An 18-wheeler’s weight has a direct impact on the severity of an accident. If a truck is overweight, the consequences can be devastating. The greater the weight of a truck increases the force with which it could impact another vehicle. The risk of severe injury and death increases the greater the force.
How Much Can 18-Wheelers Weigh in Texas?
Both state and federal guidelines regulate the weight of 18-wheelers. Trucks that exceed these limits can be held liable if they cause an accident.
Under federal law, a semi-truck cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds while traveling on an interstate (a highway that exists between two or more states). This limit includes the weight of the vehicle and any cargo the truck carries.
In addition to total weight limits, federal regulations limit the maximum per axle of semi-trucks. When there is too much on one axle, it can affect the ability of the axle to operate. The weight limits depend on where the axle is located on the truck. Axles linked to steering have a maximum weight limit of 12,000. Trailer and drive axles cannot exceed a weight of 34,000 pounds.
In Texas, 18-wheelers can exceed the legal limit of 80,000 pounds if they have an oversize load permit. In Texas, you can get a permit for a regular five-axle semi-truck and trailer with two tandem axles to carry up to 92,000 pounds. The state also grants super-heavy permits that allow maximum loads of 254,300. The super-heavy permits are often given to trucks carrying heavy energy cargo, such as power generators, drilling equipment, wind turbines, and windmill blades.
Why are Overweight Trucks Dangerous?
There are a number of reasons why overweight 18-wheelers are dangerous. The consequences of driving an overweight semi-truck can include:
• Brake failure,
• Loss of steering control,
• Tire blowout,
• Rollover accidents due to a higher center of gravity,
• Increased velocity traveling downhill,
• Decreased stopping time, and
• Difficulty climbing inclines.
What are Common Injuries in Overweight Truck Accidents in Sugar Land?
Injuries resulting from accidents with overweight 18-wheelers are often catastrophic and permanently affect the victim’s quality of life. Common truck accident injuries include:
• Burn injuries,
• Head and brain injuries,
• Broken bones
• Spinal cord injuries, and
• Orthopedic injuries.
What Should You Do If You Were In an Accident With an Overweight 18-Wheeler in Sugar Land?
The first thing you should do if you were injured in a truck accident in Sugar Land is to seek medical attention. Even if you do not appear seriously injured, you should be checked by medical professionals. After you receive appropriate care, you should seek the help of a qualified truck accident attorney because you may be able to receive compensation for your damages.
Truck drivers and trucking companies can be held liable when their trucks are overweight. Your attorney will collect evidence to determine if the truck was overweight and in compliance with other regulations. They will work with experts and accident reconstructionists to find the cause of the accident and determine who was at fault. Your lawyer will negotiate your claim with the insurance companies and other parties. If necessary, they will take your case to court. Truck accident cases can be complicated, so it is critical to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
The compensation you will receive depends on the unique facts of your case. Potential damages you could recover include:
• Past and future medical bills,
• Lost wages or earning capacity,
• Pain and suffering, and
• Loss of consortium.
In addition, Texas allows punitive damages in situations where there was extreme recklessness, willful disregard of safety, malice, or fraud. Adam Capetillo will fight to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available.
Your Sugar Land Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were in an 18-wheeler accident, you should reach out to a qualified Sugar Land attorney as soon as possible. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will evaluate your case and provide the best possible representation. As a skilled personal injury and criminal defense lawyer in Sugar Land, Adam Capetillo can effectively guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.