There are thousands of semi-trucks on the road each day, and the amount of load they are allowed to carry is determined by federal and state regulations. In Illinois, the weight limit for commercial vehicles is 80,000 pounds. The weight limit for single axle trucks is 20,000 pounds and the limit for tandem axles is 32,000 pounds. When truckers exceed these limits, they pose a serious danger to themselves and others out on the road. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving an overloaded or overweight truck, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Chicago overloaded truck accident attorney with the expertise and resources to hold the responsible parties accountable and aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries.
Overweight and overloaded trucks account for roughly 5% of the truck accidents on the nation’s roads and interstates. And although other factors such as driver fatigue and driver distractions account for a higher number of accidents, the very nature of overloaded truck accidents put those involved at greater risk for serious injuries and fatalities. Large trucks already are at a disadvantage when it comes to safety on the roads because they require far more time and space to react to adverse conditions. But when a truck is overloaded with too much cargo and exceeds the weight limits, the likelihood of tire blowouts, rollovers and other serious accidents increases. The danger of catastrophe is even greater when the trucks contain toxic substances such as oil, gas and chemicals.
Reasons Truckers Overload Their Commercial Vehicles
The federal and state governments have clear weight limits for commercial vehicles and there is no excuse for overloading a truck. However, truck drivers are typically paid (at least partially) by the size of the loads they are able to deliver. In addition, trucking companies make more profits when they are able to deliver larger loads on each delivery rather than reducing the loads and sending out more trucks. For these reasons, truckers are under tremendous pressure to push their weight limits and even exceed the legal weight limit
When there are injuries and fatalities in truck accidents, it is often difficult to determine the exact cause and who is at fault. To be sure, trucking companies and their insurers will do everything possible to limit their liability and put the blame on outside circumstances such as bad weather. Trucking companies also prepare immediately to defend themselves after a trucking accident—their lawyers are often at the scene of an accident at the same time with fire and ambulance personnel. At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we have over 20 years of experience representing victims of commercial trucking accidents in Chicago, Cook County, the State of Illinois, and throughout the United States. Our legal team works with police and investigators to get to the bottom of what really caused the accident and to hold all responsible parties accountable. If you have been injured or someone close to you has been injured or killed by an accident involving an overloaded or overweight truck, contact an aggressive Chicago overloaded truck accident lawyer at HM&M today for a free consultation.