How Dump Truck Accident Cases Work
Any type of automobile accident can produce dire consequences: financial loss, physical injury, and even death. Such negative outcomes are even more likely when the other vehicle involved is a large commercial vehicle, as its weight difference compared to any passenger cars involved is significant. This effect is especially significant when a passenger car collides with a dump truck.
Questions Answered on This Page
- What are the legal consequences of an accident?
- What concerns are unique to dump truck accidents?
- How do dump truck accident work?
Concerns Unique to Dump Truck Accidents
Dump trucks have their own specific qualities that make them even more dangerous than your usual, run-of-the-mill truck. Understanding these qualities and developing an idea of strategy for these cases is critical to your success. What you experienced has far more complications than you would initially suspect, which is precisely why we want to prepare you for it.
For the most part, determining the severity of an accident all comes down to physics, and the weight of the vehicles involved is the most significant factor in that determination. 18-wheeler trucks weigh up to 10 times more than your average car, and dump trucks can carry up to 10 tons (20,000 pounds) of material. Obviously, this material weighs much more than your car. If a dump truck crashes into you, far more weight than your vehicle will collide with your body. The velocity of any object in motion depends on its mass and force, and added weight tends to lead to a much more devastating accident.
Additionally, the center of gravity will play a role. The center of gravity (technically, the mass centroid) is incredibly high when cargo is loaded in/on a dump truck. The higher the mass concentration in a vehicle, the more weight will transfer in a braking event, abrupt turn, or otherwise spontaneous maneuvering (this is part of the reason why sports cars sit so low to the ground: to limit the weight transfer). The weight and gravity mix on a dump truck results in a vehicle that is inherently top-heavy as well as a vehicle that has totally different handling characteristics between its fully loaded and empty conditions. This all serves to complicate the driving process for the dump truck driver and lead to a higher likelihood of accidents.
Even if the weight hypothetically had little effect on the deadliness of a crash involving a dump truck, their designs would be more than enough to cause permanent damage. For one, the cargo can fall off of the vehicle with relative ease upon a high-speed impact, occasionally sending all of its contents exiting through the rear. This can be a prime source of negligence, as someone ought to have been in charge of securing the material; however, the guilty party can range from the driver, driver's employer, or an outside agency contracted to do this very job. Irrespective of how well-secured the load may have been, these dump trucks are more likely to roll over than their 18-wheeler cousins - due in no small part to its mass centroid sitting much further up compared to an 18-wheeler. When it comes to the vehicle's short wheel base, the vehicle's brakes could prove detrimental to your safety. By having the two ends of the base so closer together, the braking is not distributed over a large enough area most of the time. This means there will be a much greater likelihood of weight transfer as opposed to a semi truck.
Even the dump truck drivers themselves have unique factors that make them more susceptible to accidents. An untold amount of fender benders, wrecks, or pileups have and will stem from Texas dump trucks reentering traffic from a construction zone, which becomes more dangerous when the driver is not paying attention to traffic. Furthermore, these individuals are local carriers, so they are not required to abide by typical hours of service you'd normally associate with a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler truck.
All of these factors come together to create a far more shocking situation than you might see even in a normal trucking accident. For that reason, dump truck drivers are expected to be especially careful, and are expected to be more prudent in their operations. Grossman Law Offices has 25 years of experience challenging and defeating dump truck companies.
The Legal Consequences of a Commercial Vehicle Collision
First and foremost, an accident can greatly impact everyone involved, but the effects go well beyond the physical and emotional harm. There is potentially a legal war in the works - one that needs to happen for your sake, but is a great task nonetheless.
When the defendants (the parties who caused your injuries) are a construction company or other business entity with a fleet of dump trucks, they are usually quite financially solvent. The 18-wheelers are insured for upwards of a million dollars, meaning that every time a truck gets onto the road, it could be a monetary nightmare for the insurer. Also, many people are under the false impression that the only "real" damages you could collect are those related to your physical well-being or property. That's not the case, as your pain & suffering and mental anguish also have a tangible value.
It should come as no surprise that the defense will work tirelessly to defeat your damages claim and prevent collection on the insurance policy. For a majority of truckers, there is an insurance company waiting in the wings to protect their interests. It is ultimately the insurer's money at stake, and that fact means the most agreeable defendant will still fight you over a settlement. Oftentimes, either the trucking and/or insurance company have strong teams of in-house attorneys, advising them on the validity of your claim. Where is your in-house attorney? Grossman Law Offices can be your advocate, your fighter, your attorney. Additionally, the power of an attorney could provide a valuable shield to these savvy professionals, when the claims adjusters for the insurance company attempt to confuse you at some point.
Given the potential for compensation as well as the defense's stake in a claim, any legal action demands a strong team that is familiar with the law in all of its intricacies. We at Grossman Law Offices can meet that demand as we are more than capable of handling defense attorneys and insurance adjusters. We've beaten them before, and we are prepared to beat them again.
Give Grossman Law Offices a Call
We at Grossman Law Offices hope that you know a little more about the main issues related to dump truck accidents. By now, you should know about:
- The potential value of your case.
- The general value of the defendant's insurance policy, and to what lengths it will go to protect it.
- How so much about the dump truck makes it especially dangerous.
To begin your journey to restitution, call us at (855) 326-0000 when you get a chance. It's a confidential line with toll-free, cost-free services, meaning that there is no charge associated with the call. Reach out to Grossman Law Offices & attorney Michael Grossman today, and we can protect you from the trucking company.
You may also want to read: