DC Overloaded and Overweight Truck Accidents

There are local state and federal regulations regarding the use of trucks on the public roadways. Sometimes, these vehicles can be overweight or be in violation of some other requirement, which can serve as evidence of negligence in a truck accident case.

As defined by DC truck regulations, an overweight truck is a truck that is exceeding the maximum weight for its particular use or purpose. 

If you have been injured in a truck accident due to an overloaded or overweight truck, an experienced DC truck accident attorney can review the facts of your case with you and help to file a claim. An overloaded DC truck accident lawyer has the knowledge of local laws for overweight vehicles and overloaded trucks in DC that may be vital to your case.

Regulation Standards

An important consideration regarding overweight vehicles and overloaded trucks in DC is the type of regulation standards drivers must adhere to. However, there are all kinds of different trucks and all are regulated differently, such as:

  • Box Trucks
  • Work truck
  • Pickup truck 
  • 18-wheeler

The state, local, or federal regulations regarding overweight vehicles and overloaded trucks in DC are in place to offer safety to other drivers on a particular roadway. These regulations are in place to protect other drivers from certain injuries. Therefore, when these vehicles are overloaded, they will likely culminate in injuries to innocent persons utilizing the public roadway. The nature, extent, and type of injuries vary from minor physical injuries to even death or dismemberment.

How Overloaded Truck Accidents Occur

Overloaded trucks pose a danger to all those on the road for several reasons. First and foremost, a truck carrying more weight needs a longer stretch of road to be able to bring the truck to a complete stop. If a truck is overloaded, it will not be able to stop properly and can collide with other vehicles. A heavier truck will also move faster when going down a hill. This again makes it harder to stop the vehicle. Too much pressure on the brakes can cause them to fail. Tires can also burst under the immense weight and trucks that are too heavy for specific roads and travel ways can cause them to crack, collapse, and fail.

Much like SUVs, trucks that are heavier have a higher center of gravity, thus being more likely to roll if the tires hit road debris, a bump or a pothole, or if the truck is forced to make a sharp turn or if it hits a curb unexpectedly. Trucks travel on highways where there is often a lot of construction occurring; an overloaded truck traveling too fast near a construction site or hitting a piece of construction equipment can be disastrous.

Accident Prevention

Many factors such as the weight of the truck itself and the distribution of the weight in the truck go into determining how much total weight a truck can bear. To regulate truckloads and drivers, weigh stations located along major travel ways are set up so trucks can be weighed. Weigh stations are set up to weigh trucks and to make sure drivers are in compliance with trucking laws, including mandatory rest periods.

Who is Liable to Those Injured? 

There are several legal theories that can enable a DC overweight vehicles/overloaded trucks accident lawyer to sue for damages on a person’s behalf. The driver of the truck may be sued under the general theory of negligence for driving in a way that put the public at risk. In addition, the companies that employ the driver and own the truck may be held responsible. If either company contributed to the fact that the truck was improperly loaded/weighted, it can be found negligent.  

This often is not as difficult a burden to meet as it sounds. Trucking companies can be found liable for vicarious liability for the actions of their drivers, or for negligent hiring or supervision. Once a person has been in a crash with a truck, it is important that they reach out to a lawyer before speaking to an insurance company. Investigators from the insurance companies for the trucking companies often dig for any way the trucking company could avoid liability.  

Unfortunately, sometimes truck drivers or companies obscure evidence, so it is very important to contact a DC overweight vehicles/overloaded trucks accident lawyer right away. 

Importance of An Attorney

It is important for anyone who has been injured as a result of an overweight truck to contact an attorney so that a proper investigation and evaluation can be done. Sometimes either the state or the local jurisdiction will conduct an investigation of the collision to determine if the truck is overweight.

Sometimes the National Transportation Safety Board is called in to conduct a similar type of investigation. If this is done, it is important for an attorney to be involved so that they can evaluate the investigation that was done to determine if it was done properly and utilize that information as necessary in the case going forward.