Truck Classifications and GVWRs

Chicago Lawyers Representing Tractor-Trailer Crash Victims in Legal Claims

Large trucks are assigned a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which refers to the weight restriction assigned by their manufacturer. This rating is used to classify large vehicles that operate on highways throughout the country. In most cases, trucks are considered light duty, medium duty, or heavy duty vehicles. The Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck understand the importance of GVWR and the effect that the classification may have on legal claims brought by truck accident victims. Our lawyers represent people injured in serious accidents, including collisions involving vehicles that have exceeded their recommended GVWR.

Truck Classifications and GVWRs May Affect Compensation for Accident Victims

Truck classification is set by the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The relationship between the rating and the classification is important because the rating determines specific rules that the trucking company and its drivers must follow. In personal injury claims following a truck accident, the GVWR may have been exceeded, for example, if the trucking company placed too heavy a load on the vehicle. In this case, it would be legally responsible for harm caused by this potentially negligent action. In essence, the GVWR is designed to make sure that trucks are not overloaded and too heavy to operate.

The dangers of exceeding the GVWR lie in the inability of the driver to maintain control over their vehicle. Since truck classification ranks trucks from smallest to largest, the assignment of GVWR makes clear the maximum weight that a truck should carry. This weight applies to a fueled truck, complete with cargo and passengers.

After a truck accident, a victim who shows evidence that a trucker or their employer carelessly or intentionally overloaded their truck may have a strong claim of negligence. When a driver’s conduct leads to a crash and resulting property damage and physical harm, that driver can be held accountable through a personal injury claim. To successfully show negligence, the accident victim would demonstrate that the defendant driver did not act with reasonable care. They must also show that this conduct directly led to the crash in which they were hurt.

In terms of negligence and the role of GVWR, it is notable that along the highway, there are weigh stations for trucks. Truck drivers must routinely weigh their cargo, ensuring that they meet the federal and state regulations that ensure that they are within the designated weight limit. A truck accident victim who presents evidence that the company or the truck driver committed an error in overloading the truck may entitle the victim to certain monetary damages associated with their injuries.

Damages in a truck accident lawsuit are intended to place victims in the position in which they would be had the accident not occurred. Not only does this address the devastating physical harm that accompanies truck collisions, but also accident victims may be entitled to costs for their emotional suffering and decreased quality of life. In some situations, punitive damages may be available as a form of punishment for intentional or grossly negligent conduct. Collecting damages for the full extent of physical and emotional suffering is important. Following a truck accident, due to the severe impact, victims often endure permanent physical disabilities. Documenting all of their medical care and future needs is a critical aspect of securing appropriate compensation, as is identifying all of the parties that can be sued after a crash.

Retain a Dedicated Trucking Injury Lawyer in the Chicago Area

At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, we focus on helping people hurt in large truck accidents in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Enforcing the legal right to recovery is an opportunity to recover compensation for harm associated with an accident. Our team of lawyers provides personal attention to every client, and we make it a priority to ensure that our clients are financially stable. To set up a free consultation with a skilled advocate, call our office at (800) 444-1525 or reach us online. We assist victims and families in Quincy, Champaign, Springfield, Aurora, Rockford, and other areas of Sangamon, Winnebago, Adams, Champaign, and Cook Counties.