Companies sometimes cut corners and overload their trucks as a means to increase profit and maximize efficiency. The problem with this practice is that it creates a very dangerous road hazard. Cargo trucks have limits, and overloading puts excess weight on springs, brakes, and tires. As a result, serious, even deadly, accidents happen. If you were injured in an accident caused by an overloaded truck, you may receive compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Overloaded Trucks Can Cause or Contribute to Accidents on the Road
Overloading a truck can create instability and undue stress on vital truck parts. When traveling at high speeds and carrying cargo weight beyond its limitations, a truck struggles to maintain balance and make appropriate stops. There are many ways that these issues can cause an accident, but some common ways that overloaded trucks can cause or contribute to vehicle accidents include:
- Excess weight makes braking difficult, causing the truck body to bend or overturn.
- Excess weight causes tire blowouts. Trucks are designed to withstand a blowout, but when a truck is overloaded, a blowout is even more dangerous.
- Excess weight places too much stress on the braking system, causing brake failure.
- Shifting cargo in the truck bed causes equipment failure, resulting in a loss of vehicle control.
The size of cargo trucks alone can cause serious damage when colliding with smaller vehicles. For that reason, trucks come with many safety features. These include more durable tires, a powerful brake system, underride bars to prevent vehicles from going under the truck, and features that secure the cargo load and prevent shifting. When any of these features fail, the driver may struggle to maintain control.
Flatbed trucks can be particularly dangerous when overloaded. They carry cargo in the open air and rely entirely on load-securing straps to keep everything secure. When a flatbed truck is overloaded, the load-securing features may fail, causing debris and cargo to spill out on the road and even on other vehicles.
Potential Damages You Could Recover
The damages caused by an overloaded truck can be especially devastating. If you turn to civil court to recover losses you incurred in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are designed to restore what the plaintiff lost to the fullest financial extent. Monetary compensation cannot always make whole some of the losses incurred, but it can certainly help restore financial damages. Compensatory damages include:
- Economic damages that are easy to calculate. They include financial losses, such as medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, costs associated with property damage, and any other financial loss.
- Non-economic damages are subjective and not as easy to calculate. They include the pain, suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and emotional distress caused by the accident. Non-financial damages often account for the majority of your settlement and are best quantified with the help of a personal injury attorney, who has experience and knowledge of how similar cases valued these damages.
Valuing your damages is often a complex process that requires a vast collection of evidence to determine. The amount you receive depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, your future quality of life, loss of earning ability, and more.
Punitive, or exemplary, damages are not meant to make the injured person whole again. They exist solely to punish the defendant for the negligent action that caused the accident and serve as a deterrent for others that might exhibit the same reckless behavior. Even though punitive damages do not compensate for any loss caused by the accident, the plaintiff still receives the monetary award ordered by the court.
In Massachusetts, plaintiffs have the right to hold a company liable for the negligence of an employee. To do so, you and your legal team must prove that the driver or the company did not use the proper care when loading, operating, or inspecting the truck. An attorney can assist you in providing the necessary documentation to prove that the company or the driver neglected their duty of care and caused the injuries that you sustained.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
- Guidance through the complex legal process to ensure that you do not miss any vital steps
- Knowing the true value of your claim
- Possessing negotiation skills to help you get a higher settlement
- Preparing for trial, should it be necessary
- Handling all the paperwork and documentation needed to file your claim and lawsuit, which can be tedious and cumbersome during a time when you should be focusing on healing
- Protecting you from potential “bad faith tactics” often used by insurance companies to avoid paying valid claims
- Helping you get the medical attention that you need
- Helping you make better decisions throughout the legal process
The main concern about hiring a personal injury lawyer is usually cost. Many victims assume that they cannot afford to hire an attorney, but one major advantage of personal injury attorneys is that they often work on contingency. This means that they do not charge a fee upfront or require a retainer. They get paid when you are compensated. There is also peace of mind in knowing that your attorney would not have taken your case if he or she was not confident that you have a valid claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Massachusetts Overloaded Truck Lawyer
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is here to help you recover and get your life back. The financial burden placed on the victims of personal injury can be immense. In order to alleviate that burden, our firm requires no upfront fee to get started on your case. The first element of the Stone Cold Guarantee ensures we get paid only after you get paid, and we are ready and available to assist you with your claim. There’s No Obligation, Just Information.