Overloaded Truck Accidents: Who Is Liable?
There are strict rules and regulations for how much cargo a commercial truck can carry, because overloaded trucks bring a whole host of dangers to the road. An overloaded truck is more likely to get into an accident due to tipping, brake failure, falling cargo, and more. When these accidents happen, who can be held responsible?
In Florida, the parties most often considered liable for an overloaded commercial truck accident are:
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies have a legal obligation to ensure that their trucks are safe for the road, which means they can be held liable for overloading their trucks. They are also responsible for training their employees, from truck drivers to in-house mechanics, to cargo loaders. This means that, for most cases, the trucking company will be liable for mistakes made by their employees.
The Truck Driver
As mentioned above, the trucking company can be held liable for the negligence of their truck drivers. The caveat is that the truck driver may be liable if this negligence was committed outside the scope of their job. An example of this would be if the trucker purposely overloaded their truck, violating company policy and industry regulations, to make up for lost time or for another personal reason.
The Cargo Loader
A cargo loader may be held liable for overloading a truck if (a) they did so on purpose and (b) their employer did not or could not have reasonably known about it. However, if the cargo loader overloaded a truck due to a lack of training, then the trucking company would be liable for its negligence in failing to provide adequate training.
In short, the answer to the question of liability will depend on the facts of a case. Our attorney team at Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. is skilled in examining these facts, uncovering evidence, and determining liability for overloaded truck accidents. We have represented crash victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims for over 60 years.
If you have been injured by an overweight/overloaded commercial truck, give our Fort Lauderdale attorneys a call at (954) 467-8800. Your consultation is free!