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Overloaded, overweight, and oversized loads pose a risk to everyone on the road. Because they are heavier, they are more challenging to control and more difficult to stop—making them more likely to roll over, jackknife, or for the drier to lose control. These risks exist whether the oversized load is illegal or permitted, but permitted drivers of oversized loads often have the experience to help them navigate those challenges.

The presence of a permit will not prevent recovery in overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Pace. Instead, the factfinder will examine whether the size of the load contributed to the crash, as well as look for other evidence of negligence. If you have been injured in a truck accident, the team of seasoned attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can help you understand your legal options.

Load Limits for Heavy Commercial Vehicles

A combination of state and federal guidelines determines the size limits for trucks in Pace. 23 Code of Federal Regulations § 658.17 places an absolute limit of 80,000 pounds on any tractor-trailer combination. It also limits weight per axle, with a maximum single axle weight of 20,000 pounds and a tandem axle weight of 34,000 pounds. These maximums are the absolute limits. The federal government also uses a bridge weight formula that may dictate a lower maximum weight for a particular vehicle.

While an attorney handling a truck wreck may use that formula to establish that a truck was overloaded, truckers do not need to know that formula to comply with federal rules. Instead, they can look at the general guidelines in the same statute, which limits:

  • Gross vehicle weight to 80,000 pounds
  • Single axle weight to 20,000 pounds
  • Tandem axle weight to 34,000 pounds

Florida follows the same maximum weight guidelines as the federal government but will issue overweight permits for some loads. Even overweight loads have maximum amounts based on the number of axles. Additionally, the state restricts where overweight trucks can drive.

Excessive weight can contribute to an accident if a truck has a legally permitted overweight load or is illegally overloaded. If you believe an overloaded truck contributed to a truck accident in Pace, a lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can help.

Why Overloading Contributes to Truck Collisions

In addition to federal and state regulations, individual vehicles also have maximum load capacities. That applies to passenger vehicles as well as commercial vehicles. They can only handle so much weight. When the load exceeds that amount, it puts undue strain on the vehicle’s structure. In extreme instances, an overweight load could lead to frame damage or other structural damage, but it is much more likely to lead to a tire blowout.

When a tire blows out on a truck, it can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Trucks are also at risk when they have a blowout, but the heavier the truck is, the more likely a blowout will lead to a rollover, jackknife, or other loss of control that puts you in danger.

Overweight cargo is often improperly loaded cargo. Improper loading can lead to loss of cargo, increase the risk of rollovers, and even impact the truck’s maneuverability. In those instances, a third-party loading company may be responsible for damages in a Pace truck accident claim.

Damages Available Following an Overweight Crash

It is impossible to estimate damages based only on the type of accident. Damages make you whole after an injury by compensating you for economic loss and non-economic losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

A knowledgeable lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can provide an idea of settlement or financial award ranges after examining your injuries.

In addition to your injuries, our attorneys will also examine fault. Florida Statutes § 768.81 establishes that Florida is a modified comparative negligence state, which allows you to recover for injuries from overloaded truck wrecks in Pace, even if you contributed to the accident. Only people who are more than 50 percent responsible for a wreck are barred from recovery.

Talk to a Pace Attorney to Learn More About Your Legal Options Following Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accidents

Overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Pace can lead to significant injuries, pain and suffering, time away from work, and more. It is only fair that the responsible parties pay for those injuries. The dedicated legal team at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is here for you and ready to help you explore your potential remedies after an accident. Call now.