Overloaded Trucks: A Danger on Texas Roadways
In Texas, out-of-control trucks are a common cause of serious or fatal accidents. Since the trucker is unable to come to a stop in time, the truck is more likely to rollover, jackknife, or crash into an obstacle due to its increased speed when going downhill or moving at highway speeds. Any driver who happens to be in the vicinity of an overloaded truck is in extreme danger. Not only is the truck more likely to cause a collision, but should one occur, the force of impact will be more powerful. Regular drivers are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in an accident with an overloaded truck.
If you or someone you love was injured in an overloaded truck accident in Dallas, you need strong legal representation. At The Lenahan Law Firm, our team works on only a handful of cases at a time to give clients the representation they deserve. Our Dallas overloaded truck accident attorneys can dig into the details of your case, investigate the truck and driver who injured you, and fight to get you full compensation for your trauma.
Do not let a big insurance company bully you into a low settlement. Let us stand up for you. Call (214) 295-1008 for a free case evaluation.
Weight Restrictions and Regulations
An overloaded truck is dangerous, as the weight of the cargo makes the truck more difficult for the driver to control. Commercial trucks operating in the state of Texas are regulated at both the state and federal level. When the load exceeds the weight allowed, the truck needs a longer distance to come to a stop. The load limits are determined by the type of truck, its length, and the number of axles, with the weight requirements issued by the Texas DMV:
- Single axle: 25,000 lbs.
- Two axles (tandem): 46,000 lbs.
- Three axles (tridem): 60,000 lbs.
- Four axles (quadrem): 70,000 lbs.
- Five axles (quint): 81,400 lbs.
Truck drivers are required to stop at weigh stations as they travel through the state. But when truckers know that their load exceeds the legal limit, they may not stop at a weigh station or take an alternate route. The larger the load, the more products can be delivered at once, and the more profit the company makes. For companies like Amazon or FedEx, the high demand for fast delivery increases the likelihood that they will overload their vehicles with packages and cause delivery accidents. But when profits take precedence over safety, it is time to take legal action. The Texas Transportation Code was written to protect the state's citizens. A company that violates these regulations may face legal repercussions, but if you are injured, you should pursue compensation in civil court or through a negotiated settlement.
Types of Overloaded Truck Accidents in Texas
The heavier a load, the more likely a truck driver will lose control of it. The resulting collisions are more deadly that standard truck accidents due to the risk of hazardous cargo spilling out onto the roadway, potentially causing a pileup.
When a truck is overloaded, it can cause:
- Rear-End Collisions: Brake failure due to excess weight can make it impossible for the driver to bring the truck to a stop, thus ramming into the rear of the vehicle ahead of it.
- Rollover Accidents: When a truck is overloaded, the weight of the trailer makes it hard to make turns. At high speeds, there is a risk that the trailer will tip over and cause a rollover accident, potentially crushing nearby vehicles.
- Jackknife: A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s trailer swings perpendicular to the truck, crossing multiple lanes of traffic, striking one or more vehicles. The extra weight of overloaded or unbalanced cargo can increase the likelihood of a jackknife.
- Cargo Spills: Packing a trailer to the max with cargo, or filling a tanker truck to the limit, puts a lot of strain on the vehicle’s various components. A loose door, faulty hitch, cracked tank, or weak locks can break while the truck is on the road, leading to cargo or hazardous materials spilling out on major highways around Dallas.
Who Is Liable When a Truck Is Overloaded?
The first step in filing a lawsuit or claim to recover damages after an injury is to identify all liable parties. At some point, someone authorized the overloaded truck to travel the highways in Texas – and those parties must be held accountable. When someone puts profits above human life, they must face the consequences.
Even if a truck driver is certified to operate an overloaded truck, he still needs to remain focused on the road and drive as safely as possible. Distracted driving, intoxication, fatigue – all of these negligent actions are inexcusable. If a trucker acted negligently or violated the law, you can hold him or her accountable in a Dallas truck accident claim.
Speak to a Dedicated Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer
The Lenahan Law Firm has achieved remarkable success in representing the injured in some of the largest cases in the country. Our firm takes an entirely different approach than most personal injury firms. Rather than juggling hundreds of clients, each of our attorneys is limited to five cases, with every case personally reviewed by our firm's founder, Marc Lenahan. If you come to us, you can trust that an experienced and knowledgeable Dallas truck accident lawyer will handle your claim from start to finish.
Our consultations are free, and we take cases on a contingency-fee basis – you don’t pay unless we are successful. Reach out to us today at (214) 295-1008 for a free case evaluation.