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by Jeff Rasansky - April 21, 2016
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

Were you injured in an accident involving a truck pulling an oversize load in Texas? Our Dallas attorneys can help.

Oversize and wide load trucks ply our roads every day, transporting cargo and supplies from one state to another. They are vital to the economy, but they are equally risky in relation to the danger they pose to other road users.

In an Accident with a Wide Load Truck

Truck Pulling an Oversize Load (Credit: Patrick Cartwright Jr)

According to Texas law, an oversize load is one which exceeds 8 feet by 6 inches in width. These types of commercial vehicles take up a lot of space in our roads, and can pose a threat to smaller vehicles—especially on smaller roadways or near sharp/blind turns.

It’s for this reason that the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have specific rules in place for such operations. 18-wheeler trucks transporting wide loads must obtain a permit, use a pilot car (escort/signal car) with amber flashing lights and yellow “OVERSIZE LOAD” signs, and must also flag the far edges of the load. Due to the fact that 7% of truck accidents in the US are caused by unsecured cargo, loads must be properly secured and inspected multiple times throughout the trip.

We may be able to seek money damages on your behalf to pay for treatment for injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damages. Please contact Rasansky Law Firm today at 1-877-405-4313 for your free consultation.

There are various ways in which oversize and wide-load trucks may cause car accidents:

  • These vehicles tend to have a higher center of gravity due to their large wheels and heavy loads, making them unstable. A lower center of gravity usually gives you much better stability. These types of vehicles find it hard to turn corners as well as carry out fast maneuvers to avert accidents, putting the lives of other people in danger.
  • Oversized and wide load trucks usually carry a lot of cargo in the back, shifting weight distribution to only one area of the trailer. This then makes it difficult for the truck driver to control his or her vehicle compared to other motorists.
  • Oversized and wide load trucks also carry so much cargo that it’s not uncommon for their tires to blow out. When this happens, the truck driver may lose complete control of their vehicle which may then careening into oncoming traffic.
  • When traveling on a road that slopes downward, the oversized or wide load truck may become hard to control due to its mass, and its braking capability may be compromised or fail completely.
  • It’s also quite common for cargo to come loose, fall onto the roadway and cause an accident.

Fines and regulations.

Oversize, overweight, and wide load trucks are required to follow very specific rules. For example, there is a load restriction (which applies to all trucks) which states that they cannot carry more than a certain weight limit. Should they do so without obtaining a special permit and following specific rules, they are hit with fines which range from $500 to upwards of $10,000.

Should a truck which was fined for overloading repeat the same offense, they may have their fines doubled, and in some cases, the truck driver’s CDL (commercial drivers license) taken away. In Texas, truck drivers and their companies are required to apply for special permits if they are going to carry loads that exceed 80,000 pounds.

Oversize and wide load truck accidents must be treated MUCH differently than other accidents.

Accidents involving these types of vehicles must be handled differently from your run-of-the-mill automobile accident. This is because there are often many parties involved, there exist many overlapping federal transportation laws (which only apply to commercial vehicles), and the insurance companies are ruthless in their pursuit to damage your potential claim as the policy limits tend to be upward of $1M.

To begin with, injuries sustained in these accidents are often catastrophic and result in permanent disability, loss of limbs, and even wrongful death due to the sheer size of these vehicles. Second, the parties involved usually include the truck driver, his company, the truck’s insurance company, the trailer’s insurance company, other drivers who may have been affected, their insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers, truck maintenance providers, the loaders and shippers of the cargo, route planners, and a slew of other parties.

This level of complexity means that you are facing a very tough battle. To have any chance at a fair settlement or trial verdict, you really must consult with an experienced Dallas truck accident attorney who intimately understands the federal laws and legislation governing these vehicles, as well as the best action plan to get you the maximum amount of compensation available. Luckily, our firm has extensive experience with truck-vs-car accident claims, and we’re happy to discuss your options right now, free of charge, over the phone.

Speak With Our 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys For Free

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.

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