When you stop at a traffic light, nothing could be more frightening than looking in the rearview mirror and seeing an 18-wheeler bearing down on you.

Most commercial drivers follow the rules, but some risk the dangerous practice of overloading cargo. The extra weight makes controlling a huge semitruck difficult, especially in terms of braking and stopping.

Problems with overloaded cargo

Overloaded cargo can make driving difficult because in addition to the extra weight, excessive cargo can easily shift when the driver turns or changes lanes. In addition, the trucker may not realize how much more braking pressure and extra stopping distance will be required because of the overload. If the tractor-trailer is traveling down an incline, these problems become even more dire.

Liability issues

Accidents related to overloading are an ongoing concern for trucking companies. In the first place, overloading adversely affects truck components and equipment and increases operation and maintenance costs. It is also a safety issue that results in liability exposure for the companies.

Lawsuits resulting from truck-car crashes are complex. Trucking companies may not be alone in terms of responsibility for the injuries that victims suffer. If overloading is the cause of a collision, negligent parties may also include the truck driver, the company or individual who loaded the truck and even the company in charge of maintaining the vehicle.

A look ahead

Fortunately, you were able to pull over a little and the truck swerved the opposite way. You avoided what would have been a catastrophic rear-end collision, but the truck grazed the side of your car as it plowed through the intersection, leaving you with injuries. Full recovery is possible, but rehabilitation will take time.

Explore your legal options. Expect a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the collision and the parties responsible for your injuries. You have a right to full and fair compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages and more.