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Houma Overweight Truck Accident Lawyer

Every day, thousands of trucks cross the country, transporting the essentials to keep the nation running. Many truckers are paid based on the weight of goods they have delivered giving a financial incentive for drivers to try and load their trucks beyond a safe weight. If a truck weighs too much, it can put extra strain on the brakes and tires, making it more difficult to avoid a collision in certain circumstances or make the vehicle unsafe to drive.

Putting too much weight into a truck is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal. If you or a loved one was in an accident caused by a truck carrying too much cargo or was too heavy, a Houma overweight truck accident lawyer may be able to help. A dedicated truck accident lawyer can apply their experience handling cases like yours to fight for the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.

When is a Truck Considered Overweight in Houma?

Depending on the number of axles and the size of the truck, different weight limits may apply. The traditional 18-wheeler, 63-foot-long, five-axle tractor-trailer, the federal motor safety carrier administration regulates that it should not be more than 80,000 pounds. For three axles, it is 42,000 pounds. For a tandem axle, it is 34,000 pounds. For a single axle, it is 20,000 pounds and a 45,000-pound limitation is generally the level for a flatbed truck.

As provided by Houma truck regulations, what constitutes an overweight truck is a bit different. For 18-wheelers on a Louisiana non-interstate highway, there is an 88,000-pound limitation for the vehicle and load, while on Louisiana interstate highways the weight limitation is 83,400 which is still more than the federally mandated limits. Some exceptions apply such as trucks carrying sugarcane which have a limitation of 100,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, but they are also required to have six axles rather than five axles.

How Would Someone Know Their Truck Weighs Too Much?

On nearly every interstate, there are Department of Transportation weigh stations to check the vehicle’s curb weight. In every state, trucks are required to weigh in. Some skip the weigh, which is a violation. These scales must be maintained to ensure accuracy everywhere, including in Houma.

Truckers should also be aware of what they are hauling and how much that cargo should weigh. The trucking company should also have a manifest that lists the weight of their vehicle to ensure that they are in legal compliance. If there is any question about the legality of a truck’s weight, it may be wise to consult a Houma attorney experienced with handling accident cases involving semi-trucks that weigh too much.

Based on violations administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about one percent to five percent of tractor-trailers on the road are overweight and these truckers are usually caught at weigh stations. Overweight trucks have a higher potential for causing an accident to be more serious than an acceptably loaded trailer in Houma. In certain situations, drivers may be able to obtain a waiver or special license to carry more.

The Dangers of Operating an Overweight Truck

Driving an overweight tractor-trailer in Houma can increase the wear and tear of the brakes. The vehicle would have a reduced ability to stop in the event of an emergency or when approaching a stopped vehicle. It is less maneuverable due to the increased weight, particularly going downhill. There are risks posed to other drivers when trucks are overweight or overloaded.

The average automobile weighs about 5,000 pounds and an 18-wheeler is legally permitted to carry the total gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. With every factor that reduces a truck’s ability to maneuver and brake to prevent a collision, operating the vehicle becomes riskier for everybody on the roads around Houma. When these unsafe practices lead to an accident, the victims may be entitled to compensation for the ensuing damages and a Houma overweight truck accident lawyer may be able to help.

How Different Cargoes Increase Risk

Injuries may change with different trucks based on the type of cargo. There are hazardous materials transported by trucks such as chemicals and flammable materials. Those carriers must stop at all railroad intersections and are required to maintain a much higher level of liability insurance. If there is a collision with a vehicle carrying hazardous substances, it can create more serious problems.

Drivers who transport dangerous cargoes are specially trained and have a different certification compared to commercial drivers carrying other cargo. If a trucker is carrying cargo on a flatbed that is not properly secured, it may come off the vehicle posing difficulties to traffic in the same direction and in the opposite direction. When unsecured and dangerous cargo from a truck causes an accident, the driver and their company may be liable for the ensuing damages.

Liability in Houma Overweight Truck Accident Cases

The driver may be found liable for accidents that occur due to overweight or overloaded trucks because it is generally the driver’s responsibility to adhere to all state and federal regulations while operating their vehicles. Other drivers are placed in much higher risk when the truck operators do not observe these regulations. In some cases, it can be demonstrated that the company employing the drivers should share responsibility if they pressured the driver to violate their legal requirements, meaning the company must pay for at least some of the damages.

Truck accidents can be horrific, causing incredible amounts of damage and severe injuries. When drivers face mounting medical bills resulting from a truck accident, a local tractor-trailer accident lawyer may be their only source of relief. A Houma overweight truck accident lawyer can help prove that the negligence of a driver and their company led to the truck being unsafe to operate and consequently, the injuries from the collision. Call today to schedule a consultation and start pursuing the compensation you deserve.