Fort Worth Dump Truck Accident Lawyer
Dump trucks weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and some varieties carry up to 280,000 additional pounds. In a collision, a dump truck may cause severe damage to a passenger vehicle and its occupants. The cab in commercial dumping vehicles protects the driver. A passenger vehicle’s proximity to the engine of the truck could cause catastrophic damage to people within. Usually, a passenger vehicle slides underneath the service vehicle, increasing the likelihood of life-threatening injuries.
Dump trucks are most often used to carry loose material around and between construction sites. Their design uses a hydraulic open box mechanism that is hinged at the rear, allowing the front of the box to lift and deposit the contents into the ground at the delivery site. Materials carried by dump trucks might include concrete, hazardous materials or waste. When fully loaded, the weight and size of these vehicles create the potential for multiple vehicle accidents with severe consequences.
If you or a loved one were injured due to a negligent motorist, a Fort Worth dump truck accident lawyer could help your case. They could investigate your accident and help you hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Speak to a seasoned truck accident attorney to learn about your legal options.
Types of Dump Trucks
Most dump trucks have the same structure, including a frame-mounted dump body and a transfer, which is the standard with a separate trailer for additional hauling. The truck and pup is a standard with a separate trailer capable of self-unloading using hydraulics. The super dump is a standard equipped with a trailing axle that increases load capacity. A semi-trailer end is a tractor-trailer combination with the trailer containing the hydraulic hoist.
The semi-trailer bottom, otherwise referred to as the belly dump, is a three-axle trailer plus a two-axle trailer that contains a clamshell-style dump gate that opens beneath. The double and triple trailer bottom is a two-axle trailer plus one-axle semi-trailer plus one full trailer or two for a triple. The side is a three-axle trailer plus a two-axle trailer with hydraulic ramps that tilt the body to the left or the right.
The winter service is a vehicle used to salt roads. Off-highway heavy construction equipment has little resemblance to standard and is made for mining and heavy dirt hauling with either a rigid or articulated frame. Traditionally called haul trucks within the industry, they are used in quarries and large surface mines, and they have a rigid frame and rear-wheel drive. The articulated hauler is an all-wheel-drive with a permanent power unit on board.
While only some variations may be encountered on the highway, several are used in highway projects and construction zones. It is important to know the different kinds that are responsible for truck accidents in the Fort Worth area.
The Most Common Causes of a Dump Truck Accident
The unique shape, size, and handling of commercial dumping vehicles contribute to collisions and several fatalities each year. With the nature of injuries in such accidents being so severe, it is important to know the common causes in order to practice defensive driving.
Overloaded trucks not braking in time, or not providing enough room to stop often contributes to these types of accidents. When a dump truck is backing up, large blind spots limit visibility that could result in a collision with an approaching vehicle or parked car. Driver fatigue, drunk driving, and drugged driving are additional causes of dump truck accidents.
A dump truck driver not following proper safety procedures at a worksite may cause an accident. The nature of the work in construction sites means that dump trucks are often driven in reverse to navigate in tight spaces and unload cargo in specific areas. Worksites are required to have a strict protocol when dump trucks are driven in reverse to keep workers safe. Sometimes, the protocols are violated to save time or because of negligent drivers. When that happens, workers on the ground may be at a high risk of being run over by the dump truck.
Construction projects are among the most common uses for dump trucks. Dump trucks fill a number of functions at a construction site, including hauling building materials to the worksite and hauling out any torn-down parts. The large, sturdy tires of dump trucks make them ideal for construction sites withstanding sharp nails and debris that could be harmful on regular-grade tires.
Construction sites are often directly adjacent to heavily trafficked roadways in Texas. The construction sites generally have one or more large dump trucks responsible for hauling materials in and out of the work zone. Dump truck drivers are responsible for being cautious when entering and exiting their work zone, especially when they are next to a major thoroughfare. A dump truck driver’s failure to yield in or out of a construction zone could cause a serious accident.
Another cause of a dump truck accident is a dump truck driver failing to make sure their cargo is secured. Dump truck vehicles are not the only threat to other drivers on the roadway. The cargo they carry also poses serious risks. Dump truck drivers should always inspect their loads to ensure they are properly secured. Falling debris or cargo from the back of a dump truck can strike vehicles causing major damage and injuries, or it could cause a driver to swerve out of the way and lose control of their vehicle.
Failure to Maintain Vehicles
When a dump truck owner fails to maintain their vehicles, that could result in mechanical issues. Whether the dump truck owner, the company or a third party uses the vehicle for business-related purposes, they are responsible for making sure it is well-maintained and safe to drive at all times. If a critical component such as brakes, tires, wheels, or the steering column fails while the vehicle is in motion resulting in an accident, the truck owner may be held liable for any damages from the accident.
Hazardous Weather Conditions
Heavy traffic is another source of dump truck accidents as well as inclement weather such as snow, ice, rain, or wind. Extreme conditions can make maneuvering the vehicle a challenge, and slippery roads may contribute to a collision.’
Types of Injuries in a Dump Truck Accident
- Broken bones or fractures
- Facial disfigurement
- Spinal cord, back, and neck injuries
- Traumatic head injuries
- Limb amputations
- Herniated discs
Most accident victims suffer with pain for years after being injured. Some may even be permanently disabled and unable to work. In these cases, it is best to have an experienced Fort Worth dump truck accident attorney to protect the rights of the injured victim moving forward.
Speak to a Fort Worth Dump Truck Accident Attorney Today
Dump truck drivers are expected to follow all traffic laws and any regulations set forth by their employer. Violating these laws and regulations by speeding, running stop signs or red lights, following too closely, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs make drivers more likely to cause serious accidents.
If you have been injured in a dump truck accident, it is best to reach out to a diligent attorney as soon as possible. A Fort Worth dump truck accident lawyer could calculate your damages and help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call today to schedule a consultation.