Encountering a tractor-trailer on the road gives some drivers anxiety. Commercial trucks are large vehicles, weighing many times more than what your car weighs. If a commercial truck hits your car, you could become severely injured.
Human error causes most motor vehicle accidents. One of the most common causes of truck accidents is simply having too much cargo. Commercial trucks are highly regulated. Truck drivers must not work for more than a certain number of consecutive hours without a break. Trucks must also carry a safe amount of cargo, which includes not exceeding a certain weight. You may have seen truck weighing stations on interstate highways.
Trucking companies are looking to make money. The more cargo they can stuff into a trailer, the more money they can make by not having to use a second truck and driver. Many truck companies overweigh their trucks to maximize their profits. Unfortunately, this can lead to tragic consequences.
When a truck is overweight, it takes longer to slow down. In some cases, you have to react quickly on the road and hit your brakes hard to avoid slamming into the vehicle in front of you. Trucks are no different. If a truck has too much cargo, it could take longer to stop. If the truck driver cannot stop in time, they may slam into the rear of a car, causing serious injuries.
Overweight trucks are also more prone to tire blowouts. Each truck tire is rated to carry a certain amount of weight. That is why you see trucks with double tires. When a truck is overloaded, there is additional pressure put on each tire. When tires are under additional stress, they can blow.
A blown tire not only puts the truck driver at risk, but it also puts other drivers at risk. Truck tires are much larger than the tires on your car, and when they blow, they can break into large pieces that can shatter windshields or cause a driver to swerve and lose control of their own car.
Trucks carrying too much load are also more prone to rollover accidents. A rollover happens when the truck flips on its side because the load was not properly secured, the driver was going too fast, or there was too much cargo stuffed into the trailer.
Investigating Overweight Truck Accidents
The above represents just a few of the many ways overweight trucks can cause accidents and injuries. You might be wondering how someone determines if a truck is overweight. This is where truck accident reconstruction experts can be invaluable. Truck accident reconstruction experts look at and review truck accidents. This is not a quick process, and it may require months of investigation and interviews. Truck accident reconstruction experts will look at every angle and do everything in their power to come to an accurate conclusion about how a truck accident happened.
Many of these truck accident reconstruction experts work alongside lawyers. Having a lawyer with the resources necessary can be invaluable to you. A lawyer can help prove that an overweight truck caused your accident and injuries.
Multiple Parties Could be Responsible for an Overweight Truck Accident
While it is easy to place blame on a truck driver for any accident, they may not be the only liable party. There are many parties who could be liable, including the following:
- Truck driver: Truck drivers are in charge of the load they carry. While they may have a list of cargo to pick up, if they feel it is too much or they realize their truck is overweight, it is their responsibility to speak up. Ultimately, the truck driver is responsible for the truck while in transit, so if it is overweight, they may be at least partly responsible.
- Trucking company: The trucking company is the one that creates the cargo. They may know they are overloading a truck with too much cargo, making it too heavy. If they continue forward with their plan and an accident occurs because the truck is too heavy, the trucking company could also be liable for any damages.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be facing a lifetime of medical issues. To help you, your lawyer may try to get you compensation for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
A tractor-trailer truck is a massive vehicle, weighing many times more than your car. When a truck hits a smaller vehicle, it will likely cause catastrophic property damage. A totaled car may be the least of your worries. When someone gets into a truck accident, they may spend months or years out of work, placing an extreme financial burden on them.
When you have been injured in a truck accident, a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. Your main focus should be on your health. However, you also have to be concerned about how you will pay for your costly medical bills. If you wait too long to speak with a lawyer, you could miss out on your chance to collect maximum compensation from the negligent party.
Every state has a time limit that a person has to file a claim against a negligent driver. In Virginia, the statute of limitations is just two years. You might think that this is a long time, but consider all of the hurdles you may face:
- Long periods of time out of work
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple surgeries
- Numerous doctor visits
- Prescription drug costs
- In-facility rehabilitation
- In-home care
Each of these items will add substantial costs to your recovery. Getting compensation from the negligent party is one of the best ways you can help yourself heal. When you do not have to worry about how you will pay your bills, you can focus entirely on your health. After a severe truck accident, you should speak to a lawyer about your options.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Help Those Injured by Overweight Trucks
Often, a truck accident is a traumatic experience. A truck accident can be even more damaging if the vehicle is carrying too much cargo at the time of impact. If you were injured by an overweight truck, speak with one of our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we defend those injured by negligent truck drivers and trucking companies. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.