Overweight / Overloaded Trucks
Overloaded trucks like semis, tractor-trailers, or 18-wheelers can lead to serious or even fatal injuries. Victims of these truck accidents often do not know what to do in the aftermath of a crash, but you do not need to face the consequences alone. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an overweight or overloaded truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Galbreath Law Firm, our Abilene truck accident attorney is well-versed in this area of law and can advise you on your next steps. We can handle your case from the beginning to the end, providing personalized legal representation during the investigation, settlement negotiations, and any trial that may be needed.Overweight and Overloaded Trucks Pose Serious Risks
Truck drivers have a responsibility to follow truckload limits set by state and federal laws. In fact, weigh stations exist along the nation’s highways, such as I-20, so that drivers of tractor-trailers and other trucks can stop and make sure that the vehicle is within relevant weight limits. When a truck driver fails to follow the regulations put in place, all motorists are potentially at risk, and there is an increased likelihood of a serious accident.
When semis or other commercial vehicles are improperly loaded or overloaded, they do not operate as intended. Excessive weight can cause a driver to lose control while performing ordinary maneuvers, such as stopping or driving downhill. When a driver of an overweight or overloaded truck applies the airbrake for emergency stops, it will not stop at the intended location, which could result in a jackknife wreck. Other consequences of overloaded trucks may include the vehicle tipping over when the truck driver makes a turn, tire blowouts due to the excessive weight, loss of steering control, and even rollovers.
Legal responsibility for a truck accident may be shown through evidence that the truck driver engaged in negligent conduct. Under Texas law, negligence is defined as a failure to do what a person of ordinary prudence would have done under the same or similar circumstances. For example, if an 18-wheeler driver failed to abide by safety regulations regarding the maximum weight of a truck, that driver would likely be considered negligent. This is because a driver using ordinary prudence would have understood the risk of 18-wheeler accidents associated with this behavior. In order to establish negligence, the plaintiff’s injury attorney must demonstrate that:
- The truck driver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The truck driver breached the duty owed to the plaintiff by overloading the truck;
- The truck driver’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered bodily injuries or property damage as a result.
Proximate cause consists of two components: cause in fact and foreseeability. The cause in fact test asks whether the accident and the related injuries would have occurred without the negligent conduct or omission. In other words, was the negligent act or omission a substantial factor in bringing about the injury? If this is true, the element of causation is met. Foreseeability requires that an individual of ordinary intelligence should have anticipated the danger created by the negligent act or omission.
If liability is established for a crash involving a semi or another type of truck, the plaintiff may be entitled to damages for his or her harm. Examples of these damages may include compensation for present and future medical expenses, present and future lost wages, loss of consortium, property damage, and pain and suffering.Contact an Abilene Attorney Following a Truck Wreck
If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by an overweight or overloaded semi, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer, you should consult a skilled attorney without delay. At the Galbreath Law Firm, we have extensive experience holding negligent truck drivers accountable for the harm that they cause, and we can help you do the same. We understand how to thoroughly investigate these matters and proceed with these claims, whether they involve excessive vehicle weight, driver fatigue, a failure to check a blind spot, or another form of negligence. We represent people in the areas around Abilene, Breckinridge, Brownwood, Cisco, Eastland, Clyde, Baird, Sweetwater, Snyder, Colorado City, Rosco, Anso, Albany, Haskel, Hamlin, Coleman, and Ranger Hill. To have a free, confidential discussion with an injury lawyer, call 325-437-7000 or contact us online. If you need help urgently, call 325-829-8000.