The Relevance Of The Weight Loaded In Semi Truck Accidents
Because they are intended to carry large loads over long distances, semi trucks, also commonly known as big rigs and tractor-trailers, are heavy and potentially dangerous vehicles that are difficult to control and prone to tipping over. In accidents, heavy trucks can cause serious damage, severe injuries, and fatalities, so the industry is heavily regulated for road safety.
Unfortunately, trucking companies don’t always abide by the established regulations and are instead driven by profit or business interests, which can create dangerous conditions for other drivers and lead to devastating accidents with extremely serious injuries.
Two of the primary factors in truck-related accidents are the weight of the vehicle and whether the truck was properly loaded. If you’ve been injured in a crash with a semi truck, you need an experienced Las Vegas truck accident lawyer to investigate and build a strong case on your behalf so you can obtain the financial compensation you need to recover.
What Are The Weight Limits For Semi Trucks?
Originally, weight limits and carrying capacity regulations for commercial vehicles were intended to protect the highway system, because large vehicles wear down roads much more quickly than small vehicles do, leaving roads, bridges, and other infrastructure at risk of losing their strength and integrity.
Although the calculations for weight limits are complicated, the bottom line is that gross vehicle weight should not exceed 80,000 pounds, including the trailer itself as well as the load on it. Although weight limits are verified at weigh stations along the highway, truck drivers can work around them by avoiding certain roadways or by simply not stopping at the weigh stations. Truck drivers who pass weigh stations could face fines, license suspension, and other consequences, but sometimes they are not caught.
If you’ve been injured in a semi truck accident, your Las Vegas truck accident law firm will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances, including whether the truck was overloaded.
What Can Happen If a Truck Is Overloaded?
Although weight limits were originally intended to protect our roads and bridges, that’s not the only reason why weight limits are crucial. A semi truck that is overloaded is prone to vehicle failure that can cause serious accidents with other vehicles. Some of the problems that can result from an overloaded truck include tire blowouts, which can cause a loss of control of the truck, rollovers that lead to serious highway blockages and accidents, and brake system malfunctions. When a truck is overloaded, the driver may struggle to control the vehicle and take longer to stop. This means that an accident that might have initially seemed to be driver error was actually caused by an overly heavy load.
If the investigation after an accident determines that overloading caused the accident, the victim can work with their Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to file a claim for damages, which may include medical bills, loss of income, ongoing pain and suffering, PTSD, and more.
What Other Problems Can Occur With Improperly Loaded Trucks?
Overloaded trucks pose a hazard for other drivers, and so can trucks that weren’t properly loaded. Even if the truck is within the weight limits, an unsecured load can still cause serious accidents and put other drivers at risk. Heavy objects could fall off the trailer or shifting weight could lead to rollovers and difficulty controlling the vehicle. As with weight limits, trucking companies are responsible to follow established guidelines on how to properly load and secure semi trucks. This includes where to place the heaviest weight on the trailer to seemingly small details such as how to secure tarps or cardboard, which can cause a driver to swerve off the road and end up in a serious accident if not secured properly.
How Your Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve been involved in a crash with a semi truck, contact a Las Vegas truck accident attorney right away. If the truck and trailer have already been removed from the scene, your lawyer will request that the trucking company preserve the vehicle and cargo for examination. Your attorney’s investigation of the accident circumstances may reveal that the trailer was overloaded or improperly loaded; your legal team will work on your behalf to build a case proving that negligence caused the accident, along with your resulting injuries. In some cases, multiple negligent parties can be held liable, which may include the company who loaded the truck, the company who owns the truck, the driver themselves, and the person responsible for truck maintenance or inspection.
Have You Been Injured By a Big Rig? Get Help From Nevada’s Trusted Attorneys
We rely on trucking companies to transport freight across the nation in a safe manner, but sometimes trucking companies violate these rules and put their own interests ahead of the safety of others on the road. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a semi truck, let the attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers help you hold the negligent parties responsible. We are making the difference in personal injury law with our attention to details, careful client communication, and outstanding value. Call us today to speak with an attorney personally.