Under federal law, fully loaded commercial tractor-trailers traveling on interstate highways can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Any truck above that maximum weight limit violates federal trucking regulations and, more importantly, puts hundreds of people at risk by dramatically increasing the odds of a crash occurring.
Overloaded and overweight truck accidents in Bellevue can stem from driver error, negligence by shipping company owners and suppliers, or a mixture of both. Whatever the specific circumstances are, support from a dedicated truck collision attorney, such as Chong Ye and his team at The Ye Law Firm, could be essential to proving civil liability for such an incident and recovering comprehensively for its short- and long-term effects.
In many cases, the party primarily responsible for a commercial vehicle accident is the person driving the truck. If a tractor-trailer operator acts carelessly behind the wheel and causes a crash as a result, they may bear civil liability to other people involved in that incident for the full value of their damages, assuming the other party did not contribute at all. Their employer may bear vicarious liability for those damages on their employee’s behalf.
However, overweight truck crashes are often more complicated than this, since individual truck drivers in Bellevue are rarely loading their trailers and securing the cargo inside themselves. Instead, primary liability may lie with their employer for knowingly overloading their trucks and violating federal law to save money and time on deliveries.
Alternatively, fault may lie with a third-party supplier or shipping company that either did not confirm whether a truck was weighted for a certain load or did not properly secure cargo before transit. Either way, a trailer carrying too much cargo can become unbalanced while the cab pulling it is in motion, leading to an accident that causes harm to people driving, biking, or walking nearby. Seasoned attorney Chong Ye can assess the facts of an overloaded truck crash case and help the claimant identify the party or parties who most likely bear responsibility for their injuries.
While there is no way for a passenger car driver to be directly responsible for overloading a commercial truck, they could bear partial liability for their own injuries following an overweight truck crash in Bellevue if they were following too closely behind an overweight truck, for example. In this case, Revised Code of Washington §5.22.005 allows a civil court to reduce an injured person’s compensation by their assigned percentage of fault.
Additionally, R.C.W. §4.16.080 sets a three-year statutory filing deadline for most personal injury cases, including those related to overloaded truck crashes. Qualified legal counsel at The Ye Law Firm can help a truck wreck victim understand these possible legal roadblocks and effectively prove that overloaded cargo was the sole cause of their injuries.
Truck accidents of any kind can result in devastating and deadly consequences, but wrecks involving trucks with too much cargo are often especially catastrophic. Without support from someone who has successfully handled similar cases before, you may have a difficult time achieving comprehensive financial recovery from the party or parties responsible for your injuries.
The aftermath of an overloaded or overweight truck accident in Bellevue could be much easier to get through with Chong Ye’s help. Call The Ye Law Firm today to learn more.
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