Truck Classifications and GVWRs

Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyers for Victims in the Miami Region

The interstate commercial trucking industry is regulated at both state and federal levels, including minimum requirements that trucking companies as well as drivers must follow to keep the roads safe. Additionally, trucks are divided into classifications based on the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) set by a manufacturer of the vehicle. Depending on its classification, a truck may not carry loads above a certain weight. When a truck does exceed its set GVWR, serious accidents and related injuries become much more likely. The Miami truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon assist victims injured in a trucking accident with their legal claims.

Our firm offers seasoned representation in investigation, negotiations, and litigation for clients in the aftermath of a serious truck accident. Most victims understandably do not know which kind of truck collided with their car or which standards applied to it. Our attorneys can sort out the circumstances that led to a collision and make sure that the proper parties are held accountable. We represent victims in Miami, West Palm Beach, Miami, and other cities in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as throughout South Florida.

Truck Classifications and GVWRs

The GVWR is a weight restriction applied to each vehicle based on the manufacturer’s calculations. A truck may not carry cargo or passengers that exceed the GVWR assigned by its manufacturer. There are eight classifications of trucks, broken down and divided among three main categories by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) - light duty, medium duty, and heavy duty. The purpose of these classifications is to assist with safety regulations, since a truck trying to bear a weight for which it is not built may be dangerous on the road. Big rig trucks in the heavy duty class, weighing over 26,000 pounds, require drivers who hold Commercial Driving Licenses to operate them. Other restrictions on each classification apply in order to prevent overloading trucks, which are harder for drivers to control. A truck carrying more weight than it is designed to bear may also result in its parts breaking down faster, such as brake failure or tire wear.

The GVWR placed on a vehicle can be important information in a personal injury case arising from a trucking accident. For instance, if a truck surpasses the weight of its classification, and that weight contributed to causing a collision, this may indicate negligence. Negligence arises when a driver or another party breaches the duty to act as a reasonable or prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances, causing another person’s injuries and the resulting damages.

Trucking companies can not only be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees if those actions are taken during the course of employment, but also they can be held accountable for their own negligence. If a trucking company deliberately encourages truckers to carry more than safely allowed to cut costs, for example, it can also owe damages to victims injured by that choice. Damages recoverable by truck accident victims may include past and future medical expenses, loss of income, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Evidence such as weigh-in results at stations throughout a truck’s route may be important in determining whether the vehicle was unsafely loaded and when it was loaded. A detailed analysis of a driver and a company’s business practices can also be vital to successful claims. Making sure that you have a knowledgeable attorney who knows how to gather and interpret documentation regarding these issues is imperative to protecting your legal rights.

Contact a Miami Lawyer for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Claim

Whether your injury was caused by an inattentive driver or a truck carrying an improper load, the Miami attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can assist you in holding the at-fault parties accountable. Call 877.499.4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your potential claims with us and find out more about your legal options.