Overweight and Overloaded Trucks
Companies around the country regularly use semi-trucks to transport and deliver goods. As a result, semi-trucks that are carrying cargo usually weigh several tons. There are limitations as to how much freight a semi-truck can safely carry, however, and when a truck is overweight or overloaded, it can impair the driver’s ability to control the truck, which can lead to a collision. Drivers and trucking companies that fail to abide by state and federal regulations should be held accountable for any harm caused by their negligence, and anyone involved in an accident with an overweight or overloaded truck should speak to an attorney regarding his or her rights. The Manchester truck accident lawyers at Stephen Law Group have the knowledge and experience needed to assist you in your pursuit of damages.Regulations Regarding the Weight of Semi-Trucks
The maximum legal weight limits of semi-trucks are regulated by state and federal laws. Generally, the maximum permissible weight of a truck and its trailer varies depending on the number of axles on the truck and the size of the truck. Under New Hampshire law, the maximum legal weight of a semi-truck is 86,000 pounds, unless the truck falls under an exemption, in which case the maximum weight is 99,000 pounds. Even if a truck is within the legal weight range, it may be prohibited from traveling on certain roads. To make sure that the companies that own semi-trucks and the drivers who operate them stay within the legal limits, drivers often need to stop at weigh stations and weigh their trucks.Risks Posed by Overweight and Overloaded Trucks
Weight regulations for trucks exist for the safety of everyone on the road, since trucks that are overloaded or overweight are among the leading causes of truck accidents. If a semi-truck is overweight or overloaded, this may alter the truck’s performance, and the driver may not be able to properly stop or slow the truck in time to avoid a collision. In many instances, the cargo in an overloaded or overweight truck will not be properly distributed and may shift during transport, causing the truck to tip over. Additionally, the tires of overweight semi-trucks often cannot handle the extra weight, which leads to blowouts that cause the driver to careen out of control and crash into other motorists.Proving Liability Following an Overweight or Overloaded Truck Accident
People injured in accidents with overloaded trucks may be able to pursue claims against multiple parties to recover damages. Generally, a person seeking damages in a truck accident case will allege that the driver was negligent. In New Hampshire, to prove negligence, a plaintiff’s attorney must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, but the defendant breached the duty, and the breach caused the plaintiff to suffer measurable damages.
If a plaintiff can show that a driver failed to weigh a semi-truck, or continued to drive the truck despite knowing that the truck exceeded the maximum permitted weight, this is strong evidence that the driver acted negligently. Similarly, if a trucking company was directly responsible for a truck being overweight, the trucking company may be deemed negligent as well. In cases in which a trucking company that employed the driver of an overweight truck knew or should have known that the driver failed to comply with weight regulations, the company may be held vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence.Speak With a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in the Manchester Area
State and federal entities place restrictions on the maximum weight of trucks for the safety of all travelers, and when a truck exceeds the restrictions, the results can be disastrous. If you suffered losses due to an accident involving an overweight or overloaded truck, the attorneys at Stephen Law Group will work tirelessly to help you seek damages from those responsible for your harm. We regularly assist people in truck accident lawsuits in Manchester and in other cities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. We can be reached through our form online or at 877-663-1007 to schedule a free consultation.