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Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accidents in Philadelphia

Truck accidents are a constant threat for drivers in the Philadelphia area. With several nearby interstates and a busy port, there is a lot of truck traffic. Trucks are built to carry a specified weight, but economic pressures sometimes result in trucks carrying more than they should. Overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Philadelphia are preventable, and if you were involved in one, the trucking company must pay your losses.

Contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos for help. We can support you through your recovery and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Excessive Weight Affects Truck Safety

The number of axles a truck has determines the amount of weight it can haul safely. When trucks are overweight, their systems might not be able to handle the excess. Mechanical failure becomes more likely, greatly increasing the chances of a collision.

Driving a properly loaded truck is challenging because trucks are slow to accelerate and stop, not maneuverable, and prone to rollovers on curves and at high speeds. When a truck is overloaded, a driver might experience the following:

  • Increased speed going downhill
  • Difficulty ascending a hill
  • Distorted steering
  • Rollovers due to shifting load
  • Overheated tires causing blowout or failure
  • Overheated brakes causing longer stop times or brake failure
  • Broken axle

Any of these mechanical issues could cause an accident. Drivers are responsible for ensuring their trucks are properly loaded and within weight limits, but trucking companies sometimes pressure drivers to haul overweight loads. A Philadelphia attorney could investigate a crash and determine whether excessive weight or faulty loading contributed to it. If so, the trucking company is likely responsible for the losses other people suffered in the accident.

Holding Responsible Parties Accountable

When someone’s negligence causes a person to suffer injuries or financial losses, the negligent party must pay compensation. Trucking firms and drivers must take the utmost care to prevent injuries to others, and failing to do so is negligence.

A truck cannot carry excess weight without negligence on the part of several parties. The truck driver, the trucking company, and the company that loaded the trailer are all potentially liable when an overloaded truck causes a crash in Philadelphia.

Under 42 Pennsylvania Statutes § 7102, each negligent party is responsible for their part in the accident. However, if one party is at least 60 percent responsible, they can be liable for all an injured person’s losses. An attorney could evaluate whether bringing a claim against all the responsible parties would be beneficial to the injured person or potentially dilute the responsibility of the trucking company.

Compensation in Overweight Truck Accident Cases

Anyone who suffers losses in an overloaded truck crash in Philadelphia can sue the negligent parties for economic damages—the person’s actual accident-related expenses like medical treatment, lost wages, and property damage. The injured person must first submit their claim to their PIP insurance, but any excess is the responsibility of the truck driver, trucking company, and other negligent parties.

When a person has full tort coverage, they could also sue for non-economic damages—compensation for pain, emotional distress, disability, scarring, inconvenience, and other subjective losses the accident caused. When the person has limited tort coverage, they cannot sue for non-economic damages unless an exception applies.

When the person sustains a serious injury, they can sue for non-economic damages, even when they have limited tort coverage. They also could claim non-economic damages if the truck is registered out-of-state. An attorney could determine whether an exception to the limited tort rules applies in a particular situation.

Engage a Philadelphia Attorney to Pursue Damages Suffered In an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident

The trucking industry is powerful, and its lawyers will strongly defend any truck accident claim, even when it is clear the truck driver and their employer are at fault. You need an aggressive attorney fighting for your interests.

Talk to one of the lawyers at Soloff & Zervanos about seeking damages after an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Philadelphia. We could investigate the crash, identify responsible parties, and advocate vigorously for a fair result. Reach out today to get started.