An overloaded truck can pose significant dangers on the road, jeopardizing the safety of other motorists. Being injured due to an overloaded truck accident can profoundly impact a person’s life, from mounting medical bills to lost wages, and from painful symptoms to long-lasting trauma. That’s why seeking legal representation to pursue justice and compensation is vital.

Andrew Schwaba understands the complex nature of these cases. and are committed to providing the guidance and unwavering support you need. When you hire him to represent you, Andrew will zealously seek to hold the responsible parties accountable and secure the compensation you deserve.

Let Andrew handle the legal details so that you can focus on healing. Contact Schwaba Law Firm today for a free consultation with a Wisconsin overloaded truck accident lawyer.

What Makes an Overloaded Truck Dangerous?

Several key factors contribute to the hazardous nature of an overloaded truck.

  1. Exceeding the Maximum Load Capacity Compromises the Vehicle’s Stability and Maneuverability.
    Excessive weight can shift the vehicle’s center of gravity, making the truck prone to tipping over, especially during sudden turns or evasive maneuvers.
  2. The Brakes of an Overloaded Truck Get Excessively Strained.
    This significantly increases the required stopping distance, making it difficult for the driver to respond promptly to unexpected driving situations.
  3. Steering Control and Responsiveness Are Compromised by an Overloaded Truck.
    Excessive weight can overwhelm the suspension, preventing the truck from safely navigating curves or turns.
  4. An Overloaded Truck Puts Undue Stress on the Tires.
    This increases tire wear and heat buildup. Overworked tires are more susceptible to blowouts, which can cause a sudden loss of control.
  5. An Overloaded Truck Affects the Structural Integrity of the Vehicle Itself.
    Excessive load can damage the chassis, axles, and other components, compromising their ability to operate correctly.

Wisconsin Laws on Commercial Vehicle Weight Limits

Wisconsin has specific laws and regulations regarding commercial vehicle weight limits. These laws aim to ensure the safety of the roads, preserve infrastructure, and prevent excessive wear and tear on highways. Here are some critical points regarding Wisconsin’s laws on commercial vehicle weight limits:

  • Axle Weight Limits – The state enforces different weight limits depending on the number of axles. For example, the maximum weight allowed for a single axle is 20,000 pounds. For tandem axles, depending on the length of the trailer, the maximum weight limit is generally 34,000 pounds.
  • Bridge FormulaWisconsin follows the federal bridge formula, which determines the maximum allowable weight on each axle based on the distance between axles and the number of axles.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)The maximum allowable GVWR for Wisconsin commercial vehicles is 80,000 pounds, including the vehicle, cargo, and additional equipment or accessories.
  • Seasonal Weight Restrictions – Wisconsin imposes seasonal weight restrictions on specific highways to protect roads during thaw periods.
  • Special Permits – Oversize or overweight loads that exceed the legal weight limits require special permits from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), ensuring the load is secured correctly and the vehicle operates within safe limits.

If a Wisconsin commercial vehicle operator causes an accident because they fail to comply with these weight regulations, they could be liable for the accident.

Types of Crashes Due to Overloaded Trucks in Wisconsin

Overloaded commercial trucks in Wisconsin can cause different types of crashes, each with the potential for severe consequences. Some of the most common overloaded truck accidents we see in our cases include the following:

  • Rear-End Crashes – Overloaded trucks require longer distances to come to a complete stop. If traffic suddenly slows down or stops altogether, an overloaded truck’s braking system might not respond in time to avoid a rear-end collision.
  • Rollover Accidents – When an excessive load shifts a truck’s center of gravity, the truck becomes unbalanced, particularly during sharp turns or sudden maneuvers. Rollover accidents can result in significant property damage, injuries, and fatalities.
  • Side- or Front-Impact Collisions – Overloading can compromise the truck’s maneuverability and responsiveness. Excessive weight affects steering, making it challenging for a driver to navigate curves, corners, or lane changes. This loss of control increases the risk of the truck colliding with other vehicles.

Common Injuries Caused by an Overloaded Truck

Because of the increased forces involved in heavy truck accidents, an overloaded commercial truck can cause many types of significant injuries. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Fractures and Broken Bones – The forces involved in collisions with overloaded trucks can fracture and break bones throughout the body. Fractures may require surgery, extensive rehabilitation, and prolonged recovery periods.
  • Internal Injuries – Blunt force trauma causes internal injuries such as organ damage, internal bleeding, or ruptured blood vessels. These injuries may not be immediately apparent, so seeing a doctor immediately after an overloaded truck accident is crucial. Some internal injuries require urgent medical attention to be detected.
  • Psychological trçauma – Being involved in a severe truck accident can lead to psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. These emotional and mental health issues can have a long-lasting impact on an individual’s well-being and quality of life.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – Whiplash, sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries are common in truck accidents. While some of these injuries are minor, many are more severe than they seem and require extensive medical treatment.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Accidents involving overloaded trucks can severely damage the spine, leading to partial or complete paralysis. Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent disabilities, affecting mobility, sensation, and bodily functions.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – High-impact collisions can cause head injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe TBIs. These injuries arise from impacts upon the head or the violent shaking of the brain within the skull during the accident. TBIs can have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, motor skills, and overall quality of life.

Who Is Responsible for Securing a Load on a Truck?

Responsibility for securing a load on a commercial truck typically lies with the driver and the cargo handlers. Ultimately, the driver is responsible for properly securing a load before operating the vehicle. This process includes checking that cargo is evenly distributed, using appropriate restraints such as straps or chains, and verifying that the load is within the legal weight limits. Companies and shippers may also be responsible for explaining guidelines and providing training and equipment for the truck driver, including how to avoid an overload.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for an Overloaded Truck Accident in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, several parties can be held responsible for an overloaded truck accident. Typically, truck accident liability lies with the driver and their hiring company, as they are responsible for ensuring compliance with weight limits and regulations.

However, other parties may also share liability for overloaded trucks and negligence. These include the company or individual responsible for loading the cargo and any entity (such as a broker) overseeing the transportation operation. Furthermore, if poor road conditions contributed to the accident, the government agency responsible for maintaining the roads might share liability.

Holding the responsible parties accountable is essential to seeking fair compensation for victims, promoting road safety, and deterring future instances of overloaded trucks on Wisconsin’s roads.

What Are Recoverable Damages or Compensation in an Overloaded Truck Accident in Wisconsin?

In a Wisconsin overloaded truck accident, an injured person can pursue the following types of damages or compensation:

  • Disability and Disfigurement – Compensation for any permanent disability or disfigurement resulting from the accident that impacts the injured person’s quality of life and future earning potential
  • Lost Wages – Reimbursement for the wages lost due to the inability to work while healing from injuries or reduced working hours
  • Loss of Future Earning Capacity – If the injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability that prevents the injured person from returning to work
  • Medical Expenses – Compensation for past, current, and future medical bills related to the injuries sustained in the accident, such as hospitalizations, surgeries, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation
  • Pain and Suffering – Compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life due to the accident and resulting injuries
  • Property Damage – Reimbursement for repairing or replacing damaged property, including the victim’s vehicle or personal belongings

An experienced Wisconsin overloaded truck accident attorney can evaluate the severity of your injuries, their long-term effects, and how they impact daily life to calculate the total value of your claim.

Get in Touch with a Wisconsin Overloaded Truck Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a Wisconsin accident involving an overloaded commercial truck, Andrew Schwaba can advocate for your rights. With a deep understanding of overloaded commercial trucking accidents and a proven track record of obtaining favorable results for clients, Andrew is well-equipped to pursue the compensation and justice you deserve.

As a seasoned trucking accident attorney, Andrew will tirelessly fight to hold the responsible parties accountable so you can begin rebuilding your life. Don’t face this challenging situation alone. Contact Schwaba Law Firm today for a free consultation with a Wisconsin overloaded truck accident attorney.