Trucking companies generally have one primary goal: to transport the greatest amount of cargo during the shortest amount of time, in order to achieve the highest possible profit margin. Because of this equation, many times trucks end up overloaded, rendering them unsafe when travelling at typical highway speeds. 18-wheelers may already be at a higher risk of rollover accidents. Because of this, improperly loaded trucks can pose a significant risk.
An overloaded or oversized truck can be a danger to all vehicles who travel the same roadways, as well as the truck driver, and trucks which are over the limit on cargo weight are one of the primary factors in trucking accidents in America. While each state independently governs the legal load limits for trucks, because many travel the Interstate system they are also subject to DOT load limits. Oversized loads or loads which exceed the weight limit must obtain a special permit, require additional caution warnings, and, in some cases, must have accompanying pilot vehicles in front and back of the truck as a warning to motorists.
Not only can an overloaded truck be dangerous, an improperly loaded truck can be just as dangerous, as it can be off-balance, therefore more susceptible to rollover accidents. Tanker trucks which are only half full are also a danger to others on the road. A tanker which is only partially loaded with liquids will slosh back and forth, upsetting the normal center of gravity on the truck. Especially if the driver happens to be less experienced, a partially loaded tanker can cause serious or fatal accidents.
Unsecured loads are quite often the cause of serious trucking accidents; cargo can fly off into the path of oncoming traffic, or can shift dangerously, causing the truck to overturn. An entire truckload of phone books spilled into oncoming traffic, due to being improperly secured a few years back. Although there were no fatalities as a result of this unsecured load, there were a number of accidents and serious injuries. Truckers occasionally leave a tool lying on top of a load, then once they are traveling at fifty or sixty miles per hour down the highway, the tool flies off into the windshield of a motorist behind them.
Sometimes the reason a truck is dangerously overloaded or oversized has nothing to do with the trucking company and more to do with the inexperience of the truck driver. Some trucking companies in the United States have a turnover rate greater than 100%, meaning inexperienced drivers may be taking the place of experienced drivers. This inexperience can manifest in trucks which are overloaded or oversized.
Once an accident has occurred, and the wreckage is cleared, it can be difficult to determine the cause of the accident. If you were the victim of a trucking accident it is vitally important that you seek representation from a highly qualified personal injury attorney with a background in trucking accidents. Because there can be more than one defendant in a trucking accident, it is critical that your chosen attorney be well-versed in the complexities of such accidents.
Your attorney will gather logbooks as well as other information in order to determine liability. Whether it is the trucking company’s fault, the driver’s fault, or a manufacturing defect, your attorney will advocate on your behalf, doing his or her best to ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries.
Don’t wait to hire a knowledgeable Longmont personal injury attorney—you need to focus on healing from your injuries and your attorney can help you do so. Contact the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.
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