Overweight Truck Accidents in Bluffton
From raw materials to finished products, trucks transport the majority of the freight moving across the country. Though there are laws regulating the amount of cargo a vehicle may carry, shippers may overload trailers in an attempt to make more profit. These acts of negligence can create dangerous situations for everyone on the road.
The damage caused by overloaded 18-wheelers can have long-lasting and devastating effects. If you or a family member were involved in this type of collision, a lawyer familiar with overweight truck accidents in Bluffton could help you obtain compensation for your damages. A well-trained attorney at Schiller & Hamilton could support you throughout the legal process.
Dangers Associated with Overloaded Commercial Rigs
Driving with overweight cargo poses several risks to the truck operator and anyone else on the road. Both the Federal and South Carolina governments have attempted to mitigate these risks by regulating the maximum weight 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles. These maximum weight requirements are outlined in South Carolina Code Annotated § 56-5-4140.
Operating an overweight truck puts a great deal of strain on the vehicle, creating unique driving challenges. If a driver fails to abide by the government-mandated weight requirements, the dangerous accidents may occur, such as:
- Rollover accidents
- Jackknifing incidents
- Rapid acceleration while moving downhill
- Reduced driving speeds leading to backups
- Difficulty slowing the vehicle to a stop
- Additional wear on brakes
- Tire blowouts
- Mechanical failure and axel fatigue
If a truck operator overloads their vehicle, they may be held legally responsible for any resulting accident. A local attorney who focuses on overweight tractor-trailer claims could help victims identify the party responsible for their wreck.
Liability in an Overweight Tractor-Trailer Wreck
Many factors may contribute to an accident involving overweight cargo. Depending on the specific circumstances, many people or entities could be liable for damages. Common liable parties may include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Shipping agent
- Loading dock worker
Injured parties may also be deemed partially responsible for the accident. Victims whose actions contributed to the wreck may have their damages reduced depending on their percentage of fault. For example, if the injured party is 40 percent at-fault, they may recover only 60 percent of the total damages award. Overweight truck accident lawyers often have experience defending injured parties against accusations of partial fault.
Recovering Damages for an Overloaded Truck Accident in Bluffton
Injured parties may sue for economic and non-economic damages as long as they file their claim within three years of the accident. Economic damages reimburse victims for out of pocket expenses, such as medical bills and car repairs. An injured person may also recover lost income due to time missed at work.
Non-economic damages address losses that do not have a dollar value, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of society, and inconvenience.
In certain situations, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim to punish the at-fault party for intentional, wanton behavior. Unlike compensatory damages, the law caps the amount of punitive damages a plaintiff may recover. A dedicated lawyer could fight for compensation to cover the injured party’s current and future losses.
Contact an Attorney for Help with Overweight Truck Accidents in Bluffton
When trucking companies prioritize their profits over the well-being of others, it can have serious consequences. If you have been injured due to an overloaded tractor-trailer, you may need legal help to pursue your claim.
Our team of attorneys is skilled in handling overweight truck accidents in Bluffton. Call us today, and a lawyer could help you hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm done to you.