What type of injury have you suffered?

Car Accident

  • Car Accident
  • Head Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Truck Accident
  • Wrongful Death
Select
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 24/7

(877) 880-4090

MENU

ESPAÑOL

GET STARTED TODAY
Scroll Down

Dump Truck Accident Lawyer

At Fielding Law, we empathize that getting into a truck accident was not your choice, that the pain and suffering you are experiencing may have been the result of negligence and wrongdoing. You may feel distraught, and rightly so, but our attorneys want you to understand that you are not powerless.

The legal decisions you make now can help you reclaim your life. You could qualify for significant compensation for your losses so you can recover faster and more effectively. Yet, how do you know what your options are?

Let us empower you. Fielding Law has years of experience personalizing solutions for our clients. Call (877) 880-4090 for a free comprehensive case analysis. 

Examining the Facts: Crash Statistics

Large trucks seemed to play a leading role in many accidents in 2019. That year, 33 percent of fatal work zone crashes involve at least 1 large truck. Meanwhile, in 82 percent of all large truck accident fatalities, the deceased victim was not an occupant of the truck.

In other words, large trucks cause more deaths than other motor vehicles. Truckers are rarely the victim. Instead, other motorists, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are more likely to be injured or killed.

The Dangers Posed by Dump Trucks

Dump trucks account for some of the most catastrophic traffic accidents. Why? Consider the following factors.

Weight

Empty dump trucks weigh about 14 tons (28,000 pounds). An average dump truck can weigh twice this amount when loaded, and the largest varieties weigh about 400 tons.  

Cargo 

Dump trucks deliver a variety of materials. Production trucks transport construction materials (e.g. sand, gravel, dirt) to and from building sites, while others carry waste to landfills. In a crash, the weight and composition of vehicle content can increase the crash’s impact.    

Overloading should be avoided at all costs, and good loaders understand how to place items so they stay in place inside of the dump trailer for the entire ride. The contents should not shift in transit since this could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.  

Truck characteristics

Truck designs vary, but standard components are:

  • Flatbeds: A flat metal structure that holds the dump box
  • Dump boxes: A open container to hold cargo being transported, usually with a tailgate that opens automatically during dumps
  • Dumping mechanisms: A hydraulic-powered mechanism used to lift and discharge the contents of the dump box
  • Combustion engines: An internal engine powered by gasoline or diesel fuel that produces energy and heat 

Specific characteristics of dump trucks, including moving parts, shiftable cargo, and combustible materials, make them a potential hazard. Responsible trucking companies do everything they can to make dump trucks as safe as possible for their operators and those who share the road with them.

  • For example, regular maintenance and necessary repairs should be performed. Maintenance staff should pay special attention to the listed parts, checking:
  • Batteries for corrosion, loose connections, and charge levels
  • Tires for worn tread, proper air pressure levels, cracks, or gouges in sidewalls
  • Hydraulics for issues lifting and lowering 
  • Fluids, lights, and other controls for safe operation

Improper maintenance or defective parts could lead to accidents. A lawyer can determine whether the trucking company fulfilled its duty or if negligence contributed to your accident.

Road conditions

A dump truck accident attorney can evaluate the location of the accident for dangerous conditions, namely:

  • Missing barriers or guardrails
  • Misleading or missing signs
  • Slippery surfaces (e.g. ice, snow, mud)
  • Uneven pavement
  • Faded lines
  • Narrow shoulders
  • Potholes or wheel ruts
  • Poor road design
  • Lack of lighting
  • Confusing work areas

Experienced truckers should know how to navigate challenging roads. Yet, unsafe roads could make a traffic accident more likely to occur. 

The Connection Between Human Error and Accidents

Keeping drivers and other motorists safe is not an easy task. Trucking companies and their drivers are accountable for various factors. Mistakes like those described below could cause severe injuries and property damage.

Hiring and training

When a trucking business hires an employee, the person should possess the qualifications to do the job well. For instance, truckers must hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), have reasonably clean driving records, and be able to pass drug and health screenings. 

Companies provide training so workers can perform vital duties, including:

  • Performing inspections in compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements before and after each trip
  • Attaching and removing dump trailers
  • Loading and unloading supplies, materials, and equipment correctly
  • Covering loads when necessary
  • Reporting service or mechanical issues to the supervisor on duty
  • Driving according to traffic laws and safety rules

Trucking companies must also train workers to perform duties and handle potential hazards. Improperly trained operators should not be allowed to operate a dump truck.

Drowsy driving

In 2017, drowsy driving led to at least 50,000 injuries in the United States. Tired drivers are at risk of falling asleep, and even a few seconds is enough time for a dump truck to collide with another vehicle. 

Long shifts, excessive overtime, and early morning and late-night driving can put truckers at risk of fatigue. Sleep disorders and certain medications also cause drowsiness.

Even if a trucker doesn’t fall asleep, he or she could be experiencing mental impairment that is “similar to drunkenness.” Research reveals that sleep-deprived drivers perform at a level equating to a blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeding the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Commercial drivers should maintain a BAC under 0.04 according to most state laws.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Alcohol is the most frequently identified substance that contributes to road traffic accidents. Studies reveal that even BAC levels between 0.1 and 0.2 impair eye movement control and a driver’s ability to focus on essential driving tasks. 

Many drugs, such as the following, have “a relevant impact on drivers’ health and safety, increasing the risk of injuries and traffic accidents”:

  • Amphetamines: Psychotic symptoms, violent behavior, suicidal tendencies, impaired auditory and visual perception
  • Cannabis: Cognitive and psychomotor impairment, sedation, psychosis, memory and attention problems
  • Opioids: Fatigue, sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, mental clouding
  • Cocaine: Increased readiness to take unnecessary risks, visuospatial perception, poor concentration
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medicine: Poor judgment, reduced coordination, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, shakiness

Other medicines do not cause impairment on their own but pose serious risks when combined with other drugs or alcohol. 

Speeding and other reckless practices 

Due to its weight and size, a speeding dump truck can do incredible damage in an accident, especially if speeding or recklessness was involved. In 2020, speeding was one of the main components of most collisions. 

Additional risky behaviors include:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Following too closely
  • Changing lanes without signaling 
  • Illegal driving on the shoulder, median, sidewalk, or in a ditch
  • Passing in a no-pass zone
  • Suddenly changing speeds
  • Driving too fast for weather conditions
  • Failing to yield right of way
  • Ignoring traffic signs or signals
  • Making an improper turn

Fielding Law Has What You Need

Did someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence cause harm to you or a loved one? You might be eligible to collect life-changing compensation. Yet, accident-related medical expenses and lost wages amount to more than $55 billion per year.

Profit-hungry insurers do not want to be responsible for covering these costs. Though insurance companies might make it as difficult as possible to get the compensation you are due, you do not have to battle them alone.

Click “Start Chat” below or call (877) 880-4090 to learn how our trustworthy lawyers protect the rights of accident victims. Talking to the Fielding Law team could be the best choice you make today.