Trucking is a competitive industry, and fleet operators try to cut corners to increase profits. Putting too much cargo in a trailer is one method irresponsible rig companies might use to reduce costs. However, an overloaded vehicle creates a potentially deadly hazard on the highway.
If an accident with an overweight/overloaded truck in Creve Coeur caused your injury, the parties responsible could be liable to pay your damages. A local rig crash attorney could investigate the circumstances and bring a claim against all the parties whose negligence led to your injuries.
18-wheelers are designed to haul a certain amount of weight safely, and the specific amount depends on an array of factors. These factors could be how many axles it has, how far apart they are spaced, the size of the tires, et cetera. The largest trucks on highways in the country could haul loads that bring the vehicle’s total weight up to 80,000 pounds.
If a truck is overweight, the excess cargo could stress the vehicle’s mechanical integrity, causing an axle to break or tires to blow out. Excessive weight also could affect the semi’s steering, making it more difficult for the driver to handle. Brakes could overheat or fail if a truck carries too heavy a load. Stopping distance is extended when a rig is too heavy, creating a potentially dangerous condition, such as a jackknife, if the 18-wheeler must stop quickly.
Cargo must be secured and distributed evenly throughout the trailer. Unsecured cargo could affect the way the truck handles. An improperly loaded trailer could increase the chances of the rig tipping on a curve or corner.
A diligent collision attorney could help someone in the area determine what part of the semi was affected by the overweight cargo.
If a plaintiff seeks damages from the defendant, they must prove the defendant’s negligence caused their injuries. In any circumstance, if a 18-wheeler carries excessive weight, someone was negligent.
There could be multiple defendants in an overloaded semi case. The vehicle operator might have known the trailer was overweight, and their decision to drive despite the excess weight is evidence of negligence. If the employing company provided an incentive to drive an overloaded vehicle, they could be negligent too. The company that loaded the trailer also could be liable.
A diligent attorney in the area must prove that the accident happened because the truck was overloaded. Establishing the cause of the crash often requires expert testimony and an opinion from a crash reconstruction expert.
A damages award provides compensation for all treatment the injury requires, stretching into the future. Damages could cover physical and mental health care necessary after the injury’s impact. Compensation could reimburse income that the plaintiff might have earned in the future.
Diminished quality of life is often an element of the damages a plaintiff receives in a personal injury case. They could receive compensation for disfigurement, disability, physical suffering, emotional anguish, and lost enjoyment of life.
In cases where a defendant’s conduct showed a deliberate, flagrant indifference to others’ safety, Revised Statute of Missouri §510.261 allows a plaintiff to seek punitive damages with the court’s permission. The intent of punitive damages is to punish a defendant for egregious conduct and deter others from similar conduct. A seasoned injury attorney in the area could advise whether asking a court for leave to seek punitive damages is appropriate in a particular overweight trucking crash case.
Recovering from serious injuries sustained in a collision with a semi could be a long and challenging ordeal. Some injuries could permanently affect your physical functioning, mental health, ability to work, and enjoy a fulfilling life with your family.
If you were hurt in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Creve Coeur, a skilled attorney could help you stand up to the parties who put their profits ahead of your well-being. Reach out now to schedule a case review.