Commercial trucking is a competitive industry, and truckers and their employers are often under significant pressure to deliver goods as speedily and efficiently as possible. Sometimes they try to increase efficiency by putting too much cargo in a trailer.
Because an overloaded truck is a hazard to everyone on the road, federal laws regulate how much cargo trucks can pull. Trucking companies that violate the law are putting the trucker and all other vehicles on the road at risk.
If you suffered injuries in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in East Hartford, you could seek monetary damages from the trucking firm and any other party whose negligence contributed to the incident. Contact a knowledgeable local attorney for help evaluating your legal options.
Excess Weight Creates Additional Hazards
Commercial tractor-trailers are unwieldy, have huge blind spots, and are slow to brake to a stop. These vehicles are top-heavy and prone to rollovers, and in certain circumstances their trailers could jackknife, colliding with vehicles in adjacent lanes. Overloading a truck only exacerbates these existing dangers.
If a truck carries too much cargo, improper weight distribution could increase the chances of rollovers or jackknifes. While driving on highways, an overweight truck might require more time to accelerate and may be slow on ascents, forcing other drivers to pass and putting them at risk.
Overloading heightens the chances of mechanical failure. For example, excess weight could cause problems with steering and braking or cause a tire to blow. Too much weight also might cause the truck to break an axle. Excess weight could damage roads and bridges. Any of these occurrences could lead to wrecks that put other motorists in serious danger.
Proving Negligence in an Overweight Truck Wreck Case
In any personal injury case, the claimant, or plaintiff, must prove that another party’s negligence caused their injury. Proving negligence requires a showing that another party did not use reasonable care, and the plaintiff suffered a loss because of it.
The degree of care that is “reasonable” is heightened when the defendant is a truck driver or trucking company. The law puts an additional burden on them as common carriers to use extreme caution to avoid putting other motorists at risk. If a plaintiff in East Hartford can demonstrate that a truck involved in the crash that injured them was overweight or overloaded, they have evidence of negligence that triggers the at-fault party’s obligation to pay damages.
Potentially Liable Parties
Multiple parties could contribute to an accident involving an overloaded or overweight truck. Besides the trucking company, potential defendants in a negligence action include the:
- Truck driver, if they are an independent contractor
- Company that loaded the vehicle
- Owner of the trailer, if not the trucking company
- Logistics firm that scheduled the truck, if the delivery schedule might have provided an incentive to overload
A seasoned attorney could help an injured individual determine the at-fault parties in an East Hartford overweight truck collision case and pursue legal action accordingly.
Taking Swift Action Strengthens a Case
Connecticut General Statutes §52-584 allows the plaintiff in a personal injury action two years to file a lawsuit seeking damages. There are certain situations in which proper notice must be filed in as few as 90 days following the injury, so it is crucial to seek legal representation as early as possible.
The sooner an East Hartford attorney can begin collecting evidence, the more likely they are to reach witnesses when their memories are fresh and secure physical evidence before it is damaged or disappears. The claimant’s legal representative could use the time to identify potentially responsible parties and subpoena relevant records.
Compiling strong evidence of negligence bolsters an injured claimant’s negotiating position and increases the likelihood of reaching a favorable settlement before trial. When an attorney is able to present persuasive evidence of negligence, a case might settle favorably before the claimant even has to file a lawsuit.
Speak with an East Hartford Attorney About Your Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident Claim
The commercial transportation industry has huge resources to investigate accidents and collect evidence. Trucking companies and their insurance companies often send accident reconstruction specialists to the scene of a crash within hours of its occurrence.
If you suffered injuries in an overweight/overloaded truck accident in East Hartford, you need competent legal representation to even the playing field. A skilled local attorney could use their skills and experience to present a strong case on your behalf. Schedule a consultation today to get the process started.