Dump trucks are heavy-duty vehicles that haul loose materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone and bituminous paving materials to or from construction sites and roadway work zones. They have a hydraulically operated bed to unload material. Because of their massive size, dump trucks typically cause serious injuries to the occupants of other vehicles involved in dump truck accidents. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a dump truck driver in Indiana, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, our dump truck accident attorneys are experienced advocates for people who have been harmed in truck accidents. Our law firm includes two highly qualified dump truck injury lawyers who have received board certification from the National Board of Trial Advocacy in commercial truck accident law, a distinction held by very few attorneys.
If we can show that the dump truck driver or the company that owns the dump truck was negligent and therefore liable for your injuries, then you may be eligible to receive significant compensation from the dump truck’s insurer. A dump truck accident lawsuit may seek financial compensation to cover your medical bills, lost income from missed work and your pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation to discuss a dump truck lawsuit by calling (888) 937-3862. We’ll review the details of the accident and discuss your legal options.
Causes of Dump Truck Crashes
Dump trucks when loaded may weigh more than 30,000 pounds. When hauling a heavy load, dump trucks need much longer distances to slow down and stop than passenger cars.
Dump truck drivers, like all drivers of heavy vehicles, must have a commercial drivers’ license in Indiana. But an inexperienced dump truck driver may fail to allow adequate time to stop when approaching an intersection. A dump truck may run through a red light or traffic signal and cause an accident. Many fatal collisions involving dump trucks happen at intersections.
Dump truck accidents are more likely to occur on state and county roads in Indiana. Driver-related actions including unsafe lane changes, following too closely, unsafe backing and speeding account for many dump truck accidents.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that the commercial drivers they employ have adequate training to perform their jobs safely. Employers are also required to perform regular safety inspections on fleet vehicles and maintain their dump trucks in safe operating conditions.
Dump trucks have large blind spots, making it difficult for truck drivers to see vehicles or people on foot such as flaggers near a dump truck. Visibility around the truck is a common issue for dump truck drivers and a contributing factor in many accidents. Drivers should remain alert and avoid distractions. A small oversight while driving a dump truck can lead to a serious accident.
Some Indiana farmers use semi-trailer end dump trucks to transport large amounts of grain to market or to another farm. Trucks equipped with dumping capability use hydraulic hoists.
Dump trucks have a higher center of gravity and are at risk of tipping over when the bed is raised because the raised bed changes the truck’s center of gravity.
If the bed is raised too quickly, it can cause a sudden shift in the center of gravity, causing the truck to tip over. Inclines can also change a truck’s center of gravity. Dump truck drivers who are not experienced may not recognize the hazard posed by uneven ground or sloping surfaces where it is dangerous to raise the bed of the truck.
A raised dump truck bed can also contact overhead power lines, creating an electrocution risk for anyone near the truck. Newer dump trucks have automatic tarping systems that can contact power lines.
Some dump truck accidents are caused by drivers who are driving while impaired. A driver who is taking certain prescription medications or over-the-counter medication may be unsafe operating a dump truck. A conviction of driving while impaired can lead to the revocation of a commercial driver’s license.
What to Do After a Dump Truck Accident
IF you are involved in a dump truck accident, there are some steps you should take immediately.
- Call 911 and report the dump truck accident. Request an ambulance if anyone is seriously injured. A police report documenting the crash is critical to have if you later need to file a dump truck injury claim.
- Exchange contact information with the dump truck driver. Ask to see the driver’s insurance information and license and photograph them for your records. If the driver is uncooperative, wait for the police to arrive. The law enforcement officer who investigates the accident will collect license and insurance information from all parties involved in the accident.
- Use your cell phone to photograph the accident scene before any vehicles are towed away. Photograph the position of your vehicle and the dump truck before they are moved, and the damage to your car. Make sure to photograph any branding or identifying numbers on the truck, including the Department of Transportation numbers.
- Gather contact information from any witnesses to the accident. If a witness is willing, record a short witness statement with the phone video camera.
- Don’t argue with the dump truck driver or anyone else about who caused the crash. Maintain your composure. Don’t blame the truck driver or accept blame yourself. The police will investigate the accident and file a report.
- Accept emergency medical care if the paramedic suggests that you go to the hospital. If you don’t require emergency treatment, be sure to see a doctor promptly and get a thorough medical evaluation to look for any injuries, such as concussion or whiplash, that can take time to appear.
- Contact a dump truck accident attorney. The evidence you gathered will help your lawyer prove that the truck driver who hurt you should be held liable for your injuries and owes you damages.
Proving Liability in a Dump Truck Collision
After a dump truck accident, an attorney at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC will investigate the circumstances of the accident. We may hire a truck mechanic to inspect the dump truck and determine whether maintenance issues or defective parts caused the crash.
Our goal is to determine who may be liable for your injuries. In the case of a dump truck accident, the liability may be shared by a commercial driver and employer or even a property owner where the accident occurred. That’s why you need an experienced truck accident lawyer who has the resources to do the necessary investigation to prove your case.
The responsible parties in a dump truck accident may include:
- The dump truck driver. If we find the commercial truck driver violated any state or federal regulations, the driver and the company that employs the driver may be held liable for your injuries.
- The driver’s employer. Businesses that employ dump truck drivers may be liable for an employee’s negligence if the truck driver was on the job at the time that a dump truck accident occurred. The employer may be liable if the company hired an unqualified driver or one with a checkered driving record such as driving while impaired.
- The truck mechanics. If there was a mechanical failure caused by lack of maintenance, the truck fleet maintenance company, which may be different from the truck owner, could be held liable.
- The dump truck manufacturers. If there was an accident caused by a component failure or faulty manufacturing, the company that made the dump truck or parts of it may have liability.
If you’ve been injured in a dump truck driver accident, you may have a right to seek significant financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Our skilled dump truck accident attorneys will determine whether the dump truck driver, the dump truck’s owner or another at-fault party should be held accountable for the costs associated with your dump truck accident. The damages may include economic and non-economic costs, like your medical bills, the work you missed, and your pain and suffering.
Get an Experienced Dump Truck Accident Law Firm on Your Side
The attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless are committed to helping the victims of dump truck accidents in Indiana seek justice and rebuild their lives. Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC is proud of our long record of helping those who are seriously injured and in need of a strong advocate. A dump truck accident lawyer is available to review your accident. A lawyer can also discuss whether you have a valid personal injury claim. You may have a right to seek dump truck accident compensation from the owner of the truck that hit you. Craig, Kelley & Faultless has five offices across Indiana, so wherever you are, we are available to assist you.
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, we’ll put the full resources of our law firm and our decade of experience into preparing a strong case on your behalf. Don’t delay. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call us at (888) 937-3862.