Commercial vehicles can present a danger to others on the road, even when a truck is in good operating condition. Moreover, if a big rig is overloaded or overweight, the risks of catastrophic injuries and deaths increase enormously. Excessive weight affects a driver's ability to maneuver and may also damage the brakes and tires of the truck, or it may result in jackknifing or a rollover. If you believe that your injuries resulted from an overweight or overloaded truck, you should consult the Memphis truck accident lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. As the largest Tennessee-based personal injury law firm, we are comprised of 33 experienced attorneys and over 100 staff members.Establishing Liability for an Overweight or Overloaded Truck
Federal and state laws regulate the size, weight, and loads of commercial trucks traveling in Tennessee. Federal laws apply to interstate trucks, while Tennessee laws apply to trucks driving on Tennessee roads and streets. These laws specify the gross maximum weight of a truck on a public highway, as well as the maximum weight for single axle and tandem axle vehicles.
When trucks are either overweight or overloaded, the critical issue is who was to blame for the excess or improperly distributed weight. If the truck driver overloaded the truck, they may be liable for negligence or negligence per se. Negligence per se is negligence as a matter of law. It is a theory that may apply when the defendant violated a safety law, the failure to follow the law was the cause of an accident, and the injuries were of the type that the law was designed to prevent. Similarly, the trucking company or even a third party may have failed to follow the laws related to overloaded or overweight trucks.
A trucking company may be liable under a theory of vicarious liability if the truck driver was to blame for the overloading and was in the course and scope of employment at the time. However, it may also be directly liable under a theory of negligent hiring or negligent training if it entrusted the loading of a truck to someone whom it knew or should have known was incompetent to perform this important task. Sometimes both the truck driver and the trucking company are partly to blame. For example, the trucking company may have been responsible for improper loading, but the truck driver may have been speeding, which is especially dangerous when a truck is overloaded.
In most cases in Tennessee, there may be multiple responsible parties, including the driver, trucking company, or broker who facilitated the transport. Accordingly, it is crucial to retain a truck accident attorney who knows how to properly investigate the situation and pursue all of the parties that may have been responsible for the overloaded truck.Consult a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Lawyer in the Memphis Area
Overweight or overloaded trucks in Tennessee and throughout the South may result in serious accidents. Victims who have been hurt in these crashes should contact the Memphis truck accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. We represent truck crash victims throughout Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas, including in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Contact our office by calling 800-LAW-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision attorney.