Given that the average loaded dump truck weighs upward of 56,000 pounds, it is no wonder that dump truck accidents cause serious property damage, injuries, and death.
Recovering from injuries or the loss of a loved one is never easy. Coping with misfortunes that you know were avoidable can be even more difficult.
At Cellino Law, we want things to get better for you. Our legal team is ready to direct the power of our extensive resources and experience toward serving your needs. We never charge for initial consultations because we want you to get the information you deserve.
Getting justice will not change the past, but it can brighten your future. With Cellino Law on your side, life-changing compensation is within your reach. Call (800) 555-5555 to schedule your free case review today.
What a Dump Truck Driver Does
Not every dump truck company focuses on the same type of work. In general, a dump truck driver might perform tasks such as:
- Performing routine inspections and maintenance
- Reporting mechanical issues to management
- Inspecting materials to ensure they meet weight and safety regulations
- Loading materials (or overseeing the loading of materials)
- Transporting materials (e.g. rock, sand, gravel, construction debris)
- Recording information in driver logs
Besides being large and heavy, dump trucks could carry hazardous materials. Therefore, not just anyone can drive a dump truck. In New York, dump truck operators must qualify for a special license called a Class B commercial driver license (CDL).
Some CDL requirements are:
- Holding valid New York driver license or out-of-state CDL
- Passing a federal medical examination
- Proving legal presence in the United States
- Demonstrating skill (e.g. checking air brakes, parking, offset backing) on a road test
- Performing a pre-trip inspection
CDL licenses help keep inexperienced or unqualified drivers off the road. Yet, even valid CDL holders or the companies they work for sometimes take actions that put the public at risk.
Why Dump Truck Accidents Occur
What are some driver errors and acts of negligence that contribute to dump truck accidents?
Nearly 80 percent of accidents involve one driver looking away from the roadway in front of his or her car just before the collision. Cell phones are the biggest temptation, leading the State of New York to prohibit texting, game playing, and other uses of handheld devices while driving.
Other risky behaviors include:
- Interacting with other passengers or pets
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup
- Adjusting dials for climate control, music, or other auto features
Even a 2-second long moment of distraction doubles the risk of a collision. Experienced personal injury attorneys can investigate your case to determine whether distracted driving led to your accident.
In 2018, New York police reported 2,337 accidents related to drivers falling asleep, fatigued, or driving while drowsy. “Commercial drivers are at a significantly higher risk for crashes caused by drowsiness,” the report stated. Why?
Consider the following contributing factors. Dump truck drivers may:
- Spend extended periods on the road
- Take long-distance trips
- Have a higher risk for sleep disorders
- Travel across time zones
- Take night or early morning shifts
In a recent year, fatigue-related collisions cost $109 billion in costs associated with injuries and death.
New York law prohibits drivers from operating trucks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal BAC for passenger vehicle drivers is 0.08, but the limit for commercial vehicle drivers is stricter, set at 0.04.
Dump truck drivers should also avoid taking any drug, including over-the-counter and prescription medication, that could impair their ability to handle a vehicle. The NHTSA cautions against driving while the following substances are in your system:
- Medicines that cause drowsiness, dizziness, or other dangerous side effects
- Medicines that warn against “operating heavy machinery” on the label
According to the NHTSA, “impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment.” So rather than take a dump driver’s word, call law enforcement right away after an accident. You can also reach out to our lawyers at (800) 555-5555 to receive free advice after your collision.
Poor reactions to road and weather conditions
Road conditions vary from one area to another, so dump truck drivers should stay alert. They may need to rely on their training and expertise to make decisions about how to drive on a road. At times, local authorities can be held liable for neglected roads and highways.
Unsafe road conditions might include:
- Missing barriers or guardrails
- Absent or confusing signage, especially in work zones
- Uncleared ice, snow, branches, roadkill, or debris
- Faded lines
- Changes in the road surface (e.g. uneven lanes, speed bumps)
- Non-breakaway poles or poles within railings
- Trees that hang into the roadway
- Bridges that are too narrow or poorly designed
- Sharp curves
- Busy intersections
Drivers must also deal with changing weather conditions. No driver can control the weather, but he or she must know how to respond to:
- High winds
A reckless driver does not take into account the safety of others. A dump truck operator performing any of the following actions would present a grave danger to motorists and pedestrians:
- Running red lights or stops signs
- Ignoring right-of-way laws
- Failing to use turn signals
- Failing to check blind spots
- Displaying road rage
In New York City, 70 percent of pedestrian traffic fatalities happen because drivers made the wrong decisions. By taking legal action against a driver, you can play a role in making the streets safer for everyone.
Failed company responsibilities
Accidents are not always the driver’s fault. Dump truck companies must:
- Follow appropriate hiring and training practices to ensure only qualified drivers take the wheel
- Maintain trucks in good working order
- Provide adequate supervision
- Give workers’ sufficient time and resources to accomplish task
- Enforce breaks and mandatory time off
Manufacturers must also ensure that dump truck parts and equipment are safe for their intended use. They could face legal consequences for producing and selling defective products.
Claiming Compensation After an Accident
A dump truck accident attorney can help you to calculate your total compensation. Our attorneys have won over $2 billion in damages for our clients, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Every dump truck accident is different, so please come talk to Cellino Law about the specifics of your case. We can identify who holds the financial responsibility for the crash and walk you through each step of filing your insurance claim.
Would you like a free consultation? Fill out the brief form on our contact page.
Schedule Your Personal Injury Case Review Today
After any traumatic experience, human tendency could be to put off making decisions. Yet, in New York, the law requires victims to act within a certain amount of time after a collision.
If you wait, you could miss the deadline. When you make this mistake, you will not be able to receive a settlement, even if you suffered significant injuries and property damage.
Our attorneys understand the urgency. Thus, we make things as easy as possible for accident victims. We also have the resources to make sure the process goes smoothly and that your claim is filed on time.
When you work with Cellino Law, you will not be charged any service fees unless we win damages on your behalf – so there is no risk of financial obligation! The only decision you need to make now is if you are ready to take steps to secure a better future.
If you are, contact us now at (800) 555-5555 for a risk-free consultation. Our representatives are ready to take your call any time of day or night.