In many instances, overloading is to blame in a truck-related crash. It is not easy for a motorist to determine whether the 18-wheeler in the next lane is carrying excess cargo, but there are telltale signs.
You want to avoid becoming the victim of a truck-car crash, but if it happens, liability for any injuries you sustain is likely to spread to more than one party.
Since overloading cargo in a commercial truck is a violation of various state and federal regulations, you would think that trucking companies and their drivers would comply. Most do, but others feel the prospect of greater profits is worth the risk.
Overloading can cause cargo to shift, especially when the driver changes lanes or makes a sharp turn. If this happens, the truck could roll over. Carrying too heavy a load also makes the tires run hotter with the possibility of a blowout. In addition, an inexperienced driver may not realize that the stopping distance will be greater when he tries to bring the big rig to a halt.
Looking for clues
As a motorist, you have little chance of identifying an overloaded truck. You can, however, look for tire wear, which might result from this practice. Another clue is a truck that has a sagging rear end. Also, if the truck keeps drifting outside its lane, the driver might be having trouble with control due to cargo imbalance.
It is only a matter of time before an overloaded truck is the cause of a crash, and here is where the liability comes in. If you sustain injuries as the victim of a truck-car collision, you have a right to expect full and fair compensation for your medical costs, lost wages and more. To this end, your legal team may identify more than one negligent party. For example, liability may not only involve the truck driver but also the trucking company and the person or company responsible for overloading the truck that caused the accident and your trip to the hospital.