Overweight and Overloaded Truck Accidents
As we rely on online shopping to meet our needs, the number of trucks on the roads is increasing, resulting in more accidents. Over the past 20 years, there has been a 20 percent increase in trucking accidents. Many of these accidents are caused by negligence, either by the truck driver, their employer, or the person responsible for loading the trucks’ cargo. Improperly loaded and overloaded trucks are highly dangerous because they can result in a loss of control.
When a truck is manufactured, it is issued a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This number, displayed on the back plate of every truck, is the maximum weight a truck should carry. Although truck drivers are expected to make routine weight checks at weigh stations, it is not uncommon for drivers of flagged trucks to keep driving without unloading any cargo. When an accident occurs because of overloading, the victims can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for lost wages, past and future medical expenses, property damages, and pain and suffering.
How Overloaded Trucks Cause Accidents
Overloaded trucks are hard to control when going downhill, and they do not stop as easily as a properly loaded truck. The brake force required may be too much for the vehicle to bear, and it can cause mechanical problems. When trucks are overloaded, they tend to shift or are improperly distributed, resulting in a loss of equilibrium. Items can also fall off the back of a truck, causing serious multicar pile-ups or fatal collisions with the falling cargo. Overloaded trucks are also highly prone to tire blowouts, especially in hot weather.
After a trucking accident, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you determine how the accident occurred and who was responsible. The truck driver may be responsible for overloading the truck, or their employer could be held liable, or both. For example, if a trucking company has a policy that encourages truck drivers to overload by offering bonuses based on cargo size, and the truck driver adhered to it, both could be sued together in a personal injury lawsuit by any victim who was injured as a result.
In some cases, the manufacturer may also be held liable if a feature of the vehicle made the accident more severe than it would have been without that feature. The person who loaded the cargo may also be joined as a defendant. It is fairly common after a trucking accident for the injured party to sue all potential defendants and let them fight among themselves to determine which party’s insurance carrier will take fiscal responsibility for the accident.
Highland Park Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Victims Injured in Trucking Accidents
At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, our Highland Park truck accident lawyers provide the highest quality legal representation to victims of trucking accidents. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at 732-249-4600 or contact us online. With an office in Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Edison, Somerset, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, New Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.