While navigating the roads of Evansville, Indiana you cannot help but notice massive dump trucks. Unfortunately, a dump truck driver may fail to notice you. If you or a loved one becomes involved in a dump truck accident, you deserve to know what moves to make. Protect your rights and your chances of fair compensation by learning why dump truck accidents happen, how to prove negligence and parties who could bear responsibilities for your injuries.
Common Reasons for Dump Truck Accidents
Just as car accidents happen for several reasons, the same applies to dump truck collisions. Knowing why an accident happened may help you understand which party bears fault and how to strengthen your legal case.
While transporting gravel, rock or anything similar that may fly into the air, dump trucks need proper tarps covering them to better ensure others’ safety. Loose rocks may become dangerous projectiles and hazards with enough speed. A damaged windshield could cause an avoidable accident.
Much like other large vehicles, dump trucks have large blind spots. Truck drivers may get too close to cars, and motorists may drift into a dump truck’s blind spot. Either way, inattention could make cars invisible to truck drivers, which may lead to a collision. Other than motorists, pedestrians could linger in a truck’s blind spot.
Like semi trucks, dump trucks need sufficient space to come to a full stop. When fully loaded, massive trucks need even more braking distance. Drivers may not give themselves sufficient distance and ram into other vehicles, pedestrians or bikers.
Before hitting the road, dump truck drivers should check their vehicles. Neglecting to perform a maintenance check or not performing a thorough inspection could leave problems unattended. Other than the truck itself, drivers may also need to check the cargo, its weight and its security straps. After a run, a driver may need to complete a post-trip inspection. Not informing a supervisor of issues could pave the way to disaster.
Steps To Take After Dump Truck Accidents
As with most legal matters, time becomes of the essence after a dump truck accident. Knowing exactly what to do in a collision’s aftermath gives you peace of mind and protects your right to fair compensation.
Call Paramedics and Police
Immediately after a dump truck accident, call paramedics to the scene if you or anyone else sustained injuries. Do not move others who look seriously injured and do not administer medical treatment without proper training. Other than first responders, call the police to the scene, so they may make a report. Get an official copy of the police report, so you may use it to support your legal case and insurance claim.
While waiting for the police or paramedics, do not discuss details of the accident with anyone else at the scene. You do not want to risk assuming the blame for another’s negligence, and you do not want to misspeak. Instead, trade insurance information with the dump truck driver and anyone else involved in the accident, but say nothing else.
Take Images of the Scene
Capture the accident by taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the dump truck, the company name on the truck, accident debris, damage to your vehicle’s interior, your injuries, the weather and nearby street signs and traffic signals. Try to take several pictures from several angles. Build your case by offering perspective and a sense of scale. The goal is to preserve as much of the accident through images as possible while you still have access to the evidence.
Collect Witness Statements
Other than images, witness verbal and written statements also paint a picture of the many elements involved in a dump truck collision. Ask nearby witnesses what they saw, making sure you get their contact information in case you or your legal representative have more questions.
Have a Doctor Examine You
No matter how fine you feel after an accident, let a doctor look you over. You could have delayed injuries that may not manifest until days or weeks later. Adrenaline flooding your system could dull pain and harm, masking injuries until later. If you tell insurance adjusters you did not suffer cuts, bruises, broken bones or similar dump truck accident injuries, they may grow suspicious if you later tell them you sustained injuries, which may harm your chances of recovering a fair settlement.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
If you go to the doctor and learn you injured yourself, follow everything your doctor tells you. Take all prescriptions you feel comfortable with, follow through with all physical therapy or rehabilitation treatments and adhere to physical restrictions while recovering. Insurance companies look for any reason to deny offering a claim’s full worth. Skipping appointments or overexerting yourself gives companies the ammo they need to deny your claim or offer an unfair settlement.
Common At-Fault Parties in Dump Truck Accidents
After an accident, you deserve to know all parties responsible for the harm you suffered. In dump truck accidents, drivers may be at fault if they did not follow the rules of the road or drove distracted. The person who loaded the truck could bear negligence if the driver lost control because the truck bore too much weight. States and counties must keep local roads in proper condition by maintaining roads regularly. When they do not, potholes, cracks in the road and similar damage may trigger accidents. Road construction companies must set up safe work zones to keep vehicles, drivers, bikers and pedestrians safe from avoidable harm. Dump truck companies must look into a driver’s background before hiring her or him. Employing applicants with poor driving records or failing to train drivers fully could pave the way to dump truck accidents.
Proving Fault After Dump Truck Accidents
Before holding the truck driver, trucking company or anyone else liable for the harm you suffered, you must establish negligence first. Establishing negligence involves four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages.
Drivers owe each other a duty of care, and they also owe a duty to pedestrians and bikers. Other than the defendant’s and plaintiff’s relationship creating a duty of care, defendants may also owe the plaintiff a duty to act with care in specific situations, such as while driving.
Breach of Duty
After establishing duty, you must prove how the defendant breached her or his duty by taking actions a “reasonably prudent person” would not. “Reasonably prudent person” refers to the legal standard that symbolizes how an average individual would respond in specific scenarios.
You and your legal advocate may work together to prove how the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injury. Even if a truck driver or trucking company bears guilt for acting negligently, you may only recover damages if you show how that negligence contributed to your harm.
For the damages element of establishing fault, a judge or jury financially compensates the injured party.
Contact a Legal Representative Today
Leave no legal stone unturned if you sustained harm in a dump truck accident recently. Hensley Legal Group, an award-winning law firm, has the resources and dedication you deserve. Learn more about your case and legal rights by scheduling a free case review. Contact a knowledgeable representative by calling 317-472-3333 or submitting an online form.