It’s almost impossible to drive in Texas without encountering many large trucks; sometimes, it feels like they’re everywhere. When a tractor-trailer is fully loaded, it is a potentially extremely dangerous weapon, because a fully loaded trailer is carrying more than 80,000 pounds. That much weight makes the truck inherently less responsive than a truck carrying far less, as well as more capable of creating massive destruction, which often leaves victims with extremely serious injuries and huge medical bills, sometimes for the rest of their lives. It is even worse when a car or other smaller passenger vehicle collides with an overloaded big truck.
Why Overload Big Rigs? And What Does It Cause?
Unfortunately, as inherently dangerous as a fully-loaded tractor-trailer is, the unending quest to increase profits often leads trucking companies to go even farther and to overload some trucks, which means they could be carrying a lot more than 80,000 pounds, which makes them a lot more dangerous. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has numerous regulations on the books with regard to safe loads and the maximum acceptable weight of tractor-trailers, and they also require regular inspections. In addition, in years, trucks are equipped with a data recorder that can be used to determine if a vehicle is overloaded. Despite these rules, too often companies and drivers scheme and plot to go beyond those limits and the result is an overloaded big truck.
Overloading a truck can lead to any number of causes for a crash. Many 18-wheeler accidents result from a brake malfunction and those problems are often caused by excess weight. When a truck is overloaded, the extra weight places extra stress on the brakes, since it takes more power to stop a heavier load. That extra stress can lead to a greater likelihood that the brakes will fail.
The extra weight also increases the distance the truck needs to stop, which increases the likelihood of a crash. It is also more difficult to maneuver an overweight tractor-trailer, making it nearly impossible to nimbly avoid an obstacle in the road, whether it’s an animal, a person, or another vehicle with a family in it. When an overloaded truck is heading down a steep hill, it becomes nearly impossible to control. Also, the extra weight increases the likelihood of a truck blowout, which can be extremely dangerous.
The enormity of the effects of a vehicle accident with an overloaded 18-wheeler can’t be overstated. Because the most of the victims of these accidents are in much smaller vehicles that are sitting ducks, it is not unusual for them to be killed in the accident, but even if they’re not killed outright, they often suffer catastrophic injuries, such as injuries to their spinal cords, which can lead to paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, or even amputation injuries. Sometimes, victims are left with a combination of injuries.
The financial costs associated with medical treatment for the serious injuries that usually result from an accident with an overloaded truck can devastate a family and change everyone’s life. The loss of income is often so sudden as to severely impact their standard of living. It is always necessary to file a lawsuit to recover everything you’re entitled to; the trucking company will always try to pay out as little as possible.
Lawyers for Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving An Overloaded Big Truck
To handle a case involving an overloaded tractor-trailer, you’ll need an attorney that is highly experienced handling cases like these, who understands trucking company tactics for avoiding liability, and who is highly knowledgeable with regard to trucking industry regulations, customs and best practices. Make no mistake; if a truck has been overloaded, the trucking company broke the law and also negligently placed all of the others on the road in danger. The Texas Truck Accident Injury Attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm have the experience and savvy to provide accident victims with representation that can only be described as tenacious. Contact us now to discuss your case and explore your options.