Oversized Load Truck Accients

Representation for Truck Accident Victims in Seattle, Washington

Truck Accidents Caused by Oversize Loads

oversizedCommercial truck vehicles like semis, tractor-trailers, and dump trucks are designed to transport large and heavy cargo over long distances. However, there are certain limitations placed on the size and weight these trucks can carry as well as how the loads are secured. State and federal laws require proper securing of loads to prevent cargo from spilling or leaking onto roadways and posing hazards for other motorists.  Yet, trucking companies often ignore these safety regulations in order to increase their profit.

At some point, every driver in Washington has been forced to avoid a semi or tractor-trailer hauling an oversize load. Large or improperly secured loads can lead to severe accidents when the cargo escapes or causes the truck itself to roll over. Other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, and even pedestrians may suffer serious injuries or even death as a result. Oversize load truck accidents are almost always caused by negligence of the truck driver’s part or the trucking company.   Those responsible must be held liable for their wrongful actions in order to give the innocent victims the best chance of recovering a normal life.

The Law Office of Richard McKinney is committed to helping victims of truck accidents caused by oversize loads. As an experienced truck accident attorney in Seattle, Richard McKinney understands the extensive hazards that can be caused by spilled loads, debris, or overturned trucks from cargo that exceeds safety limitations. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a sudden load spill, derailed tractor, or any other factor related to improper and illegal truck loading, we can help you obtain compensation and justice for your all your losses including pain and suffering.

Washington State Laws Regulating Oversize Loads

Federal Trucking Regulations outline the responsibilities of both truck drivers and trucking companies to ensure safe operation of vehicles, including ensuring the load is properly and safely secured. However, Washington State and Seattle City laws also impose specific rules governing the operation and loading of large trucks.  

In Washington, when a commercial truck company plans on hauling an oversize load, it must obtain an oversize permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Oftentimes, truck companies must also provide authorities with the planned route for the truck so it can be analyzed for potential dangers. Trucks must display the permits at all times, must follow authorized routes, and must operate within a specific time frame. Over-legal load transportation, even when a permit is obtained, is NOT permitted during peak traffic periods between 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Weight Restrictions:

  • Single-axle weight shall not exceed 20,000 pounds.
  • Dual-axle weight shall not exceed 34,000 pounds.

Trucks exceeding 10,000 pounds of gross weight are NOT permitted to operate on residential streets, except when the truck is making a delivery or traveling to or from an in-street work area.

Width, Height and Length Restrictions:

Front and/or rear pilot cars may be required for oversize loads. Weight restrictions are as follows:

  • The truck or load extends beyond the center line or the center of the roadway. (Two-lane road)
  • The truck and or load is 12 feet to 13 feet, 11 inches. (Multiple-lane road).
  • The truck and or load is 14 feet to 15 feet, 5 inches.

A  Transportation CVEO Traffic escort is required when the truck or load is 15 feet, 6 inches or over. Pilot cars and escorts may also be required when the truck exceeds a height of 14 feet, 1 inch, and when the length exceeds 81 feet.

Oversize Load Permit Restrictions:

Even when a truck company obtains a permit for transporting oversize loads, there are restrictions to follow. Permits for oversize loads cannot exceed:

  • 600 pounds per inch of tire width
  • 22,000 pounds on a single axle
  • 43,000 pounds on a double axle

Authorities can act against a trucking company that does not abide by these regulations.  You can take action against the trucking company if its failure to follow these rules results in an accident.

When Oversize Loads Result in Truck Accidents

An oversize truck load that is not properly secured or that exceeds federal, state and city restrictions can cause a serious accident. Because big rigs are already at least 10,000 pounds in weight, every pound of excess cargo can increase the chances of the load spilling, or the truck itself jackknifing or rolling over. Even small objects that fall off trucks can cause sudden roadway obstructions, forcing drivers to make quick and dangerous maneuvers to avoid them, placing their lives – and those of others – at risk. Overloaded trucks often lead to catastrophic multi-vehicle accidents, severe injuries and even death.

When trucks violate loading safety laws and cause an accident, their victims and loved ones are often entitled to compensation from the trucking company. Personal injury and truck accident lawyer Richard McKinney knows how dangerous it can be to ignore trucking safety laws and will do everything possible to help you and your loved ones obtain the damages and justice you deserve, including:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Mental Anguish
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Additional Money Damages for Future Losses

Contact the Law Office of Richard McKinney in Seattle, Washington today to discuss your rights and options in filing an oversize load truck accident claim right away.