Belleville Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyer
We Have the Experience to Take on Trucking Companies
Have you ever been driving down the highway when you see a semi-truck with contents that are overflowing? You may even change lanes so a stray object doesn’t come flying into your windshield. While most trucking companies and truck drivers know the limits of their trucks and follow them, trucks are sometimes dangerously overloaded with cargo, usually in a bid to squeeze out more profits. This can also become a problem at construction sites, where materials are always being moved.
If you were injured by a truck that may have been overloaded, contact a Belleville truck accident attorney to determine what to do next. Trucking companies move quickly to cover their tracks, so the sooner you reach out to Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, to investigate your case, the better.
What Is an Overloaded Truck?
An overloaded or overweight truck is one that exceeds state laws and regulations for the load size and weight a transport truck is allowed to carry. The Illinois Department of Transportation sets these standards based on the type of highway or street and the size of the truck. You can read the full set of standards for maximum legal truck dimensions and weights on IDOT’s PDF.
In addition to these standards, truck manufacturers assign a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to each truck, and it is noted on the truck’s license plate. The GVWR considers criteria in addition to the type of street and measurements of the truck. It also factors in and rates the brakes, axles, frame, suspension, and powertrain of the truck.
Trucks are not permitted to carry more weight than their GVWR, and in general, no truck should exceed a GVWR of 80,000 pounds. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that if a truck does not have a plate, its assumed GVWR is 26,001 or more pounds. Highway weigh stations exist so that truck drivers can ensure that they are continuing to abide by these weight limits as they travel different roads across the country.
Why Overloaded Trucks Are So Dangerous
Overloaded trucks are actually one of the leading causes of truck-related accidents in the United States. Most of the time, the overweight truck is unbalanced, leading the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. In addition,
- Overloaded cargo is more likely to shift, and when loads shifts during a lane change or sudden turn, there is a higher risk of rollover.
- When a truck is overloaded, the cargo is less secure. This can result in cargo items falling off the truck while it is moving, possibly hitting another vehicle or person.
- An overloaded truck has reduced emergency handling capability, meaning its braking distances are increased and the truck will go down an incline much faster than expected.
Your Rights on a Construction Site
In addition to overloaded trucks endangering fellow drivers on a highway, overloaded trucks can injure workers on a construction site. A third-party company may be trying to cut corners by using overloaded trucks to get materials to and around the site more quickly.
When a third-party company, such as a subcontractor or transport company, breaks truck weight limit rules and injures you while working, that third party can be held liable. Even though that third party is not your employer, it is legally responsible for your injuries.
In the case of an overloaded truck accident at a construction site, your attorney would most likely pursue a personal injury claim, and have to prove that the company was negligent. This means that the third-party company owed you a duty of care (workplace safety), that it failed to provide that care (safe truck), and that your injures were a direct result of the breach of duty of care (overloaded truck).
Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, Will Advocate for You
Whether on the highway or on a construction site, an overloaded truck can cause major collisions and serious injuries. If you’ve been injured by an overloaded truck, consider contacting an experienced Belleville personal injury attorney.
For a free consultation, give Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, a call at (618) 641-9189. John Hipskind and Brady McAninch understand that trucking claims are way more difficult to pursue than regular car-on-car accident claims, but we have years of experience working these cases and taking down tough opponents, and we can help you get the compensation you need to recover and get on with your life.