Overweight / Overloaded Trucks
Due to their weight and size commercial truck accidents can have devastating consequences for pedestrians and those driving smaller vehicles. An overloaded truck violates many state and federal regulations and is unsafe to operate, but unfortunately, some trucking companies look the other way when their drivers overload trucks or even encourage overloading to make sure that deadlines are met and payments are made by customers. Even if an overloaded truck can be driven, it may not be able to maneuver as well as it would without the added load and it may require greater force to come to a complete stop, which leads to a greater risk of injury to others. If you are injured in a truck accident in Los Angeles due to an overweight or overloaded truck, the experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorneys of the Sharifi Firm, APC can help you hold the responsible parties accountable and fight for compensation on your behalf.California Liability for Overweight or Overloaded Trucks
Trucks have a maximum design weight known as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This rating can be affected by the ratings of the suspension, brakes, frame and allowances for load placements. Other factors that can affect this are the truck registration and maximum trailer weight.
An overloaded truck handles differently than a normally loaded truck. For example, the driver may not realize he needs more distance to come to a complete stop with the additional weight. The primary collision factor in 2012 truck accidents caused by the driver was unsafe speeds, and the danger of unsafe speeds is magnified by an overloaded truck. Moreover, an overloaded truck may be unstable when making turns.
A truck accident victim must establish negligence by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) the truck driver owed him or her a duty, (2) the truck driver breached that duty, (3) the breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of the injuries, and (4) actual damages. In some cases truck drivers or the trucking companies for which they work try to shift the blame to a pedestrian or another driver.
However, in an accident caused by overloading, negligence per se may apply because there are strict regulations related to how much weight a truck of a particular size and design can lawfully carry. With this doctrine, negligence is presumed where (1) there was a violation of a statute or regulation, (2) the violation proximately caused an accident, and (3) the ensuing harm was the type of harm the statute or regulation was designed to prevent.
It is important to retain your own attorney right away after a truck accident because the driver and his employer's insurance companies and their attorneys will come out to the scene to look for mitigating evidence. It is important that your attorney have an equal opportunity to determine the exact weight that was being carried and to assess other potential causes of the accident.Retain an Experienced Truck Crash Lawyer in Los Angeles
Trucks are overloaded in many cases just to earn a few thousand extra dollars. Sometimes the overloading is a result of an unwritten policy by the trucking company, while other times it is an individual choice made by the driver. Our attorneys can help determine whether an accident happened because the truck was overloaded and hold all responsible parties accountable for the resulting injuries. If you were seriously injured due to an overweight or overloaded truck in Los Angeles, let our attorneys bring a lawsuit on your behalf. We have experience with truck accident cases, and understand how to build a case against a truck driver and his employer to recover the damages to which you're entitled. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent clients in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and Riverside.