Federal and state authorities have clearly outlined weight limits that drivers and trucking companies are expected to follow. These rules are designed to ensure that pedestrians, passengers, and other motorists are safe while using the road. Unfortunately, some companies disregard them and overload their big rigs with cargo, risking the lives of other road users. If you're involved in a crash with an overloaded trailer, you should speak with a lawyer immediately. Truck accident attorneys are experienced in handling such cases and will work diligently to help you recover compensation for your losses. This article explains three things they examine when establishing liability for these incidents:
Inspection and Maintenance
Before a trailer hits the road, it should be inspected. This process includes an examination of the brakes, steering, lamps, reflectors, and tires. Oversized loads can increase friction on the brakes and cause them to wear out more quickly. The tires may also blow out due to the extra weight or an imbalance in the load. The trucking company and driver are responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is safe to operate. They should check it before each trip and perform any necessary maintenance. They should also ensure that the cargo is properly secured and evenly distributed to avoid a crash.
A lawyer can determine if the trailer was properly serviced by reviewing its maintenance records. They'll also find out why it was overloaded and who was responsible for loading the cargo. The information gathered from these records will prove useful in establishing negligence.
Truckers often drive long hours to meet tight deadlines. Unfortunately, this often leads to drowsy driving, which can be dangerous and result in a crash. If the driver dozed off or fell asleep at the wheel, their fatigue can be considered when determining liability.
A lawyer will look at the driver's logs to see how many hours they've been on the road and if they've had any breaks. If the driver was behind the wheel for several hours without resting, these professionals can sue their employer for not providing adequate breaks.
Like any other vehicle on the road, trucks are subject to speed limits. If they're overloaded, they may be unable to stop quickly, causing serious crashes. A collision may also occur if the driver goes over the limit.
A lawyer can review the speed limit for the road where the crash happened and also find out if other factors may have played a role in the crash. Using this information, they'll hold the responsible individuals accountable and get you a favorable settlement.
If you've been involved in a trailer collision, it's important to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
For more information, contact a local firm, like Bradley Drendel & Jeanney.