Road Freight transportation, a part of the logistics chain, is the backbone of trade and commerce in any economy.
To this day, trucks are the most economical and flexible way of transporting goods. However, with the increasing pressure on trucking companies, trucks are sometimes overloaded to meet deadlines, save costs and increase profits.
Overweight trucks pose a real threat while on roads. Hence, strict regulations govern a cap on the freight limit. Overloaded trucks are more likely to be involved in an accident owing to tipping, braking failure, falling goods, and other factors. Have you been injured due to an overloaded truck? Who may be held accountable when these accidents occur? According to the truck accident attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P, many parties can be held accountable for an overloaded commercial truck accident in NewYork City. Let’s talk about this.
Who can be held responsible in an overloaded truck accident?
Load shift truck accidents which are not properly secured endanger the truck driver, the cargo, and other drivers. It can result in significant injuries and, in extreme cases, death. However, these commercial trucks can’t function without the assistance of third parties. Hence, multiple parties can be responsible for truck accidents.
Trucking businesses have a legal obligation to guarantee that their trucks are roadworthy, which means they can be held accountable for overloading them. They are also in charge of educating their staff – from truck drivers to in-house mechanics to cargo loaders. The trucking business can be held accountable for any error its employees make. Additionally, trucking companies often pressure drivers to drive longer than the legally allowed limit. According to the Department of Transportation’s hours of service requirements, commercial trucks cannot travel for more than 14 hours without a break.
In all these cases, the trucking business that manages the truck involved in the accident may potentially be held liable. Supervisors are expected to hire good drivers, effectively educate them, and be concerned about their drivers’ well-being.
The Truck Driver
The truck driver may also be held accountable if they were being negligent in any of these cases-
- Sometimes, a trucker could also purposefully overload their truck to make profits or meet deadlines breaching the company policy and industry laws.
- If a truck driver is driving intoxicated under the influence of narcotics, alcohol, or any other stimulant and causes an accident, they can face criminal charges.
- Furthermore, if a truck driver engages in inattentive or reckless driving, such as speeding or exceeding the number of hours allowed, they may be held negligent. A truck driver is blamed for such an accident.
The Cargo Loader
In several cases, a cargo company is in charge of loading commercial vehicles with the goods. However, if the cargo loader makes a mistake when loading the products, which causes a truck accident. In that case, they can be held accountable for overloading a truck if
(a) products including hazardous or illegal chemicals were flying/leaking out of the back of the truck due to loose loading,
(b) they overloaded on purpose, and their employer was unaware of it
(c) the truck tipped over on the road due to overloading.
In any of these scenarios, you may be eligible to sue the cargo firm for compensation.
The Manufacturer of trucks
Interestingly, the truck’s manufacturer may also be liable for an accident. How? Truck manufacturers must ensure that all parts sent to trucking companies are high quality and meet the standards. If they don’t, and later a defective part is discovered, the manufacturing company is required to issue a recall to prevent accidents. Unfortunately, if the truck manufacturer frequently fails to detect damaged parts which results in an accident later, they may be held accountable.
The statute of limitations in NY City gives you three years from the accident date to claim the liable parties involved in a truck accident. It’s best to file your claim as soon as possible and take the help of a Truck Accident Attorney to improve the chances of a higher settlement.