Large, Heavy Loads Can Be More Difficult to Handle, Elevating the Risks of Truck Accidents
State and federal regulations set standards for the maximum weight, length, and height of cargo transported on the nation’s roads. While plenty of items can be hauled according to these standards, some can’t. Those oversize loads must be handled according to special rules because they tend to present some unique risks.
When big rigs hauling oversize loads are involved in crashes, victims can turn to the 5-star truck accident lawyers at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers for help investigating their crash and recovery. We have helped victims and families just like you stand up to the toughest opponents and win when it matters most. No matter how complex a case may be, our truck accident attorneys will provide relentless advocacy while fighting for the best possible resolutions.
When you need help and legal advice after an 18-wheeler crash involving an oversize load, simply contact Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers.
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Click on a link below to jump directly to a section and learn more about oversize loads, how they can cause truck accidents, and who may be liable for these wrecks.
- What Is an Oversize Load?
- How Can Oversize Loads Cause Truck Accidents?
- Did Problems with an Oversize Load Cause My Truck Accident?
- Who Is Liable for Truck Accidents Caused by Oversize Loads?
Please don’t hesitate to contact our team for confidential advice whenever you need information pertaining to your situation and a potential claim.
Any load that is larger or heavier than the maximum size and weight limits for a given road will be considered an “oversize load.” For weight, an oversize load refers to the total weight of the vehicle, rather than per-axle limits (when per axle limits are exceeded, it’s considered to be an “overweight load”).
Generally, oversize loads are items that cannot be broken down into smaller components. Some common examples of oversize loads include:
- Boats and trucks
- Prefabricated houses
- Industrial equipment
- Windmill components
- Containers and storage tanks
- Bailers, harvesters, and other farming equipment
- Cranes, backhoes, front loaders, and other construction equipment
Different states have their own rules for how oversize loads must be transported, and they may dictate specific routes that must be taken (and/or avoided) when transporting oversize loads. Additionally, truckers may need:
- Special permits for each state the oversize load will be hauled through
- Specific signage and/or lighting on the oversize load
- Escort vehicles 12 feet in front of and behind the truck (during certain times of the day, on certain routes, or in certain states, depending on state regulations)
Bigger, heavier loads can put more stress on trucks’ components while making 18-wheelers more difficult to handle. That can result in various risks, including (but not limited to):
- Vehicle equipment failures: Tires, engines, brakes, and hitches are just some of the equipment that take a beating while hauling oversize loads. If that equipment isn’t properly maintained, it can fail on the roads under the stress of an oversize load. Similarly, equipment failures can occur due to design defects or manufacturing errors. Either way, truckers can lose control of big rigs, and horrific crashes can happen.
- Rollover truck accidents: With oversize loads, more weight can rest on the rear axle, making 18-wheelers more difficult to steer. Around corners and curves, that can end up meaning a greater risk of rollovers, especially if the roads are slick, drivers are speeding, or the road slopes downward.
- Jackknife truck accidents: If truckers hauling oversize loads have to stop suddenly or swerve sharply, jackknife accidents can happen. This occurs when the trailer swings out from behind the cab, closing in towards it in the same way a jackknife closes. These crashes often end up resulting in underride accidents, multiple-vehicle wrecks, and death.
- Cargo-related wrecks: These can occur when oversize cargo falls off a trailer because it’s not properly secured or it’s sheered off as a truck travels under an overpass with low clearance. In either case, loads can fall off of tractor trailers, crashing into the vehicles behind the truck.
Keep in mind that these risks can spike when:
- Truckers or others fail to comply with oversize load regulations.
- Truckers are inexperienced or lack the proper training to safely handle oversize loads.
- There are adverse road and/or weather conditions.
- Loads are not properly secured or balanced.
- 18-wheelers are poorly maintained.
You will need to examine the available evidence, especially items like (but not limited to) the following to start to answer this question:
- Bills of lading
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance records
- Oversize load permits
- Motor carrier records
- Trucker credentials, training, and records
- Dashcam footage
- Data from electronic logging devices
This and other evidence can begin to shed light on whether load-related issues — like load securement problems or overloaded trucks — may have played a role in your tractor-trailer crash. These items can also highlight when other forms of negligence may have contributed to an 18-wheeler accident.
The point here is that:
- The answer to this question is not necessarily simple, but finding it out can help you understand your recovery options.
- An attorney at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers can help you investigate a crash, answer every key question about your claim, and do what it takes to set it up for success.
It depends on what the exact nature of the problem was and how the oversize load contributed to an 18-wheeler accident. Based on the circumstances and evidence, parties like (but not limited to) the following can be at fault for 18-wheeler crashes caused by problems with an oversize load:
- Drivers and/or motor carriers if they fail to comply with state regulations and those failures lead to big rig wrecks
- Vehicle equipment manufacturers when faulty parts and components contribute to these accidents
- Other motorists if their failures to abide by traffic laws ends up causing tractor-trailer crashes
- The parties responsible for maintaining the roads if dangerous road conditions are a factor in these wrecks
Regardless of who the liable parties are, it’s vital to remember that:
- At-fault parties are not usually open to accepting blame: It’s far more likely that those involved will point fingers at each other, trying to dodge fault if possible. That can make the aftermath of some truck accidents contentious, especially if there are multiple parties potentially at fault.
- Insurance companies don’t want to make payouts to victims: Instead, insurers want to preserve profits and avoid paying anything whenever they can. That can mean using underhanded tactics to try to pay out as little as possible. It can also mean that victims should not rely on insurance companies to be fair or forthright when it comes to handling their claim and making fair settlement offers.
- The right attorney can put your case on track for success: A truck accident lawyer at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers will know how to craft the strongest possible claim, guiding you at each step. From initial investigations through insurance company negotiations and beyond, we can provide the representation, support, and answers you need to make informed choices and achieve favorable outcomes.
Get Answers 24/7 from a 5-Star Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a big rig wreck involving an oversize load, a truck accident lawyer at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers can help you determine the causes and your legal options. We can also help you take the right steps to recover and protect your rights when it matters most.
Effective at identifying truck accident causes and proving liability, we know how to secure the maximum available compensation in the toughest cases, and we’re proud to provide the advocacy we would expect in your shoes.
Discover the difference our team can make in your case and recovery by contacting us today.
Call 888-492-5532 or Email Us for a Free, Confidential Consultation. Your path to justice can start with a call or an email.