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Among many other important regulations, federal trucking law establishes strict limitations on how much a tractor-trailer can weigh per axle. These rules serve a crucial purpose, as an overweight truck is much harder to control and more likely to cause serious damage in a traffic collision.
Unfortunately, overloaded/overweight truck accidents are a regular occurrence in Cincinnati. If you were hurt in this kind of accident, you may benefit from the skills and experience of a dedicated truck accident attorney in seeking financial recovery for your injuries. After determining the strength of your potential case, a seasoned attorney could work tirelessly toward comprehensive compensation for the harm you suffered.
Even when semi-truck drivers and trucking companies obey all applicable state and federal laws, large commercial vehicles are still difficult to drive safely and can cause massive damage in traffic accidents. Fully loaded, a tractor-trailer can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds in Cincinnati. When the force of that weight impacts a commuter car, the occupants of the smaller vehicle can suffer catastrophic harm.
Unfortunately, the level of difficulty in operating a heavy truck increases when it is overloaded. Overweight commercial vehicles are harder to steer, slower to decelerate and stop, and more prone to jackknife or roll over if the driver loses control. Furthermore, if cargo shifts in the back of an overloaded truck, the sudden change in weight balance could cause the vehicle to veer off course or tip over. In some cases, overweight tractor-trailers can even damage the roadways, leaving cracks in asphalt and weakening bridges that were not designed to handle that amount of weight.
Unlike in most other types of traffic accidents, the individual driver in an overloaded commercial truck accident is often not the primarily liable party in a civil suit, although they may be named as a co-defendant. Instead, liability usually falls to either the truck operator’s employer or a third party who was responsible for loading the vehicle and ensuring compliance with federal regulations before the driver got on the road.
Regardless of who is named in an overweight truck accident claim, a plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation usually hinges on whether they can prove that the defendant(s) knowingly or carelessly allowed the vehicle to leave its loading dock with excessively heavy or improperly secured cargo. A knowledgeable local attorney can assist plaintiffs in collecting and presenting evidence to prove negligence for these specific types of cases.
Commercial trucks require specialized skill and care to operate safely even when their dimensions are within the boundaries of federal trucking laws. If any of those laws are violated by overly or improperly loading a tractor-trailer, the risk of a serious accident increases exponentially.
If you were hurt in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Cincinnati, speak with legal counsel about your options for filing suit. Our compassionate attorneys can help with any potential civil actions and allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries. To start discussing your potential case, call today and schedule a confidential consultation.