Commercial trucks become increasingly dangerous when they are overloaded. An overloaded truck is susceptible to slower breaking time, rolling over and spilling cargo. Because of the massive size of 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and other commercial trucks, even a minor accident has the potential to cause severe injuries.
You have the right to compensation if you have been injured in a commercial truck accident. This compensation can help you cover medical bills, lost wages and vehicle repairs. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your options.
Overloaded Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
A lawsuit is the last thing you want to deal with when recovering from an injury. But the entity that caused your pain and suffering should be held accountable. Yarian & Associates, APC has a 99% success rate in recovering settlements for personal injury victims. As your legal counsel, we vow that you will not pay a penny unless something is recovered.
Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a time to speak with the attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC. We assist clients in areas such as Irvine, San Bernardino and Los Angeles.
- How Much Can Transport Loads Weigh?
- Dangers of Overloaded Trucks
- Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in California?
- Additional Resources
How Much Can Transport Loads Weigh?
The California Vehicle Code (CVC) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts how much a commercial truck can weigh. A truck manufacturer determines the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and it’s noted on the truck’s plate. The GVWR is determined based on various factors such as the placement of the load, the truck’s frame, powertrain rating and brake system.
Listed below are the weight limitations for commercial trucks:
- Total weight: 80,000 pounds
- Single axle: 20,000 pounds per axle
- Axle groups less than 8 feet by 6 inches: 34,000 pounds per axle
If a truck does not have a plate with the designated GVWR, it should be assumed the vehicle has a rating of 26,001 pounds or more. Truck drivers are expected to make use of weigh stations to ensure they are not exceeding their truck’s GVWR. If a truck exceeds its GVWR, they are expected to remove some of the extra weight.
Dangers of Overloaded Trucks
The performance of an 18-wheeler can suffer when it’s overloaded. For instance, due to increased momentum, an overloaded truck may go down a hill much faster than the truck driver anticipated. This will require more force from the breaks to stop in time. In addition to this, the cargo will likely shift resulting in the load being improperly balanced.
Cargo is also required to be distributed in a way so that no single axle is overloaded. When axles are overloaded or improperly distributed, it can cause the vehicle to be off balance. This can result in the trailer swaying from side to side and cause multi-vehicle or rollover accidents.
Cargo can also fall off trucks when they are overloaded. This is because the loads on overweight trucks are likely to be unsecured. Unsecured cargo can fall into the streets and cause multiple car crashes.
Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
Determining liability is crucial in a personal injury case. But finding who is responsible for injuries in trucking accidents is complicated, even if it’s clear the truck driver caused the accident. Several factors make determining liability in a trucking accident more complicated than a standard car accident.
For one, a truck driver may have been encouraged, or even required, by their employer to engage in unsafe practices so they can fulfill client requests. When this is the case, an employer can be held accountable if the actions that caused the accident were unintentional and done under the scope of employment.
Determining what is considered within the scope of employment is also a difficult task. The court considers a number of factors when determining this issue. Some of these factors include:
- The intention of the employee
- Type of work the employee was hired to do
- Nature, time and place of the employee’s conduct
- Incidental acts the employer should expect the employee to do
- Amount of freedom allowed to the employee in performing their duties
To put this into perspective, assume an overloaded 18-wheeler rear-ends a vehicle while on their way to a delivery. Because the driver was acting within their scope of employment by making deliveries, the employer would be liable. Now, assume the driver is not on the clock and hit another car while on the road. In this instance, the driver might be held accountable and the employer might not be.
A truck driver and trucking company are not the only entities who could be held accountable for your injuries. Other responsible parties can include the truck manufacturer, the individual who loaded the cargo, the mechanics that serviced the truck, or the owner of the truck.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in California?
You only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim in California. This is called a statute of limitation and failing to file within this time will result in the court refusing to hear your case. You will lose your right to compensation if you fail to file within two years from the date of your injuries.
There is an exception to this rule. You will still have the chance to file in situations where you were not aware of your injuries for months or years after the accident. In this situation, the statute of limitation will not start counting down until the date you discovered your injuries.
Weight Limitations | California Department of Transportation – Visit the official website of the California DOT to read a paraphrased list of weight regulations. You can see the weight limit for wheels on supporting axels and vehicles that are exempt from the weight limits.
Large Truck and Bus Crash Statistics – Every year, the FMCSA release data on truck and bus accidents in the United States. You can follow the link to read the most up to date version. You can find various charts on fatal crashes, crashes involving only property damage and large truck injury crashes.
Truck Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
Do not settle with your insurance company before speaking with a personal injury attorney. You will lose your right to bring the responsible party to court if you accept an insurance claim. Let Yarian & Associates, APC assess your case. We will evaluate the facts and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a time to speak with us. Yarian & Associates, APC represents clients in communities in Los Angeles County and Tulare County.