Tractor-trailers, along with all vehicles in Rochester, NY, are legally required to abide by state and federal regulations regarding weight. Unfortunately, some trucking companies and their employees overload their vehicles with cargo to maximize their profits.
Overloading a large commercial truck puts the driver and others on the road at risk, so weight regulations were put in place to help minimize the risk of an accident occurring and save lives. If you or someone you love has been harmed in an overloaded truck accident, the compassionate and trustworthy lawyers at Cellino Law are here to help.
With over 60 years of experience, our law firm has taken on various negligent trucking companies and has held them responsible for the damage they have done in the lives of our clients.
We take truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay any costs or fees unless we win your case. Schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team today by filling out the free case review box on this page or calling us at 800-555-5555.
The Dangers of Overloaded Trucks in Rochester, NY
When a commercial truck is transporting cargo, the weight of the trailer will greatly affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle. For instance, consider the following ways an overloaded truck may contribute to an accident.
An overloaded tractor-trailer can be unstable and difficult to control. If too much cargo is loaded in the trailer, the tires of the trailer are weighed down, lifting up the tires of the cab or front of the truck. This results in a loss of traction and steering control. In some extreme cases, the tires may even lift off the surface of the road.
Risk of an axle break or tire blowout
A truck’s axles and tires have a maximum weight limit they can carry. When the truck is overloaded, there is a risk that an axle will break or a tire will fail and blow out. This may cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident. In addition, tire debris may fly in the air and into the path of the vehicles behind them.
Increased brake time
A tractor-trailer requires more space and time to stop than a standard-size vehicle. When a truck is carrying excess weight, this further increases the time the vehicle will need to stop in order to avoid a hazard on the road. If drivers are not used to carrying an overloaded trailer, they could underestimate how long it will take them to bring the vehicle to a stop and avoid a collision.
The cargo may shift when the driver goes around a curve or brakes suddenly, causing a dangerous weight imbalance. The result can be a loss of control of the vehicle and a rollover or jackknife accident.
In addition, if cargo is improperly secured, it could fall off of the bed of the truck and onto the road or surrounding vehicles, causing a catastrophic accident.
Risk of mechanical failure
Overloaded trucks are a top cause of mechanical failure. Mechanical parts and components affected by excess weight include the brakes, suspension, tires, and transmission.
An overloaded 18-wheeler traveling downhill is at extreme risk of brake failure. The standard brakes on a large truck may not be strong enough to stop the heavy vehicle as it is pulled forward by the force of gravity.
Higher chance of a rollover
Heavy cargo increases the risk of a rollover accident, especially if the truck is improperly loaded. Too much cargo onboard can raise the center of gravity and cause the load to be top-heavy, making the truck prone to rollover if the driver stops or swerves suddenly.
Weight Restrictions for Commercial Trucks in Rochester, NY
In the US, truck manufacturers assign a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to their vehicles. The GVWR of a truck is the total weight of the axles, brakes, powertrain, suspension, and frame. It is prohibited from carrying more than a truck’s rating permits.
Maximum legal weight limits for commercial trucks in New York are as follows:
- 800 pounds per inch of tire width
- 11,200 pounds on any one wheel
- 22,400 pounds on any one axle
- 36,000 pounds on any two axles
- 80,000 pounds on three or more axles
Weight laws are in place to protect truck drivers and those they share the road with. Weigh stations are located along interstates and popular trucking routes to allow drivers to check their truck’s weight and ensure they are within the legal limits.
If a trucking company, driver, or another party in Rochester, NY ignores legal weight regulations, then they may be held liable for damages in the event of an accident.
Overloaded Trucks Cause Serious Injuries in Rochester, NY
Truck accident injuries are often catastrophic and can take weeks or months to recover from. Tragically, some victims are left with injuries that will alter their lives forever.
Back and neck injuries
These injuries can range from whiplash to dislocated discs in the spine. Since your back and neck are used for almost any action a person performs, these types of injuries often prevent a person from returning to work or a normal daily routine for some time.
Spinal cord injuries
A spinal cord injury can result in partial, temporary, or complete paralysis of a person’s torso and lower body. A victim may require extensive surgeries, physical therapy, adaptive devices, and other medical treatments. This type of injury is life-altering and may leave victims unable to perform many activities and tasks they could before the accident.
Head and traumatic brain injuries
A blow to the head in a truck accident can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some TBIs, such as mild concussions, may improve in only a few days. Other injuries may have long-lasting effects, impacting a person’s motor function, memory, and personality traits.
Amputation and disfigurement
An amputation could result from a crushing injury or as a result of another severe injury such as a burn. A person who has endured this type of catastrophic injury will likely require medical treatment for the rest of his or her life. Prosthetics, wheelchairs, or other adaptive devices may be needed.
Contact a Rochester, NY Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident caused by an overloaded truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
The Rochester, New York, truck crash lawyers from our law firm can investigate the cause of your accident, establish liability, build a case, file a claim, and negotiate a just and fair settlement on your behalf.
We understand that you have a number of different law firms to choose from to represent your truck accident claim. When you select Cellino Law, you are getting a trusted and award-winning law firm on your side with extensive experience and resources. Our trusted legal team cares about our clients and is eager to make a difference in their lives.
Contact us at 800-555-555 anytime, day or night. The Rochester, New York, truck accident attorneys at Cellino Law are available 24/7 to offer a free case consultation.