importing vertex weights


I’m trying to import a collada scene I got from 3ds max (using colladamax) into my renderer. I have a mesh class with several surfaces, each with a material and some arrays (vertices, indices, normals, etc). I used the <triangles> blocks to create the surfaces.
I also have a vertex weight array, but I see that the weights are outside the <mesh>, but they seem to reference the vertices from the mesh. My question is: do they reference the vertex of each triangle? In that case, what happens if I have more than one <triangles> block, or a <polygons> block too?
If not, I see there’s a <vertices> block inside the mesh, do the weights reference that? (is that unique?)

Also, are there any code examples I could see that do something similar? (I’m not using the c++ collada library tho)