Dump trucks perform valuable services for businesses and municipalities. Regrettably, mishaps can occur while these vehicles are on the road, and the results can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one is coping with the aftermath of a dump truck accident, learn how a lawyer can help you to recover.
How Common Are Dump Truck Accidents?
Fortunately, accidents with large trucks are less frequent than other types of crashes. The most common dump truck collisions are minor incidents. However, even smaller issues, such as a rock cracking a windshield or debris flying off a truck, may be enough for a case against a driver or company that owns the vehicle.
When serious large truck accidents do occur, they can be more deadly. Recent data shows that 68% of deaths from these events were passenger vehicle occupants, and 16% were motorcyclists, pedestrians or bicyclists.
Over the previous decade, large trucks have seen a 33% increase in fatal crashes, including commercial and noncommercial vehicles. The danger is of particular note locally, as California has the second-highest number of deaths from these collisions.
What Causes Dump Truck Accidents?
Dump truck accidents result from various causes, so motorists should understand the following reasons to be cautious when sharing the road with these sizable vehicles.
Driver error is the main reason behind most accidents. Passengers may follow too closely or make erratic maneuvers to pass a truck, leading to an accident. At times, commercial drivers may be new or inattentive, leading to mistakes.
Overworked and tired drivers are practically as dangerous as those driving under the influence. With many companies struggling to staff their teams, organizations might hire drivers that do not qualify. Other businesses may not train their truckers adequately, increasing the odds of an accident. If drivers work extra shifts, fatigue and exhaustion may lead to wrecks.
Additionally, drivers must pass regular drug tests. If a company does not follow regulations, a person with a substance abuse disorder may secure a job and become a danger to others on the road.
Flying debris or cargo can lead to scratches and dents. However, items falling onto the road can also create fatal hazards. Even if the object does not hit and damage another vehicle, a motorist swerving to avoid an errant item may lead to a terrible pileup.
Trucks may tip over due to overloading. Commercial vehicles have weight limits, and if a company does not adhere to these restrictions, a dump truck could tip over during a turn. Overloading also makes it more difficult for a driver to stop or steer a truck, which could lead to an accident.
Road conditions could also cause a dump truck accident. A driver must operate the vehicle safely in the environment or risk a crash. However, if poor maintenance or inadequate warnings were the reason for the incident, an injured person may be able to bring a case against Caltrans or whatever municipality or entity is responsible for road maintenance.
When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Dump Truck Accident?
Initial consultations with our firm are free, so it never hurts to discuss your case. It is usually optimal to contact a dump truck lawyer as soon as you can safely do so.
After an accident, focus first on getting appropriate medical treatment and alerting the authorities about the collision. Remember to exchange information with the other motorists who were parties to the crash.
Also, you must contact your insurance company, but only provide the necessary details about the crash. Do not say anything that someone could construe as an apology or that might make it appear that the accident was your fault.
If a dump truck accident lawyer can take your case, the professional can represent you to insurers and authorities to protect you from innocent mistakes and preserve your chances of full compensation.
How Can a Dump Truck Accident Lawyer Help You?
A dump truck accident lawyer helps you investigate your case and discover who has responsibility for your injuries. In many instances, large corporations own dump trucks and must carry significant insurance policies to cover accidents.
However, a company will not always acquiesce and grant fair compensation quickly. Accepting guilt can lead to higher insurance bills and poor public relations, so the business that owns the truck may fight against paying out benefits.
Additionally, drivers usually don’t want to lose their jobs and may face the temptation to bend the truth. Lawyers have training that makes them skilled at interviewing witnesses and parties to the accident to discover valuable evidence.
Your lawyer also helps you avoid accepting a lowball offer from the insurance company. If your case must go to trial, you can rely on competent representation against a defendant with a legal team.
Who Pays for the Dump Truck Accident?
California is a pure comparative negligence state. This statute means you can recover damages for an accident even if you are partially or primarily to blame for the event.
For example, suppose the facts demonstrate that you are 20% at fault for the accident. If your damages total $50,000, your final award reduces to $40,000. While you did not get the full amount, pursuing a claim helps you make up for a portion of your expenses.
How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?
Just as no two accidents are alike, no two settlements are identical. The amount of compensation will depend on the facts of the case.
In our experience at Johnson Attorneys Group, a dump truck case with serious injuries could reach settlements or awards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In one case where a cement truck hydroplaned during a rainstorm, we recovered $200,000 in damages on behalf of a client who received neck and back injuries.
Another case involved a large truck that failed to slow down and collided with a vehicle, leading to a nearly $900,000 settlement. A $1 million victory was the settlement for another client who suffered a brain injury after a large truck struck the client’s vehicle.
While we cannot guarantee that your case will bring the same amount, a free consultation with our firm can let you know your options.
What Types of Injuries Do People Often Suffer After a Dump Truck Accident?
Dump truck accidents can cause terrible injuries or death because these machines significantly eclipse the size of passenger vehicles. Usually, a dump truck is anywhere from 10 to 400 tons. Compare that to the average car or pickup truck, which weighs no more than three tons.
A dump truck accident victim may deal with catastrophic injuries with high medical costs. An injured person may deal with:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Paralysis or spinal cord damage
- Back and neck problems
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and burns
After a harrowing event with a large truck, a person could also deal with psychological trauma. These emotional injuries could impede a person’s quality of life and ability to secure gainful employment. The at-fault parties in a dump truck accident must compensate for all such harm.
Which Firm Should You Call To Help With Your Dump Truck Accident Case?
Your life may never be the same after a dump truck accident. When you go to fight for compensation, you need a legal team you can trust.
Contact Johnson Attorneys Group for help. We’re standing by to assist anyone throughout California. We can help you determine how to start recovering with our free, no-obligation consultation.