Trucks that carry improperly loaded or overweight cargo pose a significant danger to others on the road. Tractor-trailers are already difficult to maneuver, and transporting more than what is permitted under state and federal law can make driving these vehicles even more challenging.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies urge drivers to carry extra cargo in order to meet certain financial goals. As a result, accidents are likely to happen. If you experienced a collision with a tractor-trailer, our skilled accident attorneys can help you determine whether overweight or improperly loaded cargo played a role in the crash. Get in touch with Hancock Injury Attorneys today to speak with our lawyers about taking legal action after an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Tampa.
What Are the Dangers of Operating an Overweight Truck?
According to federal law, a truck’s weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds while fully loaded. Driving an overweight vehicle is not only illegal, but it can put everyone on the road at risk.
Overloaded trucks will travel faster when going downhill. Additionally, the excess weight puts increased stress on the truck’s brakes and tires. This can lead to higher forces of momentum and result in a delay in the time it takes to come to a complete stop.
The pressure on the truck’s parts may even cause a mechanical failure. A seasoned lawyer in Tampa can explain all the relevant federal regulations in your case and help you understand the dangers of operating an overweight or overloaded truck.
The Risks of Driving With Improperly Loaded Cargo
Improperly loaded cargo can cause just as many issues as overweight cargo. The truck can become unbalanced when the freight is not evenly distributed throughout the trailer, especially during sharp turns. This can make the tractor-trailer more likely to roll over or jackknife
Additionally, cargo that is not secured correctly can shift in the trailer during transit or even spill out onto the road. This can be particularly dangerous if the truck is transporting toxic or flammable substances. Our legal team is ready to fight for your right to compensation if your truck accident was caused by improperly loaded cargo.
Who May Be Liable for an Overloaded Truck Crash in Tampa?
After a tractor-trailer collision, you may assume that the truck operator is the only liable party. While the driver is often primarily responsible, there are several other parties that may bear fault for an accident. It is important to hire a lawyer who can thoroughly investigate your overweight tractor-trailer accident to identify all the potentially negligent parties, such as:
- The trucking company
- The supplier
- The loading dock team
- The vehicle manufacturer
Speak with our attorneys to discuss who may be responsible for your crash.
No-Fault Insurance After a Truck Accident
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is the no-fault insurance that is required for all state-licensed drivers. The PIP system can be confusing, but it is important to understand how it affects you after an accident.
If you are injured in a vehicle collision, you will first be covered by your own PIP insurance up to the policy limit, regardless of who is liable for the accident. However, if those benefits do not fully address your losses, our lawyers can help you file a lawsuit against the responsible party for additional compensation.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit?
It is crucial to act quickly after an overloaded truck collision, as there is a time limit for seeking compensation in Tampa. Under Title VIII Florida Statutes § 95.11(3), you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Missing the deadline can be detrimental to your legal case. Fortunately, our lawyers can work diligently to file your claim on time.
Benefits of Hiring Our Tampa Overweight Truck Accident Attorneys
The dangers of driving an overloaded truck are clear, and regulations have been put in place to limit crashes caused by overweight cargo. Unfortunately, these collisions still happen, causing significant harm to everyone involved.
If you were injured in an overloaded/overweight truck accident in Tampa, Hancock Injury Attorneys can help you fight for justice. Attorney Mike Hancock and our team can conduct a thorough investigation of your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a case against the negligent parties on your behalf. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.