How the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop Could Help You Overcome the Odds After an Iowa Large Truck Accident

Any accident involving an oversized semi-truck could easily end in catastrophe. 

For survivors, the recovery costs often seem immense—and far too high for most Iowa families to pay without risking financial ruin. However, you may not need to bear your burden alone. If you have been injured in a  that was not your fault, the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop could help you make a compelling case for compensation. 

Read more to learn about wide load and oversized freight semi-truck accidents, or contact us today to find out how our truck accident lawyer could help you begin rebuilding your life. 

An Overview of Oversize and Wide Semi-Truck Loads

Semi-trucks traveling within or across Iowa are bound by strict rules and regulations. These rules, which are based on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s standards for the interstate trucking industry, are primarily intended to protect the public by ensuring that commercial vehicles are maintained and operated with the utmost care. 

The Iowa Department of Transportation, for instance, requires a permit for semi-trucks on public roadways if they have: 

  • A width of more than 8 feet and 6 inches. 
  • A height of more than 13 feet and 6 inches. 
  • A length of 53 feet for most types of trailers. 
  • A weight of 80,000 pounds for a tractor, trailer, and cargo. 

If a semi-truck has a height, width, or length greater than these dimensions—or it is carrying a load that causes it to exceed any of these limits—then the Iowa Department of Transportation will consider the vehicle or its load to be “wide,” “oversize,” or “overdimensional.”  

The Difference Between Oversize Loads and Wide Loads 

An overdimensional semi-truck can only travel on public roadways if its owner applies for a special permit. The requirements for receiving a permit depend on many factors, including the size of the tractor-trailer and the measurements of the cargo it is carrying. 

The two most common types of overdimensional loads are: 

  • Wide loads. A wide load is any type of cargo that exceeds the standard trailer width of 8 feet and 6 inches. 
  • Oversized loads. An oversized load is a general term for any type of cargo that causes a semi-truck to exceed Iowa’s height, width, length, or weight limits. 

Aside from obtaining a permit, the owner or operator of a standard-sized semi-truck carrying an overdimensional load might also need to meet other requirements, like placing warning signs and flags on cargo or hiring a vehicle escort service. 

The Dangers of Large and Heavy Cargo

Even if a semi-truck driver is highly qualified and has years of experience hauling large freight, oversized cargo and wide loads pose a real risk to other motorists. This is because: 

  • Semi-truck drivers may have to adjust their speed and turn radius to keep cargo secure, making it difficult for them to negotiate corners and navigate intersections. 
  • Freight that is very tall or very wide can collide with overhead and roadside obstacles, like bridges and guardrails, and can make it harder for other drivers to see potential hazards ahead of the semi-truck. 
  • Overdimensional cargo can change how a semi-truck handles in very unexpected ways. If the cargo shipper is anything less than extremely cautious when loading the trailer, the load could shift, increasing the chances of the vehicle rolling over and freight falling off the side.  

Fighting for Your Rights After an Oversize Truck or Wide Load Semi-Truck Accident

Although no amount of money can compensate for a critical injury or life-altering disability, the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, PC, LLO, could help you obtain the resources you need to reclaim your independence. Our highly experienced legal team could protect your rights to a fair recovery by: 

Investigating the Causes of Your Accident 

Semi-truck accidents can be much more complex than collisions between passenger cars. 

We could help you establish the causes of your accident by: 

  • Sending a spoliation letter to prevent the destruction of evidence.
  • Collecting and analyzing evidence from the crash site
  • Consulting expert witnesses to reconstruct the accident and understand its underlying causes. 
  • Obtaining critical information about the operator’s driving history, the trucking company’s safety record, and the shipper’s standard practices. 

Assessing Your Damages 

The Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop could assess your damages to ensure that your settlement includes the compensation you deserve—and not the bare minimum an insurance company thinks it can get away with paying. 

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you could be entitled to compensation for damages including: 

  • Your existing hospital bills
  • Your future medical expenses
  • Physical rehabilitation 
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Lost income from work
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Disfigurement

Negotiating a Settlement, or Taking Your Case to Court

Trying to take on the multibillion-dollar trucking industry alone could quickly prove overwhelming. Even the smallest logistics companies are almost always backed up by big insurance agencies that have their own lawyers and every incentive to keep your settlement as small as possible. 

In the years that Matthew A. Lathrop has spent practicing law, he has seen—time and time again—how insurance companies that refuse to negotiate with accident victims change their tune when survivors bring in an experienced Iowa semi-truck accident lawyer.  

You don’t have to accept excuses in place of a fair recovery: we know what it takes to secure the compensation you need—and we have the results to prove it

Matthew (Matt) Lathrop
Experienced injury lawyer serving accident victims in Nebraska and Omaha. Expert in focus group trial prep.
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