If you have ever been on the highway next to a work truck or 18-wheeler, you might have experienced anxiety and tried to speed past them. Drivers never know what truck drivers are carrying in their trailer or how heavy it is. If you ever were to be involved in an accident with a vehicle, there’s no telling what the damages can be.
Fatalities and physical impacts can occur during any car accident, but the stakes are always heightened with trucks. Have you recently been involved with an 18-wheeler that you suspect was carrying more weight than it should have? You could be entitled to seek extra compensation.
Here’s what you need to know about your claim.
Weight Requirements for 18-Wheelers
Drivers of 18-wheelers have special requirements they are supposed to meet before ever driving a company vehicle on the road. It takes time to become certified to operate these vehicles so drivers can understand what the rules and regulations they need to comply with.
In order to drive a weighted 18-wheeler or truck, drivers must:
- Take a rigorous training class
- Pass to receive a CDL
- Pass a health and eye exam
- Train under the company to learn laws and regulations
- Pass a driving test
It can take a few months to pass all the required materials for drivers to be cleared to operate this equipment. Once they receive their CDL, a special license that makes them qualified to drive, drivers must learn company rules and undergo additional training under their supervisor to learn more about safety precautions for their time on the road. One of these precautions involves weight limits.
A semi truck’s and 18-wheeler’s weight limit is 80,000 pounds. This makes it as safe as possible for everyone on the road. Not only is this the weight limit, but drivers are instructed to pull over every so often for weight checks to enforce this regulation. They are also informed to visit rest stops if they become too fatigued.
Fatigued driving can also be a leading cause of truck accidents that lead to fatalities or other serious injuries amongst the drivers they share the road with. If you are ever driving and find yourself next to or near a semi-truck, use precaution and always be vigilant.
What Are the Dangers of an Overloaded Truck?
There are many potentially dangerous occurrences that can happen if a truck driver were to operate a truck that was over its weight limit. The additional pressure that is applied to the vehicle can pose threats to other drivers who are unaware of whether a truck is being driven against regulations.
Here are potential hazards that can arise from operating an overloaded truck:
- Susceptibility to tipping
- Difficulty stopping or controlling the vehicle
- Faulty or defective brakes
- Tire blowouts causing trucks to veer into another lane or tip over
Accidents are more prone to occur if a truck is over its weight limit. Safety is jeopardized and lives could be at stake. If you suspect your accident in Pompano Beach, Florida, was the cause of a driver operating a vehicle that weighed more than it should, call a Pompano Beach Truck Accident Lawyer immediately.
Your Rights After an Accident
Floridians have specific car laws to abide by after a car accident. Florida follows a pure comparative fault system, so the possibility of filing a lawsuit is not an option right away. However, that does not mean it is not possible.
One of the first things a person will have to do following a car accident in Florida is contact their insurance representative.
Florida drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection and property damage liability. None of these coverages cover damages to the vehicle, so if you would like to have that covered, you will need to add collision coverage as well.
Personal injury protection is the claim you will file that will help with medical bills or costs you experience from injuries. It is important to note that even though the requirement is to carry a minimum of $10,000, that does not mean you will receive the full amount for your accident.
If you need more compensation to help cover the costs of your accident, speaking to a Pompano Beach Truck Accident Lawyer can be very beneficial for your case. Your attorney can negotiate with your insurance company to reach a more adequate settlement, and they can review all the evidence to determine if you meet the requirements to step out of the no-fault system.
Being eligible to step out of the no-fault system to file a lawsuit means that you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Your medical bills exceed a certain amount
- You have suffered a serious injury (death, amputation, scarring, more)
The best way to know what your possibilities are is to consult with an attorney. If you do not already have an attorney in mind, most firms offer a free consultation where you can speak with an attorney at no cost about your case. This is a great way to discover who you trust for representation throughout the legal process.
Can You File a Claim Against the Company?
If your attorney deems it possible for you to file a lawsuit, you could sue the company if you have sufficient information.
In order to file a lawsuit and have a chance at a favorable outcome in these situations, the plaintiff may need to demonstrate that the driver was not properly trained by the company on the weight limit or that the driver acted in a careless manner and knew their weight exceeded 80,000 pounds.
You may also be able to file against the driver individually or against the company. All drivers on the road have an obligation to provide safety not only to themselves but also to the other drivers they share the road with. A truck driver who operates a vehicle with the weight exceeding its required amount breaches this requirement, and the plaintiff could try to prove this when seeking compensation.
It is always important to investigate what led up to the accident in these cases to determine fault and if the driver acted in a negligent manner. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence you need for your case if you do not have any at the start.
Questions? We Are Here to Help
Truck accidents can leave behind a world of damage for innocent drivers and their families. No one should have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence, which is why Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers want to help.
Our firm can handle your truck accident case with professionalism and the right resources to help you seek the compensation you deserve. If you’re ready to get started with your case, call us at (561) 800-8000 or go online to fill out our free case evaluation form.