Trucking companies are legally allowed to load tens of thousands of pounds of cargo onto tractor-trailers, and they can increase this load if they get a federal permit. Unfortunately, far too many trucking companies decide to exceed these established weight limits, in an attempt to save time and money. This can put countless people in danger and increase the likelihood of a serious crash.
If you were involved in a trucking collision caused by an overweight or overloaded vehicle, you likely have options for holding the negligent parties accountable and seeking compensation. However, proving that a truck driver was carrying more cargo than allowed by state or federal law is far from a simple process, and a lack of experience with handling these kinds of cases like this could lead to an unsatisfactory outcome.
Fortunately, you have help available after overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Killeen from knowledgeable truck accident attorneys with a track record of achieving positive case results on behalf of people like you.
According to federal law, the combined weight of a truck’s cab, trailer, and cargo cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. There are also additional limitations on how much weight a semi-truck can split across different numbers and types of axles. For instance, no truck can put more than 20,000 pounds on one single axle, or more than 34,000 pounds on one tandem axle group.
State law also sets a maximum gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds for trucks traveling within state borders and/or on state highways and roads, as well as identical limits on the weight that individual axles and axle groups can carry. Notably, though, trucking companies can apply for permits in order to lawfully transport oversized loads over short distances, provided they outline the specific route their driver, along with other critical details about the proposed trip.
If a truck driver or trucking company decides to exceed these federal or state limits, a lawyer in Killeen can help with proving this violation and holding the correct entity accountable.
Unfortunately, establishing that a trucking company in Killeen put an overweight or overloaded truck onto the road can require substantial evidence from numerous sources, including specific figures and measurements from manifests and inspection stations. To make matters worse, trucking companies generally know that putting overweight trucks on the road is illegal, so they often go to great lengths to hide their unlawful actions by falsifying records and committing other small crimes. This can make it extremely difficult to build a strong civil claim against them.
Assistance from a seasoned lawyer can be absolutely vital to overcoming these obstacles and recovering fairly for accident-related losses like:
If there is significant evidence showing that a trucking company knowingly and deliberately broke the law, a court may even impose additional punitive damages against them. A knowledgeable legal representative can help prove a plaintiff’s entitlement to punitive compensation, when relevant.
Driving a tractor-trailer can be difficult and dangerous even for an experienced and well-trained driver. Overloading a truck can make it a great deal harder to control and increase the risk of mechanical failures, both of which can in turn increase the risk of a catastrophic traffic accident.
When trucking companies decide to overlook federal and state laws concerning vehicle weight, they can cause overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Killeen. If you were hurt in one of these crashes, you deserve someone to fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. Call today to learn more about your options.