and the driver may not realize how much longer it will take to stop the truck, which is of particular concern when traveling down an incline. An overload will cause tires to run hotter, which can lead to tire failure as well as wear and tear on the brakes and other equipment.
The liability exposure
Overloading is a risk management issue. If it is the cause of a crash, the company that owns the truck is open to liability. Among others, negligent parties may include the truck driver, the person who loaded the truck and even the person responsible for training employees in loading practices.
Obtaining a settlement
In pursuing personal injury claims, an attorney may form a team of professionals who can help reconstruct the crash, run down vehicle maintenance records, find out about loading practices, and address compliance matters in terms of federal and state regulations. The reason for the accident may be complex, but your injuries may also be severe. You deserve a favorable outcome for your case and a full and fair financial settlement to cover your medical costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering.