When completely loaded up with cargo, tractor-trailers can weigh anywhere from seven to forty tons depending on the length of their trailer and the number of axles across the cab and trailer combined. However, if a commercial truck is overloaded beyond its maximum safe weight, it can become unbalanced in transit and significantly increase the risk of a serious accident.
Overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Olive Branch can occur on any major roadway and often result in severe injuries to both drivers and passengers in smaller cars nearby. If you were hurt in this type of incident, an experienced truck accident attorney such as David E. Gordon may be able to help you pursue monetary compensation from the person or company responsible for overloading that truck.
Under the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments, which became enforceable federal law in 1975, the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight for a long-haul tractor-trailer is 80,000 pounds. Additionally, the heaviest a single axle truck can be 20,000 pounds, and the maximum weights allowed for tandem and tridem axle trucks are respectively 34,000 pounds and 42,000 pounds. Mississippi state law enforces identical limits on truck weight under normal circumstances, but allows for loads of up to 180,000 pounds to be carried with a permit.
These weight limitations are meant to ensure that trucks are operated safely by truck drivers with proper training and experience. If a truck is loaded with too much cargo and exceeds the maximum vehicle weight relative to its number of axles, it can be slower to accelerate, harder to stop, and more prone to tipping over.
Unfortunately, not every trucking company adheres to these rules for every trip, and some choose to deliberately ignore them for the sake of saving time and money. If an overweight truck ends up causing an accident in Olive Branch, the company that allowed it to be overloaded could bear civil liability for any and all resulting damages.
Depending on the circumstances, a number of different parties may bear partial liability for an overloaded truck crash, including the driver, the driver’s employer, a third-party supplier responsible for loading the truck, or even roadside weigh station attendants who fail to stop overweight trucks from getting back on the highway. Regardless of the specific defendants, liability is ultimately based on who had a responsibility to comply with federal law, whether they failed to fulfill that duty, and whether that failure directly led to the injuries in question.
Assistance from legal counsel is often essential when trying to identify all available evidence of fault and turn it into a comprehensive demand for restitution. Through successful civil litigation, a person injured from an overweight truck crash in Olive Branch may be able to recover for lost work wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and more.
No matter what causes a truck to collide with another vehicle, the results can be devastating and potentially fatal. In order to demonstrate before a civil court that an overloaded truck directly caused the losses you suffered, you may need help from legal professional David E. Gordon who knows where to look for critical evidence and can present it in a convincing manner.
Throughout the claims process, a knowledgeable lawyer can provide customized guidance and support. Call today to learn more about overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Olive Branch and how you could seek relief for the losses you suffered.