Depending on how often you drive and where you go, you may not see many dump trucks while on the road in the Lafayette area. When you come across a dump truck, you cannot miss it because of its massive size. Its size and rarity may make dump truck collisions especially dangerous and confusing for accident victims. Navigating a dump truck accident claim requires unique knowledge and help from an experienced legal representative.
Dangers of Dump Truck Accidents
When motorists become entangled in dump truck collisions, the smaller vehicle often suffers the most. Usually, motor vehicles either become crushed or break up after colliding with a dump truck. Unlike a fender bender with a slow-moving automobile, dump truck collisions may cause severe injuries, even fatalities. Because of a dump truck’s height, a car could slide underneath the titanic vehicle, which may cause serious harm. With so much at stake, dump truck accident victims cannot afford to take chances with their rights or the compensation they deserve to recover from the accident.
Common Reasons for Dump Truck Accidents
Drivers who get into accidents with dump trucks deserve to understand why such incidents happen at all. Understanding the causes helps to establish fault, an essential factor in building a strong personal injury case.
Much like semi-trucks, dump trucks have sizable blind spots. Because some drivers may not share the road with dump trucks often, they may not realize where blind spots are. Some dump truck drivers may not check their blind spots well before changing lanes or turning. Either way, unknowingly driving in a blind spot could cause an accident.
By design, dump trucks carry substantial loads. Combined with the vehicle’s weight, if a dump truck tips over, its weight and load could cause considerable damage to surroundings, pedestrians, bikers, motorists and passengers. Depending on the truck’s design, the heavy load could spill onto cars in the rear or vehicles along the side.
Other than driver error, another reason a dump truck may lose its load is because of a mechanical failure. Under those circumstances, the fault could lie with a manufacturer rather than the driver. Then again, multiple parties could bear the blame for a single dump truck accident.
Dump truck drivers must exercise great caution while backing up. Not looking behind them while reversing a truck or backing up accidentally may trigger a collision.
Sometimes, dump truck or dump truck equipment manufacturers release faulty products. Truck drivers or construction workers may use defective products unknowingly and cause an accident.
Certain weather makes driving conditions hazardous for everyone on the road, no matter the vehicle type or size. For dump trucks, ice or snow or rain could make it difficult to keep the substantial vehicles under control. Without proper training or visibility, a truck may easily skid out of control or tip over and cause an accident.
Steps To Take After Dump Truck Accidents
Understanding what to do after a dump truck accident becomes as vital as understanding how accidents happen. As with any accident, victims must check themselves for injuries before checking passengers and others involved in the collision. If necessary, call 911 to the scene. If anyone appears seriously injured, do not move the person or administer medical treatment you do not feel qualified to provide. You do not want to do more harm than good.
While waiting for first responders, call law enforcement to the scene. A police report could become a vital piece of evidence in a personal injury case, and you may need it for your insurance claim. Do not admit blame for the accident or say anything about what you did immediately before the collision. You do not want to risk saying the wrong thing to the wrong person or taking responsibility for another’s negligence. Let the police, insurance adjusters and legal professionals piece together what happened.
Rather than speculate about what happened, take pictures of the accident scene. Specifically, snap plenty of images of the damage all vehicles sustained during the collision, injuries you sustained, weather, nearby street signs and traffic lights, the company name on the truck, nearby skid marks and debris remaining from the accident. Gather insurance and contact information from the dump truck driver, and get witness statements, too.
Even if you feel fine after a dump truck accident, have a doctor look you over as soon as possible. You may have delayed injury symptoms that do not manifest until days later after the adrenaline and endorphins leave your system. You may need your physician’s help to build your case and determine how much to seek in damages from the at-fault party. Delaying treatment could jeopardize your claim and make it seem like you did not sustain injuries serious enough to require a visit to the doctor or emergency room.
Company Responsibility for Dump Truck Accidents
You could hold a company responsible for a dump truck collision if the driver acted as an employee during the accident and drove negligently. Dump truck companies must train drivers properly, perform full safety inspections, ensure they do not surpass truck weight limits and not pressure drivers to meet impractical deadlines.
Rather than an employee, a dump truck driver could act as a contract driver during an accident. Even then, the company could bear responsibility for a collision if its provided trucks do not meet the latest safety standards, it hires unqualified drivers or drivers feel pressured to carry oversized loads.
Contact a Dump Truck Accident Lawyer Today
No matter how obvious it seems who caused your dump truck accident, think twice about navigating your personal injury case alone. Dump truck companies have their own legal counsel and insurance companies looking out for their interests, and you deserve the same.
Hensley Legal Group is an award-winning law firm dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and helping them recover every penny of damages the at-fault party owes. To schedule your free case review, call 317-472-3333. When dump truck accidents happen, hire Hensley.