Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accidents in Southlake
All vehicle collisions are significant events, but some, including truck accidents, are more severe than others. Anyone who operates a heavy commercial vehicle for long periods is likely to make a mistake—for example, they could lose focus after driving for a long time. Sadly, trucking companies often overload their 18-wheelers to make more deliveries and maximize profits.
When you are hurt in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Southlake, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. A dedicated tractor-trailer crash attorney could help protect your rights and recover what you deserve from the at-fault party who caused the collision.
When Is a Truck Considered Overweight?
The Department of Transportation has promulgated rules that limit the total weight of commercial trucking vehicles: 23 CFR §658.17 provides that the weight on a semi-truck’s individual axle is capped at 20,000 pounds, and the limit for a tandem axle is 34,000 pounds. Regardless of the number of axles a vehicle has, the total weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. For vehicles traveling on local roads, Texas has incorporated limits identical to the Department of Transportation’s rules for individual and tandem axles in Texas Transportation Code Section 621.101.
Tractor-trailers that exceed these limits put excessive pressure on the truck’s tires, brakes, and steering system, making them more likely to fail. Overweight trucks are also more difficult to control, increasing the chances that the driver will cause an accident. Even if overall weight is not an issue, improperly loaded cargo can shift in transit or throw off the truck’s balance.
Whether a semi-truck is overweight or improperly loaded may not be obvious when an accident occurs. A Southlake attorney who handles overweight truck collisions could investigate the crash and work with experts to determine the cause.
What To Do After an Overloaded Truck Accident in Southlake
It can be difficult to know what steps to take after an overloaded or overweight tractor-trailer accident. Anyone involved in an overweight truck crash should do the following:
- See if anyone involved in the accident requires medical attention
- If safe to do so, clear the accident off the road to the extent possible
- Contact law enforcement and obtain a police report
- If possible, speak to eyewitnesses or take photographs of the crash to document what happened
- Seek medical attention, even when symptoms appear mild; it is also important to document the injuries that occurred in the accident in order to prove they did not happen later
- Avoid making statements or posting pictures of the wreck on social media
- Do not admit fault or apologize to anyone for the collision
Contacting an attorney immediately after a heavy truck accident is crucial. Even when a lawsuit seems unnecessary, a lawyer could review the case and determine whether compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company is available.
Call an Attorney in Southlake Who Specializes in Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accidents
Collisions involving tractor-trailers are often devastating. Knowing who is responsible is often complicated. Fortunately, our attorneys could advise you on your options and rights, investigate the crash to determine fault, and serve as an intermediary between you and the trucking company involved.
When you have been hurt in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Southlake, reach out to an experienced attorney to schedule a confidential consultation and get started on your claim for compensation.