Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyer in North Carolina
When commercial trucks are driven and maintained correctly, they can be an efficient form of transportation throughout North Carolina and the United States. Unfortunately, many truckers and their employers are ignorant or choose to ignore North Carolina’s laws regarding cargo weight. North Carolina imposes strict limits on how much a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, can weigh. The weight limits depend on the truck’s number of axles and the vehicle’s length.
Violations of these limits increase the chances that the truck will become weighted unevenly, and that the heavier side will fall towards the ground, causing the truck to roll over. Rollover accidents involving semi-trucks can result in multiple severe injuries and even fatalities. When overloaded truck accidents cause injuries, the victims have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.North Carolina Truck Weight Laws
North Carolina has state-specific truck weight limits for commercial trucks. The relevant law states that the maximum weight for any vehicle driving on North Carolina roads is 80,000 pounds. The most common form of a commercial truck is a tandem axle semi-trailer. Under North Carolina law, the weight limit for these types of trucks is 38,000 pounds.
These statutory weight limits apply to state highways, which are the most well-maintained roads in the state. State highways are also the widest roads in North Carolina. If the road in question is smaller, North Carolina law permits even less weight for commercial vehicles. The penalties for violating these weight limit statutes amount to a civil fine. However, if a truck driver or truck owner is found to violate these laws, it will significantly assist plaintiffs who have been injured in truck accidents caused by overloaded trucks. In other words, if the truck driver is in violation of North Carolina law because the truck weighs too much, and the accident occurred when the truck was overweight, this fact can significantly help the plaintiff recover damages.Negligence Per Se
Victims of truck accidents involving overweight trucks need to prove several factors in court to obtain compensation. The plaintiff must prove that the truck driver acted in a negligent way. Negligence is a legal theory that means a person failed to use reasonable care under the circumstances. Negligence can involve driving while intoxicated, speeding, running a red light, or driving for too many consecutive hours. One of the central issues at stake in a personal injury lawsuit is whether the defendant acted negligently.
When the defendant has been convicted of violating a North Carolina law, the court can consider the defendant automatically negligent. Suppose North Carolina finds that the truck driver drove a commercial vehicle that was too heavy under North Carolina law. In this case, the victim who became injured in an accident with the truck driver can use this violation to prove that the defendant is automatically negligent through the legal theory of negligence per se.
It is imperative that everyone involved in a commercial truck accident contact the police. The police officer who arrives at the accident scene will conduct an investigation and weigh the truck as part of the police report. A police officer must weigh the truck at the time of the accident. Otherwise, it can be difficult to prove the exact weight of the truck when the accident occurred, making it impossible to prove the truck driver’s negligence.
When the police officers weigh the truck, they will impose civil fines, giving the plaintiff a strong case if they find it overweight. Suppose you have been injured in a truck accident involving an overweight truck. In that case, it may be beneficial for you to wait until the police have completed their investigation before you bring a formal claim. However, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible.Contact a Charlotte Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Have you or your loved one been seriously injured because of an overloaded truck accident? Are you concerned about how you will pay your medical bills and receive all the medical treatment you need without working? If so, the skilled personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are here to help. We offer our clients a free, no-obligation consultation. We will discuss your case with you and advise you of all of your legal options. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.