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Does the State of Florida Address Accidents Caused by Cargo Overload?

— July 18, 2022

The statute of limitations for a personal injury truck accident claim in Florida is four years.

Truck accident victims should be aware of the responsibility of a trucking company regarding proper safety protocols surrounding loading and securing tractor-trailers that spend long hours in traffic with passenger vehicles who are significantly smaller than a big rig. A tractor trailer’s size coupled with overloaded cargo weight can enhance the possibility of catastrophic damages when an accident occurs due to cargo shift causing imbalances and hazardous driving situations for truckers and other roadway commuters in St. Petersburg.

Cargo overload danger

  • Rollover crashes easily occur if cargo shifts.
  • Overloaded cargo can cause tractor trailers to increase downhill speed making  it difficult for truck drivers  to apply brakes effectively.
  • When cargo shifts because of weight a driver may have difficulty steering a big rig and danger is increased when they are not traveling along a smooth surface roadway.
  • Dangers to roadway and bridges causing collapse.
  • Tires can blowout causing drivers to lose control of a big rig.

The state of Florida developed Florida’s Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) Weight Enforcement program is to protect highway system pavement and structures (bridges) from excessive damage due to overweight vehicles. Florida’s weight limits were established to prevent heavy trucks from causing unreasonable damage to highway systems and thereby protect the public’s investment in these roadways. Accident victims who have suffered loss due to roadway damage caused by a big rig should consult with St. Petersburg truck accident lawyers to determine actions toward damage compensation.  

Damage recovery

St. Petersburg accident lawyers can assist victims as they file a personal injury claim in Florida, but under Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law, costs incurred due to an accident will be paid primarily from a claim against the injured person’s own insurance company to cover non-serious injuries. The Florida No-Fault Law requires drivers to carry PIP to pay the insured’s bills, regardless of fault, up to the limit of the $10,000. Extensive personal injuries, property damage and wrongful death often result from accidents involving tractor trailers due to their increased size and weight over that of a passenger vehicle and could meet the severe injury threshold requirement, impacting monetary settlements between parties. 

Pure comparative Negligence (51% Rule)

Lady Justice; image by Ezequiel_Octaviano, via
Lady Justice; image by Ezequiel_Octaviano, via

Florida follows the “pure comparative negligence rule” meaning that if victims are responsible for any part of the activities that led to injury and loss, the compensation they will receive will be adjusted in accordance with that percentage of fault assigned. 

Statute of limitations

The statute of limitations for a personal injury truck accident claim in Florida is four (4) years, so the paperwork needs to be initiated before this time has passed. This means if a driver, passenger, or passerby is injured or sustains property damage at the hands of a negligent driver, the victim must file a lawsuit within the four (4) year period following the accident.

Hire a truck accident lawyer

Experienced attorneys will review cases and assist with the burden of collecting and analyzing the data related to a truck accident to see if a legal action is required. In a case where cargo overload shift or related roadway damage causes an accident due to big rig violations, the company and the driver may share some responsibility unless it is found the mechanical malfunction was to blame, then an additional party, the truck manufacturer may be a party to the claim for damages as well. 


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