Atlanta truck accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert is dedicated to serving personal injury victims throughout Georgia. With over 20 years of experience. Mr. Ozcomert is well-versed in handling commercial vehicle claims. Working closely with forensic and medical experts, and recognized as one of Georgia’s “Legal Elite,” Mr. Ozcomert will work to prove negligence in accidents caused by overweight or overloaded trucks, pursuing multiple claims to maximize compensation for you under the law.Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
In 1972, Georgia adopted federal regulations governing vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more. These laws define them as “commercial motor vehicles” if used as part of a business. Specific safety regulations apply to commercial vehicles including:
- Single vehicles (trucks and vans)
- Combination vehicles (tractor-trailers)
- Additional requirements for GVWR of 26,001 and above
- Any vehicles carrying hazardous materials
- Subject to safety regulations regardless of GVWR
- Passenger vehicles carrying more than 15 passengers
Vehicles having a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or over are required to stop at all weight stations in Georgia to be inspected. Available personnel must examine the vehicle for compliance with load limitations set forth in Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 32-6-27.Overweight Trucks Can Cause Accidents
Overweight trucks place enormous pressure on the wheels, and are the number one cause of tire damage. The Department of Transportation estimates that as many as 30 percent of trucks are overweight, endangering motorists and damaging road and bridge infrastructure. Because overloaded trucks shift the center of gravity, they take longer to stop, are more likely to roll over and experience tire blowouts, causing multiple-vehicle collisions. Atlanta overweight truck attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert is ready to take efective, decisive action if you or someone you know has been involved in an overloaded truck accident.
Despite the well-documented damage caused by overweight trucks, the trucking industry has little incentive to comply with load limits. OCGA §32-6-27 “presumes” that violations of load limits “damage” public roads and bridges, but imposes paltry fines for breaking the law. Fines and exceptions include:
- 5 cents per pound of excess weight
- 125 percent times the rate imposed on vehicles without a permit
- Overweight citations based on excess weight over 150,000 GVWR
- Superload: GVWR exceeding 150,001 pounds up to 180,000 pounds
- Superload Plus: GVWR of 180,000 pounds requires axle weights and spacing
Many trucks carry loads exceeding the legal weight of 80,000 pounds without the required permit. Because the “nickel per pound” penalty has not changed since the 1950s, most commercial carriers would rather pay small fines than sacrifice the profit to be gained from running overweight trucks.Intent and Negligence
When owners and operators pay overweight fines as the “price of doing business,” their intent to prioritize profit over safety is arguably clear. Even if they do not intend for accidents to happen, this type of careless conduct violates a legal duty, and may cause foreseeable harm. Under Georgia law, these parties and their insurers are likely liable for any bodily injury or wrongful death resulting from weight-related collisions. If held legally responsible, they must compensate victims for lost income, medical and funeral expenses, pain, suffering, and other costs arising out of their negligence. Let Atlanta overloaded truck accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert fight for your rights.
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by an overweight or overloaded truck, Atlanta personal injury lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert can help. For over 20 years, he has represented victims injured in trucking accidents, including those resulting from overweight trucks. Whether the accident was caused by improper loading or negligent driving, it will implicate multiple parties and insurers. Mr. Ozcomert has the knowledge and experience required to seek full recovery from all sources of liability, and pursue every avenue of relief. Call (404) 370-1000 or contact us online for a free consultation.