An overloaded 18-wheeler violates both federal and state regulations, but trucking companies sometimes look the other way because hefty cargo means heftier profits.
However, overloading is a major cause of truck-related crashes, often resulting in devasting injuries or death to motorists.
Overloaded cargo can shift and cause the truck to be off-balance and difficult to control, especially when the driver speeds around a curve or makes a sharp turn. Over time, overloading also results in wear-and-tear on truck components, such as brakes and axles. A common problem is that, with a heavier load, tires run hotter and blowouts can more easily occur.
About the risks
Overloaded cargo reduces a driver’s ability to handle the vehicle properly in an emergency situation. The driver may find that the truck is heavier than normal, and he or she may not allow for the increase in braking distances. If the truck travels down an incline, the distance needed to stop the vehicle will be even greater. The driver—especially an inexperienced one—may not be able to handle an overweight tractor-trailer, and the possibility of a crash increases.
A look at liability
If you are the unfortunate victim of a truck-car crash, your legal team will go to work on your behalf, beginning with a thorough investigation at the crash scene. Prompt action is necessary because trucking companies have aggressive investigators of their own and a battalion of attorneys at their disposal. However, if you suffered injuries in the accident, the trucking company will likely share liability. Crashes with large trucks may see liability spread among the truck driver, the company or individual who loaded the truck, the company or individual who trained the driver and others in addition to the trucking company itself. Truck-car accident cases are complex, but as you focus on recovering from your injuries, you have the right to expect full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more.