August 16th, 2021
Semi-trucks are common on Michigan roadways, and they play an important role in our economy as they transport goods around the state and across the country. But when an overloaded truck or 18-wheeler causes a car crash, the results are often catastrophic.
While there are numerous factors that can cause a trucking accident, some truck crashes are caused by overloading or improperly securing a load.
Dangers of an Overloaded Semi Truck
A properly loaded semi-truck can carry up to 80,000 pounds. If the cargo is not properly secured, it can fall off, creating a dangerous and even deadly situation on the road.
Similarly, when a semi-truck is carrying too much weight, vehicle performance suffers and creates an unsafe condition on the road that can lead to a catastrophic accident.
Even though Michigan, other states, and the Federal government have all passed laws that prohibit drivers from carrying too much weight, many truckers still overload their vehicles and carry too much weight under unsafe conditions.
Even a properly loaded semi-truck or 18-wheeler poses a threat to other vehicles because of the massive amounts of weight it is carrying. When a semi-truck is overloaded, the risk of a catastrophic accident only increases because the overloaded truck is more difficult for the driver to control.
Risks associated with overloaded semi-trucks include:
- Difficulty stopping
- Reduced vehicle control
- Additional stress on tires, increasing the risk of a blowout
- Shifting and falling cargo
- Turn-over accidents when making sharp turns
Who Is Responsible for Load Securement
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry. According to FMSCA regulations, truck drivers are ultimately responsible for securing a cargo load and ensuring that the load is appropriate for the vehicle.
The driver must perform a pre-trip inspection that includes inspecting the cargo to be sure that it is properly loaded. This is the case regardless of who actually loaded and secured the cargo.
The driver must ensure that the load is secured so that it will resist forward, backward, and lateral movement. If the load shifts and the vehicle becomes unstable or cargo falls off the truck, the truck driver and the driver’s employer can be held liable for any injuries caused by the failure to properly secure a load.
In addition, the truck driver’s employer has a duty to train its drivers in how to properly inspect and secure a cargo load.
Holding Trucking Brokers and Shippers Responsible
Unlike a typical car accident, where an injured driver can only seek compensation from the other driver, after a trucking accident, an injured driver can seek compensation from the individual driver, his or her employer, the broker that arranged the trip, the shipper, and the cargo handler. In many cases, all of these entities will have a separate insurance policy available to cover any losses caused by a trucking accident.
Muth Law: Helping Your Family Recover
Because of the dangers of an overloaded truck or 18-wheeler, truck drivers, trucking companies, and others involved in the shipping industry must follow safety guidelines and restrictions that apply to loading and securing cargo on semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers.
Unfortunately, these regulations are too often ignored. When these safety rules are disregarded, other drivers are the victims when overloaded tractor-trailers crash.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, the experienced truck accident injury attorneys at Muth Law, P.C. can help.
With over 35 years representing families of people injured in trucking accidents, we know that a serious trucking accident can be devastating. While we cannot heal your injuries, we can seek compensation from the people responsible and take the financial burden off of your shoulders so you can focus on what matters most: your health and your family.
At Muth Law, our lawyers proudly represent people in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and throughout Michigan.
We handle truck accident injury cases on a contingency fee, which means you will never pay us an attorney fee unless we recover money for you.
We invite you to learn more about us and to contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your truck accident injury case. Call us at 734-481-8800 or contact us by e-mail. We would be proud to serve your family.
Categories: Trucking Accidents