An overloaded or overweight commercial truck can be hazardous, as excessive weight or cargo can cause a trucker to lose control of their vehicle when the additional load shifts during turns or lane changes. Unfortunately, the result is often a serious accident that can involve multiple vehicles and inflict devastating injuries upon those involved.
If you have been injured in a crash that you believe was caused by these circumstances, an attorney familiar with overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Chattanooga could advise you regarding potential opportunities for financial compensation.
State and federal laws establish the maximum weight and load for commercial trucks traveling in Chattanooga. State law applies to trucks driving on state roads, and federal law applies to the interstate. Truck drivers and their companies may both be held liable for an accident involving an overloaded/overweight truck.
The driver might be liable for negligence per se if they overloaded the truck in violation of state or local safety laws. Negligence per se means the driver was negligent as a matter of law. The injured party would have to demonstrate that the legal violation caused the accident and the resulting injuries could have been avoided by compliance with the law.
The driver could be found negligent if their careless or reckless behavior contributed to the accident. For example, if the driver was speeding, distracted, drifting out of the proper lane, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they could be considered at-fault.
The driver’s employer, or a third party that loaded the truck, may also be liable for negligence per se if they failed to follow state or federal laws regulating the size of truck loads.
State law also allows the trucking company to be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence if the overloaded/overweight truck accident occurred during the course and scope of the driver’s employment. The trucking company may also be directly liable for negligent hiring or training, if it knew or should have known the driver was incompetent to load the truck properly.
In some cases, the truck driver and the trucking company might share responsibility for the accident. For example, the trucking company could be responsible for overloading the truck, while the driver’s inattention or speeding led to the accident. An attorney experienced in overloaded/overweight truck collisions in Chattanooga could determine who should be liable for an injured person’s damages and use that information to make a compelling case in court.
In Tennessee, an injured party who can prove they were harmed by the negligence of the truck driver or their company may recover monetary compensation or damages from the negligent parties. These recoverable economic and non-economic damages could include:
Additional compensation for the plaintiff’s mental distress, disability, or lost enjoyment of life may also be available. A Chattanooga attorney who knows how to effectively handle overloaded/overweight truck accident cases could significantly increase the plaintiff’s chances of securing adequate compensation by fighting for the maximum available amount.
Injuries from an overloaded/overweight truck accident can be severe and can sometimes result in death. Determining responsibility for the accident and whether you are entitled to financial compensation can be challenging, but a lawyer experienced in overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Chattanooga could enhance the likelihood of properly proving negligence. Reach out as soon as possible for an initial consultation and learn more about your chances of recovering damages.