Myrtle Beach Overloaded Vehicles Lawyers
Were you hurt in a truck accident caused by an overloaded vehicle? If so, you could be owed significant compensation, but getting what you’re owed could prove to be difficult if you don’t have an experienced lawyer on your side.
Getting compensation after a commercial truck accident is often much more complicated than a regular car crash. Though many accidents can be attributed to driver error, factors outside of a driver’s control often cause property damage or serious injury. An overloaded trailer is just one of many possible causes of truck accidents.
Truck companies, cargo loading companies, and shipping agencies all play crucial roles in ensuring that trucks abide by federal and state regulations. South Carolina laws require trucks to adhere to state-specific weight limits depending on the number of axles and type of truck. Single axle vehicles in South Carolina are allowed 20,000 lbs with a ten percent tolerance on all non-interstate roads. However, some truck companies ignore this limit and choose to overload trailers to maximize profits with slightly larger deliveries.
Overloaded or improperly loaded trailers create dangerous driving situations for even the most experienced contracted truck drivers. Because negligent companies list their trailer load at legal limits, many truck drivers are unaware that their cargo exceeds safe payload weights. Even in otherwise safe driving conditions and with proper training, drivers with overloaded trucks are often involved in accidents with passenger vehicles.
Trucks have a much higher center of gravity than passenger vehicles. Improperly loaded trucks or trailers with unsecured cargoes are more likely to tip over while turning. Falsely reported weights often prevent drivers from knowing how to safely handle their trucks, and can cause jackknifing, greater stopping distances, and an inability to remain in one lane. Overloaded trailers can also reduce a truck driver’s rear visibility, greatly increasing blind spots. The higher mass of overloaded trailers also makes the damage in these accidents much more serious for all involved. Greater impact weights increase injuries and property damage in accients, and spilled cargo can be a dangerous road hazard as it increases the likelihood that additional accidents will occur after the initial collision.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
In any accident involving multiple vehicles, liability is complicated, and you may be partially at fault. Truck accident liability is particularly complex because of the number of parties that can be involved, including insurance companies, truck drivers, truck companies, manufacturers, cargo loading companies, shipping agencies, and other entities.
Though it may seem that a truck driver is most responsible for your accident, in many cases the fault is shared by a number of groups. It may be difficult to determine that an overloaded trailer caused the accident, and even truck drivers can be unaware of unsafe weights or shipping procedures.
An knowledgeable attorney will have the resources and experience needed for the intense investigative work required in probing shipping firms, cargo loading agencies, and trucking companies. William J. Luse can help you determine which people or parties are at fault, and which route of litigation will ensure maximum compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Our firm fights aggressively for your rights against large corporations who may try to defend their negligent actions by shifting the blame to you. South Carolina accident law utilizes the doctrine of comparative negligence, applying a percentage of blame to both parties and deducting that percentage from each party’s compensation to reflect the partial fault of each victim. In order to secure compensation, our clients must be 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. Having an attorney is important to ensure the best chance of being considered less than 50 percent at fault. William J. Luse will work hard to ensure that even if you contributed to the accident, you still secure the compensation you need to heal from your injuries.
Commercial truck companies are prepared by state and federal regulations, as well as experience, to handle truck accidents in their favor. Insurance or truck company representatives will act quickly after an accident to minimize the damages and potential payouts you receive.
In some cases, these parties will attempt to have victims at crash sites sign agreements limiting their rights to seek compensation, or offer a lump sum without giving injured parties the time or information they need to decide what is best for them. It is important not to sign any agreement or accept any initial offer without the guidance of an experienced attorney who can counsel you in how to best maximize your compensation.
Why Choose Us?
Truck companies that overload their trailers are more concerned with profit than with safety and should not be trusted with settlement offers without the advice of an attorney. Honest and consistent communication about our clients’ options has led our firm to Best Attorneys of America, LLC and Attorney and Practice Magazine to name William J. Luse a Best Attorney and a Top Ten Personal Injury Attorney.
He was also awarded the 10 Best Client Satisfaction accolade by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. Our office has a longstanding reputation for treating every case with the compassion, attention, and experience needed to win full settlements.
For more than 10 years, we have handled truck accident cases in South Carolina, and we know how to deal with negligent companies and complicated liability laws. We know the telltale signs of an accident caused by an overloaded truck trailer and the best way to litigate against companies with deep pockets allotted for settlements.
We understand that following a harrowing accident, you need time to focus on recovery. The Law Office of William J. Luse considers each accident case a chance to help you heal while we fight for your rights against careless corporations.
Overloaded Vehicle Cases We Handle
To protect all drivers and passengers on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits how much weight a truck is permitted to haul. When a trucker or trucking company exceeds the permitted load weight, the following accidents are all more likely to happen.
- Truck Rollovers
- Tire Blowout
- Wide Turn
- Lost Load
When a truck isn’t suited to carry its cargo, the driver will have a much more difficult time maneuvering the vehicle during turns, deceleration, and lane changes. Additionally, exceeding the permitted weight standards causes the following issues for 18 wheelers.
- Axle Strain – The maximum weight for a single axle is 20,000 pounds and 32,000 pounds for tandem axels. Exceeding these limitations could easily cause an axel to break.
- Compressed Suspension – A properly loaded truck will bounce when it hits bumps along the road. In contrast, the weight of an overloaded truck prevents it from effectively absorbing bumps along the highway.
- Deterioration – An overloaded truck deteriorates quickly. The additional strain on the truck’s axles and suspension can quickly wear the vehicle down.
Regular maintenance checks and repairs are critical for all vehicles, especially overloaded trucks. When truckers, trucking companies, or third-parties fail to address and correct issues caused by overloading, they are endangering the lives of countless people.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do after a truck accident?
You should never sign any agreements at the site of the crash or after the incident without the guidance of a lawyer. Insurance and truck companies will often try to minimize compensation before the case is reviewed by an attorney who can help you obtain the maximum possible settlement. Immediately after an accident with a commercial truck, you should receive medical attention at a hospital to treat and record your injuries. It is also important to document the crash site with photos from multiple angles and get the contact information of witnesses to the accident.
After an accident, contacting a lawyer is of utmost importance, even if you were partially at fault. The Law Office of William J. Luse attorneys can provide the guidance you need to defend your rights against negligent parties and help you obtain the compensation you need to heal.
How do I know if the accident was caused by an overloaded trailer?
It can be difficult to determine whether a truck accident was caused by driver error, an overloaded trailer, or both. Even after determining a truck accident was caused by an overloaded trailer, investigations must take place to uncover whether the violations were the fault of a shipping agency, the truck owner, or a cargo loading company.
Concluding the responsible party or parties is a critical aspect of truck liability. Truck drivers have less insurance than commercial trucking parties and are not always responsible for truck accidents. However, without an attorney, it may be difficult to litigate against corporations with large resources, such as truck and insurance companies. The Law Office of William J. Luse attorneys take on the investigative work needed to determine what caused the accident, which parties are responsible, and the best mode of defense.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my truck accident?
South Carolina law permits 3 years to pass from the date of the accident until the date you begin personal injury litigation. For cases of wrongful death, this 3-year statute of limitations period begins on the date of death rather than the date of the accident.
Contact Us Today
The Law Office of William J. Luse‘s truck accident lawyers serve several areas in South Carolina, including:
- Little River
- Marion Counties
- Myrtle Beach
- North Myrtle Beach
- Surfside Beach
For over a decade, our law office has offered the highest quality personal injury services to people suffering from accidents. Call us today for a consultation at (843) 839-4795, or schedule your consultation online here.