As an Indiana motorist, you likely share the road with large vehicles, including trucks carrying oversized loads. These loads often contribute to traffic tie-ups, or worse — an oversize load accident. Accidents with oversize load trucks may cause serious, life-changing injuries.
At Sevenish Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers handle oversize truck load accident cases and stand by to help you understand what might cause these wrecks and what steps to take in the aftermath to gain compensation for your injuries.
Indiana Oversize Load Laws
Because of the possible dangers that oversize load trucks present, truck drivers who carry such loads must follow Indiana state laws regarding transport. These laws apply to any commercial hauling vehicle and apply to:
- A load width of more than 8.5 feet
- A total weight of over 80,000 pounds
- No more than 20,000 pounds of weight per single axle
Oversize loads in Indiana also require a transport permit, as the large vehicles required and their cargo usually take up more than one lane on major highways and tend to slow or stop traffic once the truck or trucks are in motion.
While any commercial trucks and 18-wheelers can increase the risk of an accident when they share the road with you, recognizing the potential risk of an oversized load and the possible dangers they could present to you as a motorist may help you avoid a catastrophic accident.
Spotting Oversize Load Dangers
While it is unlikely you would fail to see trucks capable of hauling oversize cargo, Indiana oversize load regulations require several safety requirements during transport to make you even more aware of their presence. These precautions alert you and other drivers of the presence of a large load and may include guide trucks with signs that warn you to slow down or maintain a safe distance away from the truck bearing the load. Banners, flashing caution lights and safety flags may all alert you to an oversized load in the area.
While most companies have these safety measures in place, some may try to flout Indiana transport laws when it comes to the size, weight and overall balance of their loads. A variety of dangers may exist when large hauling trucks exceed their recommended weight loads, such as overbalancing, load shifting upon braking, and a loss of cargo altogether.
Causes Of an Oversize Load Accident
Despite Indiana safety laws regarding the transport of oversized loads, accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Rain, snow or sleet could make the transport of large loads treacherous. In addition to causing low visibility, the trucks that haul them cannot brake or make fast maneuvers that might prevent an accident on slick roads.
Some Indiana laws attempt to clear roadways for oversized loads or only allow them to travel overnight when freeways are not as crowded. However, you still may find yourself traveling behind or next to these vehicles. While keeping your distance and obeying safety signage may help keep you safe, accidents may still occur for many reasons, including:
- Rough roads
- Debris in the road
- Transport driver error
- Unsafe lane/exit maneuvers
These conditions could lead to a serious accident and result in devastating injuries for you and any passengers. As you navigate the aftermath of a crash with an oversized truck, you can protect yourself by learning your legal rights and which actions you might take for building a personal injury lawsuit.
Once an accident occurs and you suffer serious injuries, a lawyer at Sevenish Law Firm can assist you with building a lawsuit that allows you to collect compensation for lost wages, damage to your vehicle and any medical bills that stemmed from the wreck. However, as the one injured, the burden of proof is upon you, so the next step is to collect information that helps support your case.
While your injuries could have prevented you from taking pictures at the time of the accident, police reports may include photos of the accident, which could show evidence of wrongdoing by the driver of the oversized load. Ask those at the crash scene if they took any photos that may help you prove you did not cause the accident.
Reaching out to individuals who witnessed the crash may also turn up information on what might have caused it. For example, if your oversize load truck accident occurred because the truck’s cargo was improperly secured and shifted, causing the truck to jackknife and strike your vehicle, having a viable witness to the accident could assist you with meeting your burden of proof.
Gathering important documents can give our attorneys the ability to build a strong foundation for your case. Insurance and police reports, witness statements, pay stubs and medical records and/or bills can provide proof of a loss of future earnings and what kind of medical debt or future treatment costs you incurred due to the accident. This may include physical therapy or an extended stay in a rehabilitation center.
Get Legal Help Today
The injuries you can receive from an oversized transport load accident may last your lifetime. If you need assistance with building your case and need guidance, contact us at Sevenish Law Firm in Indiana today for further assistance and information.