Just before your accident, you may have seen a truck with a bright yellow and black banner that said, “oversized load.” These trucks are carrying something that is not the typical size of a cargo shipment, such as a pre-built house, shipping container, or industrial equipment. They must carry the oversized load banner so that other drivers know they are on the road and will take extra precautions around them.
However, this banner should also be a signal to others on the roadway of the potential danger they symbolize. Oversized loads may pose significant dangers to other drivers due to the weight distribution the load causes or the difficulty in maneuvering the truck. If an accident with an oversized load does occur, the effects are often devastating.
If you were injured in a trucking accident caused by an oversized load driver, you have rights. We can discuss them during a free consultation. Contact a Los Angeles oversized loads lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.
Rules for Oversized Loads
Because oversized loads may pose significant dangers, drivers must follow specific rules. California Vehicle Code Section 35250, 35100, 35400, 35401, and 35550 require a permit for oversized loads that exceed legal weight or dimensions, which include trucks over:
- 14 feet high
- 8 feet 6 inches wide
- 40 feet long (single), 65 feet (truck/trailer), or 75 feet (multi trailers)
- 20,000 pounds per axle
For some oversized loads, trucking companies must have escort cars surround the vehicle to notify other drivers of the oversized load.
Additionally, cities and municipalities may establish their own regulations pertaining to these types of vehicles and loads. Trucks and loads that exceed dimensions may not be allowed to travel on certain roads that are not suitable for this type of transport.
Dangers of Oversized Loads
The flashing bright lights and escort vehicles are not just for show. They are present to warn you of the potential dangers of these types of loads traveling on the same roadway you are. Oversized loads may be more dangerous for the following reasons:
They Have an Increased Stopping Distance
The average time it takes a commercial truck to stop while traveling at 55 mph is 335 feet, compared to 225 feet for a passenger car. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration warns that stopping distances increase with a heavy load. Therefore, if a hazard arises, the truck may not enough time to stop and may collide with nearby vehicles.
They Are Not Meant to Travel on All Roadways
Oversized loads may exceed the passable clearance at bridges and other locations with low clearance. Drivers who fail to plan an appropriate route may collide with a low bridge overhang and cause a serious accident. They may also be too heavy for a road or bridge that cannot support them.
They Are More Difficult to Handle
The average truck driver may not fully anticipate the challenges of driving a truck carrying an oversized load. Drivers may need to make extra wide turns and maintain slower speeds to safely handle these loads. Additionally, if the load shifts, this may cause the vehicle to tip over or jackknife.
They Put Extra Strain on the Truck
Heavier loads may put extra strain on the truck, which may make it more likely that a tire will blow or another mishap will occur while transporting the oversized load.
Due to these factors and others, oversized loads pose a higher risk for serious injury or death. Commercial trucks carrying between 65,000 to 80,000 pounds are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than trucks carrying less than 50,000 pounds, according to the Truck Safety Coalition. One study by the Department of Transportation found that trucks with heavier loads have between a 47 percent to 400 percent higher crash rate than lighter trucks.
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by an oversized load or you lost a loved one in this type of accident, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help.
For a free legal consultation with a oversized loads accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Why You Need a Los Angeles Oversized Loads Lawyer
Claims regarding oversized loads are much different than other types of truck accident claims. They may involve complex issues regarding physics, vehicle design, road design, and other complex scientific and legal principles. These nuances mean you may want to call on the assistance of a Los Angeles oversized loads lawyer who has experience in these types of cases.
Additionally, it is important to have a lawyer who understands the legal regulations surrounding these types of vehicles and loads and who can investigate whether the truck driver and company followed these rules or blatantly ignored them in the interests of profits.
Our team can investigate your claim and make record requests to confirm whether a permit was properly secured or not. We can also investigate whether the truck driver had a previous history of unsafe driving or accidents to help establish a claim against the trucking company.
When you are dealing with a trucking company, you may also be confronting a fleet of lawyers who will try anything to minimize your claim. Our team is familiar with these aggressive tactics and will not back down in the face of tough opposition. We will gather evidence and build a claim that is based on your specific circumstances. These types of accidents often involve serious injury or death, and we will work hard to try to secure the compensation you need to pay for the medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other losses you suffered. While this will not make the trucking company’s actions right, it may help ease the burden on you so that you can focus on your recovery.
Los Angeles Oversized Loads Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
If you were injured in a collision involving an oversized load, our team is ready to help. A Loa Angeles oversized loads lawyer can review your claim and explain how he or she can help. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.