It is not always true that companies will cut corners to save a dollar. However, this is true in some cases involving semi-trucks, trailers, or personal trucks/cars. You—like many Clearwater residents—have likely seen overloaded vehicles on the road.

You probably felt a sense of fear as you drove behind a vehicle with materials stacked to the top and held in place by barely a few harnesses. You hoped that these items would not unload on your vehicle. You exhaled as you merged into the other lane away from the massive truck. Unfortunately, with the sheer number of overweight vehicles on the road, you never know when the materials being carried might fall onto the road or a vehicle might flip over.

When you or a loved one are involved in an overload/overweight truck accident in Clearwater, you should reach out to a dedicated and trusted law firm. At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our team of seasoned tractor-trailer crash lawyers have experience handling these types of claims and could help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

Collisions May be Caused by Commercial or Personal Vehicles

Both individuals and companies can overfill vehicles to save costs. Drivers, movers, or co-workers might not stap down the items correctly or fail to tuck in a tarp.

Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks are one of the primary sources of transporting local, imported, and exported goods between states. When they are carrying more than 80,000 pounds, they are prone to rollover and cause unloading accidents. Trailers carrying farming equipment, hay, and livestock are prone to the same type of collisions. A Clearwater overloaded truck wreck attorney at our firm could provide more information if you were involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle through no fault of your own.

Personal Vehicles

Sometimes, negligent movers overfill moving vehicles or personal trucks. This can be dangerous for both the driver and other drivers on the road. The vehicle’s view could be blocked, which could cause a collision. The vehicle could tip over, hitting another vehicle, or the moving items could fall into the road and cause another vehicle to crash.

Our skilled lawyers could help individuals and families recover damages from negligent drivers and trucking companies through settlement negotiations or direct claims with the insurance provider.

Weigh-in Stations and Negligent Commercial Truck Drivers

Before commercial trucks enter a new state, they typically have to go through weigh-in stations. The vehicle is weighed and inspected in these locations to ensure it is not over 80,000 pounds. Sometimes, over-capacity drivers are given a warning and allowed to continue to their destination.

This can pose a risk to other drivers on the road. Other times, semi-truck drivers are tired from driving long hours or are distracted by their phones. Both of these are forms of distracted driving and could lead to:

  • Cargo crashes
  • Back-end wrecks
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rollover accidents

Any of these accidents can cause severe and life-threatening injuries. A Clearwater overloaded/overweight truck accident lawyer could help individuals and families pursue legal action against a negligent trucking company, driver, or evasive insurance company.

What Causes Overloaded Truck Wrecks?

Understanding why overweight trucks are more likely to wreck means understanding fundamental physics. The weight limit for any vehicle—including passenger vehicles—depends on the maximum amount the vehicle can safely carry or haul. Determining safety depends on the vehicle’s structure and function.

Bending or Braking of the Frame

Some people believe that an overloaded truck will bend or break a vehicle’s frame. While that is potentially possible, it is unlikely that the frame would break before other components, especially in a passenger vehicle. In a tractor-trailer, where safety depends on the truck’s connection to the trailer, an overweight vehicle could break a connection. It could lead to an out-of-control trailer or a potential jackknife accident.

Tire Blowouts

It is much more likely that an overweight truck will impact the integrity of the tires. Truck tires are not identical to passenger vehicle tires—their steel banding is heavier, and with good maintenance, they can be retread multiple times. Yet—no matter how sturdy they are—tires are still air-filled rubber. Their weight ratings determine how much weight they can handle. When overloaded, a tire can blow out. It is rare for multiple blowouts to happen, but when one tire has a blowout on an overloaded vehicle, it puts the others at risk. Plus, any blowout increases the chances the trucker will lose control of the truck or even experience a rollover.


Speed control is another critical issue for overweight trucks. The stopping distance of a fully loaded tractor-trailer going 65 miles per hour is about 525 feet. The heavier the truck, the longer the stopping distance. A trucker with an overweight vehicle may underestimate the required stopping distance and lose control. Plus, just like the vehicle’s other components, the brake system has system limits—a truck may lose its braking ability if the load is too heavy. A runaway truck is rare on flatter roads but is always possible.

Spilled Cargo

Overweight cargo is improperly loaded cargo. While being too heavy, on its own may not increase the risk of a spill, having loaders who ignore weight limits makes it more likely that they skip other necessary safety steps as well. It should come as no surprise, then, that spilled cargo is a risk accompanying overweight loads. Spilled cargo causes a direct threat to other drivers. The cargo can hit vehicles, directly leading to overloaded or overweight truck collisions in Clearwater. It can also indirectly lead to accidents, such as when drivers collide with cargo or have accidents in an attempt to avoid that cargo.

It is essential to understand that overloading a truck does not just add weight to the vehicle—it also changes the center of gravity for the tractor-trailer. The truck’s design is meant not just for a specific weight but also for a particular weight distribution. Additionally, the trucker is trained and familiar with capacity loads, not overweight loads. It is easy to over or understeer overweight loads, which can lead to loss of vehicle control, sideswiping vehicles, failure to maintain a lane, and even a potential of tipping and rollover accidents.

Who Is Responsible if a Truck Is Overloaded?

Truckers are responsible for complying with all state and federal trucking laws. They are always at least partially responsible for a Clearwater overweight vehicle accident. They should weigh their trucks before leaving the cargo facility and reduce cargo weight if overweight.

However, other parties may share liability for overweight loads. The first is the trucking company. They establish the policies and procedures for their drivers, which should include training to ensure that loads are safe. Some companies may ignore those policies to maximize profits; any unsafe practices could lead to potential liability.

The second is the loading company. They should ensure that loads are safe, properly distributed, and at or under the maximum weight capacity. Unsafe loading practices can contribute to accidents in many ways.

Other third parties can also share liability. If the trucking company contracts out maintenance or training services, those parties may be liable for an accident as well.

How Is Liability Determined?

Deciding who has financial responsibility for the accident starts with determining who has factual responsibility. Multiple parties often contribute to a wreck, so determining liability may mean determining the share of liability.

A Clearwater overloaded/overweight semi-truck crash attorney may try to reconstruct an accident to determine fault. This may involve collecting evidence like:

  • Driver logs
  • Police reports
  • Witness information
  • Trucking company records
  • Photos and videos of the scene

The first question they address is whether the trucker or another vehicle was at fault. If the trucker was responsible, they must examine whether any potential third parties contributed to that negligence.

Injuries and Compensation in Overloaded/Overweight Truck Crashes

A person can receive monetary compensation for the injuries they experience in a crash with an overloaded or overweight tractor-trailer in Clearwater. This can be through worker compensation benefits, money paid in a personal injury lawsuit, or insurance payments. Drivers in Florida are required to add personal protection injury (PPI) coverage to auto insurance plans, which provides roughly $10,000 for hospital bills and a disabling condition, as well as five thousand $5,000 in survivorship benefits (Fla. Stat. § 627.736).

For lawsuit purposes, Florida is a modified comparative negligence state. A person can recover even if they share responsibility for an accident, but any party more than 50 percent at fault may not recover any damages under Fla. Stat. § 768.81. As a result, determining fault is essential to securing comprehensive recovery.

Speak With a Clearwater Attorney After an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident

Overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Clearwater are often complicated cases that involve extensive investigation and evidence collection to establish liability. Attempting to handle this type of complex legal claim on your own is the last thing you should be worried about when you are still recovering from your crash. Our experienced team of lawyers could handle the entire legal process for you.

Contact Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultaiton. We look forward to helping you receive just and fair compensation for your injuries.

Perenich Law injury Attorneys

Perenich Law injury Attorneys N/a
25749 US Hwy 19 N
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(727) 669-2828