The presence of tractor-trailers on the road is frightening. These vehicles tower over ordinary cars and carry many risk factors posing a danger to other motorists. Two hazards that commonly cause truck accidents are improper loading and overloading of cargo.
WHAT IS OVERLOADING AND IMPROPER LOADING?
Overloading is when a truck carries more weight than what is allowed. New Jersey’s state law sets weight limits for trucks based on their number of axles. Overloading makes a truck more difficult to control. Too much weight increases the time it takes to stop a truck and intensifies the impact if there is a collision.
Improper loading is when a truck’s load is not secured properly. This is dangerous for two reasons. One, if a load isn’t secured properly, it can spill onto the roadway. A second problem is weight distribution. Weight imbalances in a trailer make a tractor-trailer difficult to control. When weight shifts around, truck drivers can lose control of their vehicles, causing the truck to overturn or jackknife.
GETTING COMPENSATION AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT
The good news is that recovering compensation is possible, and there is usually ample evidence to help establish a strong claim. However, the claims process is not easy.
The first challenge is determining what type of claim you’re eligible to pursue. New Jersey’s default option is no-fault benefits, which compensate for monetary claims, like medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident. However, significant limits on these benefits lead victims to pursue options outside of this system, like a lawsuit. This can become complicated. Depending on your type of insurance, you may have to first satisfy the lawsuit threshold, which requires a driver’s injuries to be serious enough to justify bypassing the no-fault system.
Another challenge is proving another party was at-fault for causing the accident, something you’ll have to do if you file a lawsuit. Fortunately, the trucking industry is required to keep detailed records, so there’s normally lots of available evidence. One example is cargo weight records. Ordinarily, several places hold written record of a cargo’s weight, such as:
Cargo Weight Records:
- the business sending the goods
- the business receiving the goods
- the trucking company
- highway weigh station records
The tradeoff is that thoroughly investigating all these sources of evidence can be a big task.
Multiple recordkeepers also means multiple parties can be held liable for an injured driver’s damages. For example, in the case Marvrikidis versus Petullo, an asphalt company, a truck owner, and a truck driver were all held liable in the amount of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars because they allowed asphalt to be shipped in an overweight state, causing the truck to crash and injure a nearby driver.
With the many ways of achieving compensation, these cases quickly become very complicated. At Rosenblum Law, we have the experience, resources, and knowledge to successfully advocate for the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident caused by improper loading or overloading, contact Rosenblum Law today for a free, no obligation consultation.