No matter what they’re carrying or even whether they’re carrying anything at all, the average tractor-trailer is the biggest and heaviest vehicle on any road they travel down. Despite that, there’s no shortage of trucking companies that put profit over the safety of other people on the road and even their own drivers. That sometimes leads to them overloading trucks in their fleet in direct violation of Pennsylvania state and United States federal laws.
Overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Lewisburg are extremely dangerous even compared to other types of commercial truck crashes, and they can also be uniquely difficult to file suit over successfully for a number of reasons. Fortunately, you have help available from well-known and winning truck accident attorneys who have gotten good results from cases like yours many times in the past.
Legal Weight Limits for Trucks
Federal trucking regulations state that the maximum gross vehicle weight rating a tractor-trailer can have while traveling on interstate highways or across state lines is 80,000 pounds. This means the truck cannot weigh over 80,000 pounds in total across its cab, trailer, and cargo combined. Additionally, federal law prohibits truck operators from putting more than 20,000 pounds of weight on a single axle or more than 34,000 pounds on any tandem axle group, assuming that the truck’s total weight is distributed equally across all the axles or axle groups it has.
Pennsylvania law imposes fairly similar restrictions on trucks traveling within state lines and on local roads while also placing more specific restrictions on individual axle loads, which a knowledgeable attorney can explain in more detail as needed. When it comes to suing over an overweight truck wreck in Lewisburg, any trucking company that accidentally or intentionally puts a truck on the road that’s heavier than it’s legally allowed to be has breached the duty they owed other people on the road to stay within the boundaries of the law and act responsibly while doing so.
Important Evidence in Overweight Truck Crash Claims
Unfortunately, proving that a truck involved in a Lewisburg traffic wreck was overweight can be extremely difficult because the companies that put overloaded trucks on the road usually know what they’re doing is illegal. As a result, many of them don’t shy away from breaking the law again by modifying manifests and even outright hiding or destroying driving logs that would otherwise be crucial evidence in a lawsuit over an accident caused by excess weight.
Assistance from seasoned legal counsel can be vital to getting a favorable case result. In addition to tracking down all available documentation about what a truck was carrying and how it weighed at the time of your crash, your dedicated lawyer can also track down other types of evidence that might be key to establishing negligence on the part of a trucking company—for example, testimony from witnesses, surveillance or dashboard camera footage, testimony from workers at highway weigh stations, and more.
Discuss Legal Options After an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident With a Lewisburg Attorney
Trucks loaded with more cargo than they can legally carry are more likely to break down in transit, harder for their drivers to keep under control, and liable to cause even greater damage to any vehicle they collide with. Anyone who plays a role in putting such a dangerous vehicle on the road should be held accountable for their misconduct, but doing that by yourself can be next to impossible.
Having an experienced truck accident lawyer can make a world of difference in how effectively you can demand fair repayment for the harm you suffered from an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Lewisburg. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to learn more.