When you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, it might seem obvious who is at fault. Or, perhaps it is difficult to tell which driver caused the collision. Determining fault is a complicated endeavor. The wreck could have happened because the tractor-trailer was loaded beyond its capacity, something you likely cannot tell at the scene.
Speaking with an attorney who is well-versed with overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Colorado Springs could help you file a compensation claim. Our dedicated truck wreck lawyers could determine whether the other driver was at fault and put an accurate value on your claim.
Why Is a Truck Being Overweight or Overloaded Significant?
When the trailer of a truck carries more than it can handle, the additional weight could cause a severe or even fatal accident. The extra weight could also cause the trucker to lose control of the vehicle, especially when turning. Additionally, an overloaded trailer can increase the risk of jackknifing or a rollover.
Even if the extra weight does not cause the driver to lose control of the semi-truck, incidents can still occur. Overloaded trucks take much longer to come to a complete stop, increasing the likelihood of the vehicle rear-ending an innocent driver on the road. The truck could also have difficulty handling changes in the road grade.
When an injured driver can prove the truck was carrying more than legally allowed, they could have a viable claim. A Colorado Springs lawyer who focuses on overweight truck collisions could help determine who is responsible for the accident and how it will impact the claimant’s recovery.
When Is a Vehicle Overweight or Overloaded?
Because of how severe trucking accidents can be, several government entities have passed rules regarding how much a trailer can safely carry. First, the U.S. Department of Transportation established general rules regarding the weight of vehicles driving on interstate highways. 23 CFR §658.17(b) provides that no vehicle can exceed 80,000 pounds; however, the limit could be lower depending on its size and weight distribution between its axles.
The Federal Motor Safety Administration also applies rules to commercial trucking cargo. Among other things, these rules provide specific requirements for how the trucker secures the cargo. According to 49 CFR §393.100(c), the truck driver must secure all of the items in their load so that the vehicle can maneuver safely. The rules have additional detailed requirements applicable to various types of cargo, such as logs, machinery, or concrete pipe, as well as hazardous material.
Colorado has also passed laws restricting the size and weight of the vehicles on its roadways. For example, state law sets a vehicle’s weight limit based on a formula that accounts for the vehicle’s size.
These rules are complicated, and it can be difficult to know which ones apply to a situation. An attorney in Colorado Springs who has experience handling overweight semi-truck collisions could help identify which rules apply to an accident and whether the trucking company was complying with the law.
Request a Consultation With an Experienced Colorado Springs Truck Accident Attorney
It is often difficult to know what caused a crash with a massive tractor-trailer. These events unfold quickly and cause severe damage. Your focus should be on taking care of your injuries and your loved ones.
Make an appointment with our lawyers, who have experience handling overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Colorado Springs, to find out how they could help you take the necessary steps to recover the compensation you deserve.