Commercial truck accidents are often catastrophic as these vehicles are substantially larger and heavier than any automobile or motorcycle sharing the road with them. If a big rig is carrying more weight than is allowed by federal and Virginia law, this can only increase the deadliness of these collisions. Most of the tractor trailer accidents around Staunton occur on Interstate 81 and Interstate 64. Take extra caution on those roads.

If you are involved in a truck wreck, and you suspect the vehicle was overloaded or overweight, call our office today. The lawyers at The Warren Firm are familiar with handling overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Staunton and could use this experience to guide you through the legal process.

Why is it Dangerous for a Truck to be Overloaded or Overweight?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the size and weight of trucks and their cargo to ensure they are safe to drive and decrease the chances of a devastating wreck. When truck drivers, trucking companies, or cargo loaders fail to uphold these federal standards, resulting in an accident, a local injury attorney could hold them financially liable for any harm done.

The maximum amount a fully loaded truck can weigh is 80,000 pounds, although Virginia does issue overload permits to trucking companies that extend that weight to no more than 84,000 pounds. Notably, the extra weight is only applicable to Virginia roads.

Risks of Overweight Trucks

Overweight cargo causes extra wear on a truck, straining its parts and wearing them out faster than average. As they wear out, the parts could become faulty while the truck is in motion. This could lead to a tragic accident such as a rollover accident due to a blown tire.

Truck drivers also have a more challenging time braking when traveling downhill because the extra weight adds to the velocity. As 18-wheeler brakes are not built to sustain excessive weight, this can result in brake failures and rear-end collisions.

Dangers of Overloaded Semis

Overloaded trucks, especially those that are not loaded carefully, are dangerous because the center of gravity could be shifted, making the truck more likely to overturn. The truck driver will also have a harder time applying the brakes and is more likely to be involved in a rear-end crash. Restraints used for normal loads may not be adequate for an overloaded semi and shifting cargo on open trailers could break loose and hit other vehicles on the road. A Staunton attorney could assess your case to determine if there is evidence that an overloaded or overweight truck was responsible for your accident.

Negligent Parties in an Overloaded/Overweight Semi Crash

A unique element of overloaded/overweight tractor-trailer accidents in the area is the possibility for multiple defendants. As there are several parties involved in the loading, inspecting, weighing, and ordering of cargo, each person could potentially hold some liability if a wreck occurs. The potential defendants typically include the:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company or truck driver’s employer
  • Cargo’s owner
  • Cargo loader

If one or more of the parties involved in handling and transporting cargo are found negligent, the plaintiff could recover money as compensation for personal and financial losses resulting from the accident.

Recoverable Damages in Staunton

As these collisions are especially severe, occupants of passenger vehicles that are struck by overweight or overloaded trucks often experience catastrophic, long-term losses. In addition to their initial medical care, they may require ongoing therapy and rehabilitation services. In many cases, injured parties may be unable to work for long periods of time or even permanently.

An aggressive Staunton attorney could work on your behalf after a truck accident to secure compensation to pay for your past and future damages related to the collision. This could include lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and inconvenience.

Contact a Staunton Attorney After an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident

Truck accidents of any kind are tragic, but it is especially so when these vehicles are overweight or overloaded. If you or a loved one suffered serious harm in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Staunton, do not hesitate to seek guidance from a reliable attorney. Our team at The Warren Firm could provide comprehensive legal guidance and help you seek the financial recourse you deserve. Call today.