What is a Bucket Truck?
A bucket truck is a truck that has a long arm or “boom” with a bucket on the end that is designed to hold a person (or persons) so they may be hoisted up to perform work at heights. Bucket trucks are commonly used by telephone companies, sign companies, highway tree trimmers and any company the regularly needs to lift people up at multiple locations. Depending upon how high the truck lifts people and how heavy the boom is, some bucket trucks have braces on the sides to help prevent the truck from tipping.
Accidents Caused by Bucket Trucks
There are many ways an accident can be caused by a bucket truck. Obviously, it is a large commercial vehicle which means they have the same issues of blind spots and reduced maneuverability as 18 wheelers. Due to their size and weight, the damage done by a bucket truck can be very substantial. However, in addition to the typical ways a commercial vehicle can cause a wreck, there are several ways that bucket trucks may cause accidents which are unique.
Accidents Due to Failure to Warn Motorists
When a bucket truck is working along a road way, it has a tendency to either completely or partially block the lane of travel. On rural roads particularly, this can pose a serious hazard to other traffic. The use of flaggers and/or other warning devices in order to control the flow of traffic is of critical importance when dealing with a typical two-lane highway. This basically amounts to a construction zone and failure to take into account how traffic flow will be affected and plan accordingly may constitute negligence.
Failure to Secure Cargo
Bucket trucks are often used for replacing and repairing things at heights such as transformers. This means that they will need to carry tools and/or replacement items on the truck to their destination. Like any other commercial truck driver hauling a load, bucket truck drivers have a duty to secure their load. Unfortunately, we have seen cases where bucket truck drivers either were not familiar with how to secure cargo using straps, chains and/or chocs and thus, the load got loose and fell into the roadway causing a serious accident. This is negligence on the part of the bucket trucker driver and/or his coworkers.
Electrocution Due to Lift Accidents
One of the most serious types of accidents that can occur involving bucket trucks is actually a type of on the job injury. When the person operating the lift and/or moving or positioning the vehicle does not take into account overhead power lines, this can be deadly for the persons in the bucket and/or on the truck. Coming into contact with power lines can result in severe electric shock and/or electrocution.
If you have been injured due to an accident involving a bucket truck, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free consultation with a lawyer who handles truck wrecks. Our truck accident lawyers are standing by to assist. 1-800-298-0111. The call and consultation are free and we do not charge any fees unless we win your case.