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Excessive amounts of cargo can make a large truck unstable and increase its risk of crashing. Unfortunately, overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Columbus often cause severe or fatal injuries due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved. If you were recently injured in a collision with an overloaded tractor-trailer, discuss your legal options with an experienced truck accident attorney. A hardworking lawyer at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy will review your case and help establish who is liable and what damages you may be eligible for.
State laws dictate the maximum weight for commercial trucks to help keep Ohio roadways safe. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, if a truck has one axle, its weight cannot exceed 29,000 pounds. If it has two axles, its weight cannot exceed 20,000 pounds, assuming the axles’ space is 4 feet or less. If the space is longer than 4 feet, the truck can weigh up to 34,000 pounds, plus 1,000 pounds for every additional foot of space. However, a two-axle vehicle cannot weigh more than 40,000 pounds, and trucks with three axles cannot weigh over 48,000 pounds.
Fines for overweight trucks depend on how much extra weight the vehicles carry. For example, a load that is 2,000 pounds over the legal limit carries an $80 penalty, while an extra 3,000 pounds costs $110 in fines. Truck drivers in Columbus with more than 3,000 extra pounds face higher fines and possible jail time.
Trucks hauling excessive pounds are hazardous because the vehicles are not designed to accommodate that much weight. Cargo is subsequently more likely to shift during transit, which can make the truck roll over and cause multi-vehicle pileups. If a tractor-trailer is overladen with explosive cargo, the chances of fatal injuries increase in the event of a crash.
Extra cargo that is poorly secured also runs the risk of falling off the truck, causing other drivers to hit the items or swerve to avoid them. Both reactions can cause wrecks and vehicle damage. Trucks overwhelmed by extra weight are also harder to operate and more difficult to turn or brake safely, increasing the risk of traffic accidents and harm to other Columbus motorists.
A truck hauling too much weight can inflict a variety of injuries in an auto collision, including:
Depending on the severity of a victim’s injuries, a truck operator may be held responsible in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If multiple cars were involved, the trucker might face both types of suits.
Additionally, our local attorneys are experienced in holding multiple parties accountable for a victim’s overweight truck wreck injuries. This could include the driver’s employer, for faulty training or poor vehicle maintenance, as well as the vehicle manufacturer or mechanics who worked on the truck. Vehicle distributors might also be liable if they knowingly allowed defective trucks to enter the market.
It is possible to recover considerable damages from overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Columbus, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, and other out-of-pocket costs connected to the collision. Non-economic damages for mental and emotional trauma are also possible in these cases, including payment for pain and suffering.
Contact O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today to discuss your case. If there are liable parties involved, we will work tirelessly to help you collect the damages you deserve so you can move forward with your life.