Overturned truck on road

Have you been involved in an accident with an overloaded commercial truck in St. Louis? Getting hit by an overweight truck can leave you with devastating injuries and significant financial and personal losses. You may have a claim to hold a truck driver, trucking company, or other liable parties accountable for the losses you’ve suffered in an overloaded truck crash.

Turn to Sumner Law Group, LLC, for help pursuing your legal rights. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle the most challenging truck accident claims. We intentionally keep our caseload small to give you and your claim the time and attention you need and deserve. At our firm, you will work directly with the attorneys handling your case. We will never pass you off to a paralegal or case manager. Unlike some other law firms that try to settle cases as fast as possible to move on to the next one, we put in the time and effort needed to get the best possible result for you, even if that means going to trial.

When you’ve gotten hurt in an overloaded truck crash in St. Louis, our experienced trucking accident lawyers can help you pursue maximum compensation to begin putting your life back on track. Contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, now for a free initial case evaluation to see how we can help you seek a financial recovery for your medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, and more.

Why Are Overloaded Trucks Dangerous? 

Overloaded trucks include commercial vehicles that exceed state and federal weight regulations or the truck’s designed capacity. An overloaded truck poses a significant hazard to infrastructure and road users. Overloaded trucks put excessive stress on road surfaces, bridges, and overpasses, creating wear and tear that can require more frequent repairs for infrastructure. Damaged infrastructure, including broken pavement or worn bridge and overpass supports, can lead to devastating accidents or collapses.

Overloaded trucks also have a much higher risk of causing collisions with other vehicles. A truck driver may find it more challenging to keep an overloaded truck under control, especially if the trucking company hasn’t balanced the cargo weight. Excessive cargo weight also puts more wear and tear on the truck’s tires, wheels, brakes, and axles, potentially leading to a catastrophic failure that may cause the truck to crash.

Collisions with overloaded trucks can prove more dangerous than other truck crashes due to the excess weight on an overloaded truck. The more a truck weighs, the more violent the force with which it hits another vehicle. As a result, overloaded truck accidents can cause life-threatening injuries for other vehicle occupants, cyclists, or pedestrians. 

Injuries Caused by St. Louis Overloaded Trucks 

Truck crashes tend to cause more severe injuries than other motor vehicle accidents due to a commercial truck’s greater weight. As a result, an overloaded truck has a higher risk of causing catastrophic injuries. Examples of injuries that can occur in overloaded truck accidents in St. Louis include:

  • Severe lacerations and abrasions
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated spinal discs
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Perforation injuries
  • Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Facial injuries, including eye injuries and dental damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns from post-accident vehicle fires
  • Traumatic amputation, dismemberment, or limb loss
  • Fatal injuries 

Maximum Weight Capacity of Missouri Trucks

Under Missouri’s commercial vehicle regulations, trucks must comply with various weight restrictions. These restrictions include:

  • A maximum weight of 20,000 pounds on a single axle
  • A maximum weight of 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle (two axles separated by no less than 40 inches and no more than 96 inches)

A truck’s gross vehicle weight limit depends on the truck’s configuration, based on the number of axles on the truck and the distance in feet between the front-most and rear-most axles. Gross vehicle weight limits range from 34,000 pounds to a maximum of 80,000 pounds. 

Under Missouri law, operators of trucks whose gross weight ratings exceed maximum weight capacities can apply for an overweight permit. State and local officials will review overweight permit applications, which must describe the truck’s route to ensure that the roads, bridges, and overpasses along the route will handle the truck’s weight. Missouri routinely grants overweight permits for trucks ranging from 104,000 to 160,000 pounds, depending on the number of axles on the truck.

Determining Liability for an Overweight Truck Accident 

Regulations require trucking companies and drivers to ensure the safety of a truck’s cargo load. Parties who may bear responsibility for an overloaded truck accident include: 

  • Truck driver – Truck drivers must regularly inspect their cargo loads to ensure that they have secured cargo from shifting and that the weight of the load remains balanced. Drivers can also weigh their trucks using mobile scales or weighing stations to keep their vehicles below applicable weight restrictions.
  • Trucking companyFederal regulations make trucking companies responsible for ensuring their drivers know and comply with weight regulations. Drivers who breach weight regulations can adversely affect their motor carrier’s safety record.
  • Cargo company – Cargo companies may bear liability for an overloaded truck accident when they load too much cargo into a truck or trailer, pushing the vehicle beyond state or federal truck weight restrictions or the truck’s designed hauling capacity.

Statute of Limitations for an Overloaded Commercial Vehicle Accident in Missouri

Under Missouri’s statute of limitations on truck accidents, you typically have five years to file a lawsuit after a crash caused by an overloaded truck. Although five years may seem like plenty of time to file a claim for an overloaded truck accident, you can protect your rights and options by talking to a truck crash lawyer from Sumner Law Group, LLC, as soon as possible. Our firm can help you file your claims before the applicable deadline expires so you can take advantage of the opportunity to pursue financial compensation from a careless truck driver or trucking company.

Call a St. Louis Overloaded Truck Accident Attorney Today 

After you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries in a truck accident involving an overweight or overloaded truck, you need experienced legal advocates who can help you hold the truck driver, trucking company, and other liable parties accountable for your losses. Contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss how we can help you seek compensation and justice.