Already a widespread source of serious injuries and fatalities, truck crashes become even more dangerous when the 18-wheeler involved is overweight or overloaded. If you have been injured by a truck carrying excess weight, you have rights to protect. Our experienced Miami truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are ready to explore the details of your situation and help you pursue compensation. As you recover physically and emotionally from your injuries, we can seek to help you alleviate the financial burden of expenses caused by a crash.Overweight/Overloaded Trucks on Florida Highways
Operating a large commercial vehicle requires significant skill, training, and alertness in ordinary circumstances. When a truck carries too large a cargo load, controlling it becomes even more challenging. Other drivers on the road will be placed at risk if a driver loses control of his tractor-trailer. It is extremely difficult to brake effectively when a vehicle carries excess weight. The additional cargo can cause the truck to tip over at a sudden stop, or it can fall off the truck and endanger others on the road.
Both the state of Florida and the federal government have created size and weight restrictions to improve road safety. These restrictions are enforced by states through weigh stations and inspection programs, tailored to account for the numerous factors that influence a truck’s weight limits. These factors can range from how many axles the truck has to its working load limit. Nevertheless, the size and weight restrictions have only reduced, rather than erased, the problem of trucks traveling with loads too large and heavy for them.Holding Drivers and Truck Companies Liable for Carrying Excess Weight
Most lawsuits arising from truck crashes are negligence actions. A victim’s success in getting compensation for injuries can hinge on whether the victim can show that the defendant breached the duty to drive with reasonable care. Like ordinary drivers, commercial drivers in Florida have the obligation to keep the state’s highways safe by handling their vehicles carefully. Violating size and weight restrictions by driving an overweight or overloaded truck clearly fails to meet this obligation. Thus, a victim is more likely to prevail if he or she can show that the truck involved in the accident carried excess weight.
The victim still must show that the driver’s decision to overload the truck caused his or her injuries. If the victim successfully makes that showing, the driver and the truck company both may be liable for damages. The truck company will be held responsible for any negligent conduct by a driver who was acting within the scope and course of his or her employment at the time of the accident. Moreover, a victim can sue the truck company on a theory of direct liability if it miscalculated the load’s weight or deliberately violated the size and weight restrictions.
Each truck accident case turns on the specific events that happened before and during the crash. It is especially important to act while evidence is fresh, therefore, and before any person or entity involved has the opportunity to alter or destroy the evidence. If it does appear that someone has altered or destroyed evidence, they will be subject to sanctions that could significantly affect their chances of prevailing in the case.
Parties responsible for causing a truck accident may have incentives to interfere with evidence, since they may be liable for a sweeping array of damages if the victim prevails. If you succeed in your negligence claim, you may be able to get compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. While economic damages include objective, easily calculated losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, non-economic damages cover more subjective forms of loss such as pain and suffering.Protecting the Rights of Fort Lauderdale Truck Crash Victims
If you have been injured by an overweight or overloaded truck, our Fort Lauderdale truck collision lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. We will develop your case carefully and craft sophisticated arguments to support your pursuit of compensation. Our experience in handling numerous truck crash disputes and other personal injury matters has prepared us for what to expect at every stage of a case. We have offices across South Florida, including West Palm Beach. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up an free initial consultation.