While the average commuter car is certainly not light by any means, a dozen of them put together can still weigh less than a single tractor-trailer loaded with cargo. Put simply, semi-trucks are the biggest and heaviest vehicles on our roads, and the people who drive those trucks are expected to carefully and responsibly account for that weight at all times.
If a truck driver accidentally or knowingly carries more weight than they are legally allowed, they open themselves and their employer up to serious legal repercussions while putting themselves and everyone around them at much greater risk of getting hurt in a catastrophic accident. If you were involved in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Waco recently, a seasoned truck crash attorney can play a vital role in establishing who is to blame for the incident and ensuring you get compensated fairly for the harm you have sustained.
Under federal law, tractor-trailers traveling on interstate highways and/or across state borders can have a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds. Additionally, trucks cannot have more than 20,000 pounds distributed onto a single axle or more than 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group, even if the truck’s total weight is still under 80,000 pounds.
State law imposes very similar restrictions on commercial trucks traveling within state borders and on state roads and highways. However, trucks in Texas can carry oversized loads within the state’s border on pre-established routes, provided they apply for and obtain a permit first. Any truck driver, trucking company, or third-party supplier in Waco that allowed a truck to begin a route while in violation of any state or federal weight restriction could be considered legally negligent if their failure to fulfill their “duty” to protect other travelers directly leads to an overloaded/overweight truck crash.
Unfortunately, proving that a truck was in fact overweight when it got involved in a traffic accident can be a lot more complicated in practice than most people might expect. The main reason for this is the fact that most trucking companies understand the repercussions of putting an overweight truck onto the road. Therefore, they might take additional illegal actions like falsifying trip logs and manifests to hide the real amount of cargo being transported.
Assistance from seasoned legal counsel can be absolutely vital to tracking down all available evidence, finding holes in a defendant trucking company’s story, and determining exactly what happened leading up to an overloaded truck crash in Waco. A capable lawyer can also potentially help establish fault for this sort of wreck in other ways. For example, demonstrating that a truck driver failed to brake properly when approaching an intersection can be a way to hold that driver accountable for an ensuing accident.
Overloaded commercial trucks are harder for their drivers to keep under control, which means those drivers are more likely to get involved in wrecks even if they are highly trained and skilled at what they do. Fortunately, it is often possible to build a strong civil claim around a crash involving an overweight truck, provided you have help from experienced legal representation.
Working with a seasoned lawyer after an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Waco can make a tremendous—and positive—difference in your odds of obtaining fair recovery. Learn more by calling today.