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Overweight or overloaded trucks are a constant threat to the safety of every person on local roads. Despite both state and federal laws that control how truckers and their employers can load their vehicles, drivers and companies still violate these rules every day. This causes many commercial trucks to be uncontrollable and hazardous to people nearby.

Fortunately, a trucker behind the wheel of an improperly loaded vehicle is likely to blame for any resulting collision. A skilled lawyer at the Jackman law firm is prepared to investigate the cause of overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Tacoma. A commercial vehicle crash attorney could build powerful cases against at-fault truckers or their employers and help you pursue the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

What it Means for a Truck to be Overweight

Both state and federal laws establish maximum weight limits for commercial trucks in Tacoma. State limits are based on the Revised Code of Washington § 46.44.041. This statute contains a table that indicates the maximum weight limit of a vehicle based upon the number of axles that the vehicle has combined with the distance in feet between these axles. For example, a vehicle with two axles and only four feet between them cannot weigh more than of 34,000 pounds.

Federal laws carry similar restrictions. On interstate highways, trucks with two axles also cannot weigh more than 34,000 pounds. In addition, no vehicle, no matter how many axles it has, can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. A truck that violates either of these rules is overweight in the eyes of the law. During a case, a detail-oriented Tacoma lawyer could reference this statute to prove that an overweight truck contributed to an accident.

Why is a Truck’s Weight a Risk Factor on the Road?

The weight restrictions on vehicles exist to protect the safety of everyone on the road. This is because the heavier a truck, is the harder it is to bring it to a stop.

However, slower stopping is not the only risk factor in a truck being overweight. Trucks that violate the weight restrictions are more prone to rolling over in the event of a collision or sudden stop. They may also cause jackknifing that makes it impossible for another vehicle to avoid a crash. Finally, overweight trucks may result in an unstable vehicle that is harder to keep in a lane. Each of these factors makes overloaded/overweight truck accidents common in Tacoma.

The Concept of Negligence Per Se in Truck Accident Cases

People who suffer injuries in truck accidents always bear the burden of proving fault on the part of a trucker and their employer. Usually, this means showing that the trucker was negligent in causing a collision.

Fortunately, these upper weight limits under both state and federal law can make proving liability for a crash simpler. A legal theory called negligence per se states that a court can presume a party’s fault for an accident if that party was in violation of a law at the time of the incident. A truck being overweight or overloaded is a clear example of this idea, and a Tacoma lawyer could reference this theory during the process of resolving a commercial vehicle crash.

Speak with an Attorney Today to Discuss Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accidents in Tacoma

Overloaded trucks are one of the most dangerous hazards on the road. Their top-heavy and imbalanced cargo can cause the entire vehicle to roll over, even at low speeds. Flipped commercial vehicles pose a deadly threat to all other people on the road, but anyone injured in this kind of crash has the right to hold the trucking company responsible. The police will investigate any truck accident, and if they find that truck to be overweight, a potential plaintiff will likely have a very strong case in court.

A dedicated attorney from the Jackman law firm is here to help those plaintiffs argue their cases and obtain the compensation that they deserve. Some cases might result in a fair settlement before going to court, but others might require trail. In the rare case of a trial, a seasoned lawyer is prepared to argue the case before a jury with force and clarity. There is a limited time to file a claim, so call our team today about overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Tacoma.