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Overloaded Trucks

Truckers and trucking companies must adhere to strict guidelines when they are loading their vehicles to avoid overloading. Trucks overloaded with cargo are much more susceptible to accidents as the cargo may shift while traveling or could cause the vehicle to flip as it’s now more “top-heavy.” Additionally, overloaded truck drivers have a much slower breaking time, so they don’t accidentally topple the vehicle or its cargo from a sudden stop. Unfortunately, accidents involving overloaded trucks often result in catastrophic injury or even death.

Truckers and trucking companies must abide by both state and federal cargo regulations. Drivers or trucking companies who fail to follow these standards could be held liable in court for damages. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an overloaded truck accident, it’s within your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.

Overloaded Truck Accident Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa

Recovering from a trucking accident caused by another’s negligence is stressful enough. There’s no reason you should suffer financially as well. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one because of an overloaded trucking accident, contact Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. He has over 37 years of experience negotiating and litigating for victims of trucking accidents. With his skills and knowledge, you can rest assured your recovery is in good hands.

To set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., call (515) 279-9700. We are based in West Des Moines and accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Ankeny, Altoona, Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Johnston, Bondurant, Alleman, Runnells, Dallas Center, Perry, Adel, Waukee, Minburn, Redfield, and De Soto.

Information Center:

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How Much Can Transport Loads Weigh?

To protect the public, both the state of Iowa and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) restrict how much a commercial truck can weigh or how much cargo they can hold. The truck manufacturer is required to determine a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and display it prominently on the truck’s plate. A truck’s GVWR is determined based on various factors including the truck’s frame, powertrain rating and brake system.

Listed below are the weight limitations for commercial trucks:

  • Total weight: 80,000 pounds
  • Single axle: 20,000 pounds per axle
  • Axle groups less than 8 feet by 6 inches: 34,000 pounds per axle

Trucks without a designated GVWR are assumed to have a rating of 26,001 pounds or more. Truck drivers must measure their GVWR to ensure they’re not over the limit by making use of weight stations along their route. If the truck exceeds their GVWR, then they are expected to remove the extra weight until they are up to standards.

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What Happens If You Overload a Truck?

Against their better judgement, trucking companies will sometimes encourage their drivers to break weight limits by overloading their trucks. This is so they can move more cargo and therefore become more efficient. However, this method of cutting corners is very dangerous and can easily lead to severe injury or even death if an accident occurs.

The mechanics of large trucks may suffer if they carry cargo over the maximum weight limit. The driver will have a much harder time braking in time if something sudden crosses their path. If they do brake too quickly, the vehicle could possibly lose cargo or even flip if the driver was forced to perform a sudden turn. Rollover accidents are a big concern for overloaded trucks as the added weight can cause the vehicle to be “top-heavy.” Often objects from the cargo will be inclined to fall off after a rollover accident and leave debris that could block the roadway.

Objects falling from the cargo itself is also a huge concern. These objects may be incredibly heavy such as logs, piping, appliances, or even other cars. In some cases, trucks may be traveling with cargo that’s considered hazardous. If the truck is overloaded, then there’s a high chance the cargo may dislodge or parts of it will fall off onto the roadway. This can then lead to further injury or even death if other drivers encounter these hazardous materials.

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Receiving Compensation After an Overloaded Truck Accident

It can be an incredibly stressful experience to recover from an overloaded trucking accident. Often victims struggle with medical expenses, hospital visit bills, and vehicle repair costs while they are actively suffering with an injury or grieving the loss of a family member. The state of Iowa recognizes how agonizing this may be and allows you the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party for damages.

To do this, you must file a claim against the responsible party on the grounds of negligence. As a plaintiff, you will have the burden of proving that the defendant’s negligent actions directly caused your injuries or was the cause of your loved one’s death, and that you suffered because of it. The claims process can be incredibly complicated, and any sort of mistake or mishap could directly delay or harm your case. That is why we highly encourage you to hire a skilled personal injury attorney if you plan to file a claim against the at-fault party.

If the court is in your favor, you’ll be provided a monetary award to cover all your losses. some possible damages you may recover if you’re successful with your lawsuit.

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Therapy or counseling costs
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment for life
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources

Large Truck and Bus Crash Statistics – Visit the official website for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to research into crash data surrounding large commercial trucks and buses. Access the site to view auto accident trends over the years categorized by occupant fatalities, recorded property damage, and what types of vehicles involved in large truck or bus accidents across the United States.

Iowa Truck Information Guide – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) to gain access to their truck information guide. Access the site to learn the many rules and regulations concerning operation of commercial trucks in the state of Iowa including oversized load permits, liability insurance for truckers, and other relevant information.

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Truck Accident Lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa | Overloaded Cargo

Have you suffered an injury or lost a loved one because of an overloaded truck accident? If so, then we urge you to contact personal injury attorney Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. Attorney Landry has decades of experience assisting victims of trucking accidents receive the compensation they need to recover. He can aggressively advocate for you and ensure you’re aware of the process every step of the way.

Set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines, Polk County, and Dallas County area including Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Minburn, West Des Moines, Woodward, De Soto, Ankeny, Altoona, Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Johnston and Bondurant.

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