They say everything is bigger in Texas, and this saying is especially true when it comes to driving on our roads. For example, the Katy Freeway in Houston is America’s widest highway, with 26 lanes. On top of this, you’ll often have to share these highways with oversize load trucks carrying large payloads like homes and heavy equipment.
Driving alongside a wide-load truck in Texas can be a nerve-wracking experience. These giant vehicles present unique challenges that can lead to severe accidents. The victims of these collisions often have significant damage and injuries. These accidents often lead to intense litigation and negotiation. Keep reading to learn how Texas regulates oversize load trucks and how a truck accident attorney from Flores, Tawney, and Acosta, P.C. can help you.
What Are Oversize Load Trucks?
An oversize load truck is a particular vehicle that carries a load that exceeds the legal limits of Texas roads. Some of these trucks are standard 18-wheelers, while others use specialized trailers. The trucks haul loads that are wider than the lane, very tall, and susceptible to tipping, or extend past the truck bed by several feet. Many of these large loads are non divisible. They can’t be easily broken down into smaller parts to fit within regular dimensions. Most oversized trucks transport construction equipment, machinery, and prefabricated structures.
Texas Regulations for Oversize Load Trucks
Texas requires companies to obtain a permit before operating an oversized load truck. An important aspect of these permits is that some loads need specific permits. A driver cannot get a permit to transport hay and then use it to transport heavy equipment.
Texas oversize regulations also require these trucks to display banners and flags. These indicators make the trucks identifiable to other motorists on the road. Using these markers is essential to ensure the safety of others because large loads can impact road dynamics and visibility.
Some oversized trucks must follow a pre-approved route. A trucking company representative must inspect the route before the truck begins transport. The representative must then certify that it is suitable for transit.
Common Causes of Accidents
Accidents involving oversize load trucks often occur due to a combination of the following factors.
Oversize load trucks, due to their larger dimensions, can have restricted sightlines for drivers. This limitation can result in blind spots, making it challenging to navigate and avoid obstacles. Other drivers on the road may be unaware of these blind spots, which leads to collisions when the truck turns. Other times, a truck driver might change lanes or turn without seeing a vehicle or pedestrian in the blind spot.
Oversized trucks are less maneuverable than standard vehicles due to their size and weight. Negotiating turns, lane changes, and tight spaces becomes more complex. Drivers sometimes have a team to assist in navigating obstacles, but accidents still happen due to the size of these vehicles.
Uneven road surfaces, potholes, and debris can pose significant challenges to oversize load trucks. These hazards can lead to loss of control and tire blowouts if drivers cannot navigate safely. Once the driver loses control, the truck may collide with nearby vehicles and pedestrians.
Oversized load trucks must have proper signage. Trucks sometimes lack these signs because the driver never installed them or they fell off during transit. Other drivers who do not see these signs might misjudge the truck’s dimensions. This results in the driver following too closely or attempting to pass the truck, leading to an accident.
Operating an oversized truck takes specialized training and experience. Inexperienced truck drivers might struggle to handle these vehicles safely. A driver who fails to anticipate hazards or cannot navigate an obstacle might collide with other vehicles or cause the load to fall off the truck.
Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, or fog make driving difficult, no matter the vehicle. These problems are worse when operating oversize load trucks. Due to their size, they take more time to stop and pose a significant hazard if they lose traction.
Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, impairing reaction times and decision-making abilities. A tired truck driver might make mistakes that result in an accident.
How an Attorney Can Help
When facing the aftermath of an oversize load truck accident, the legal landscape can be complex and daunting. This is where the expertise of a seasoned truck accident attorney comes into play. An attorney understands the intricacies associated with oversize load accidents. These accidents often involve a unique set of challenges. Your attorney must prove liability, assess damages, and review trucking industry regulations.
Your attorney will manage all aspects of the lawsuit, including tasks like:
- Investigating the accident scene,
- Gathering witness statements,
- Reviewing logbooks and maintenance records, and
- Hiring accident reconstruction experts.
By assessing the facts, your lawyer can build a compelling case. It will establish liability and seek fair compensation. With their help, you can recover medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and compensation for the emotional toll of the accident.
Your attorney will also be well-versed in negotiating with insurance companies. They can help ensure you receive a fair settlement that reflects your losses. Insurance companies often try to settle for as low as possible. It’s important that you never accept a settlement offer without speaking with an attorney first. Otherwise, you might be leaving money on the table.
It’s rare that an insurance company doesn’t settle for a reasonable amount once an attorney gets involved. But if you cannot agree to the settlement terms, your lawyer will be ready to take your case to trial.
Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney Today
Your focus should be on healing and recovery. Let Flores, Tawney, and Acosta, P.C. handle the legal complexities. We have managed hundreds of truck accident cases and are ready to represent you. Our attorneys will fight to secure the compensation you deserve. With our knowledge, experience, and dedication, you can trust that we’ll look out for your interests as we pursue justice after an oversize load truck accident. Call 575-222-1000 to schedule a consultation.