The trucking industry plays an important role in delivering goods across the country, and large trucks are a common sight on New York roads and highways. When coming across a large truck, we often assume that the proper attention and care has been taken to ensure it is safely loaded. After all, such an extensive, expansive industry has many regulatory organizations in place to enforce safety laws and regulations.
However, accidents caused by overloaded trucks may be more common than you may expect. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an overloaded truck, you personally understand the impact these accidents can cause.
You may feel overwhelmed by your situation. In most cases, truck accidents lead to serious injuries and have a substantial impact on a person’s ability to work and provide for family members. A victim may especially be concerned with recovering fair compensation for losses suffered.
For over 60 years, injured New Yorkers have trusted our legal team at Cellino Law to make a difference in their case. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the level of attention, care, and experience they deserve. Schedule a free consultation today at 800-555-5555 to learn how we can help you and your family after a truck accident.
What Are the Risks of an Overloaded Truck?
In an effort to reduce the risk overweight trucks pose on the road, truck weigh stations are set up across the country. Any truck over 10,000 pounds is legally required to stop when these stations are open. Unfortunately, they are not always open, leaving many trucks to pass through unchecked.
Weight requirements exist for a reason – when a truck is overloaded, this increases the likelihood of a dangerous accident.
Due to their design and nature, large trucks naturally have a higher risk of experiencing a rollover. They often carry heavy loads and have a much higher center of gravity than a regular passenger vehicle.
When momentum shifts, such as during a turn or a sudden movement, large trucks are especially prone to a rollover. This increased risk becomes even higher if the truck is overloaded. Not only does the additional cargo add to the weight of the truck, but it can also raise the center of gravity when it is improperly loaded.
When carrying a full load, truck tires are under tremendous weight and pressure. Despite the fact that large trucks use upwards of 18 wheels or so, all it takes is for a single tire to blowout, which can cause a dangerous or potentially fatal crash. A blown tire can make a driver lose control of the truck, becoming a hazard and colliding with other vehicles on the road.
Weight is not the only concern when it comes to an overloaded truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict regulations in place for loading and securing loads. If a truck driver, trucking company, or shipping company is negligent with the cargo, fallen or spilled cargo presents a major risk.
Inability to stop
The stopping distance of a truck mainly depends on two main factors – the weight of the vehicle and the speed at which it is traveling. In fact, doubling the weight doubles the amount of stopping power required to stop a vehicle traveling at the same speed. It stands to reason, then, that the heavier a truck, the harder it would be for the driver to make a sudden stop.
In addition to the effect overloaded cargo can have on driving, there is one other important reason for weight limits to be respected: to keep the integrity of the truck’s mechanical parts. This is especially the case when drivers, trucking companies, or shipping companies do this habitually. The dangers of an overloaded truck can have an effect on the truck even when it is not carrying a heavy load.
Over time, crucial mechanical parts, such as brakes, axles, and trailer coupling components can break down and fail, causing an accident. While the FMCSA has regulations in place requiring regular maintenance of commercial vehicles, a history of overloading trucks can cause parts to fail quicker than expected, rendering maintenance insufficient.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Commercial Vehicles?
The amount of mandatory insurance coverage for commercial vehicles is higher than that of passenger vehicles. For example, the minimum amount of liability coverage for passenger cars is $25,000 bodily injury and $50,000 death for 1 person, or $50,000 bodily injury and $100,000 death for 2 or more people.
For large trucks such as semis, the minimum coverage is much higher, and it depends on the type of cargo being transported. It ranges from $300,000 for household goods to $5,000,000 for hazardous materials. Of course, many transportation companies carry insurance policies that are higher than these mandatory minimums.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With an Overloaded Truck Accident?
After a truck accident, it may not be immediately obvious what caused the crash. Even if you believe you know who or what was at fault, proving your side of the story may not be as straightforward as expected. One of the primary responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer is to accurately determine who or what was at fault and to ensure that person or party is held accountable for the damages caused. This often includes an extensive investigation, where all relevant evidence is collected and examined and potential witnesses or experts are located and interviewed.
The other primary responsibility of a personal injury lawyer is to take over the communication with the insurance company. Our lawyers know the tricks insurance companies often use to intimidate injury victims or devalue claims. When you have an experienced attorney on your side, you have someone who can fight for you and your family.
What Are Some Common Injuries After an Overloaded Truck Accident?
Since cargo-carrying trucks are much larger than the average passenger vehicle, when an accident involves a large truck, it often results in serious injuries. Our lawyers have helped truck accident victims who suffered a wide range of injuries, including:
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Neurological damage
If an overloaded truck caused your accident, you may be able to receive full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional damages from the accident. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers today for a free case review to learn about your legal options.
How Cellino Law Can Make a Difference For You
If you or a family member has suffered injury or death due to an overloaded truck, we want to help. You deserve a law firm with the experience, resources, and results to back them up. The lawyers at Cellino Law have supervised over $2 billion in total compensation for our clients, including multi-million dollar settlements for victims injured in truck accidents.
For example, our firm won $9.4 million for a man who was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and suffered serious spinal injuries. For another client who suffered severe burns after a tractor-trailer accident, our legal team recovered over $12 million in damages.
The help we offer to injury victims goes beyond financial compensation – during the hardest time of your life, we want to be here to support you and your family and provide the help you need. To learn more about your legal rights and your potential personal injury case, contact us to schedule a free consultation with our team today.
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This is to express our gratitude to you and your team in helping us and Stephanie navigate through the legal process following her car accident. We are very satisfied with the outcome and grateful for your hard work and attention to details. We fell confident that with this compensation, Stephanie will be able to move forward with her studies and her life with the ability to care for some of her health needs resulting from the injuries sustained following her car accident. Thank you very much and may God continue to bless your efforts.
Jose & Rose
Thank you for your help in settling the case of my father's accident. I could always count on you to answer my questions honestly and in terms I could understand. If all lawyers at Cellino Law are like you, I understand why they are an A-1 law firm.
Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.
My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a fantastic job as our attorney. We could not have been more pleased with the work you and your team has done on this case. This past four years or so has been such a roller coaster for our family. We are very pleased and grateful with the result. We have made a good choice by choosing you. Thank you.
Cellino Law and more specifically my attorney, Gregory V. Pajak, Managing Attorney, and as a whole the Cellino Law Firm and its organization. This is by far one of the most professional law firms and attorney I have ever engaged with and retained in my 35 years. The level of professionalism goes beyond words, the care and constant engagement with me as the client was touching. I was never ever just treated as simply a CASE with potentially a significant dollar number attached to my file. I was engaged regularly, Tracey (Ass’t) and Greg always made sure to remain constant, as well as consistent in overseeing that my case was handled properly and that it did matter in many ways - ensuring that the end result(s) would be fair and reasonable to my case/injury. The regular follow-up calls were very satisfying, knowing that you’re involved in your case matters significantly AND always. One of my main items to recognize Cellino Law and Gregory is that whenever I called, I was able to get through to speak directly to my Lawyer and he would answer any if not all of my questions in a very professional and genuinely caring manner. I always felt cared for and protected legally and more importantly, I was made feel as a human being that was being cared for and always keeping me abreast of all matters connected to the case. There was never a point I felt let down, on the contrary -the level of service was “STELLAR”. Greg is the consummate professional, a ‘role model’, if you will, for what other attorneys should strive to become when dealing with their clients.
Thank you for all your help. It has been a long journey. At last, the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, thank Tom for the help and work he put in.