Accidents Involving Dump Trucks
The dump truck industry is a 17 billion-dollar industry that employs over 95,000 people. You would think such a large industry would be extra cautions. This is not the case. A study of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Research File showed that between 1992 to 2007, 829 workers were killed in accidents involving dump trucks in the United States.* Those ranged from pedestrian accidents to workers on job sites, back over accidents, truck tipping and lost loads. An accident with a dump truck can be catastrophic. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a dump truck accident, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. to speak to our truck accident attorneys today: Consultations are always free.
Why Dump Truck Accidents Are So Severe
Different dump trucks come in different sizes. The smaller ones may weigh 20,000-30,000 lbs. A Super Dump truck has a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 lbs. Even the small ones outweight the average car by 4-6 times when not loaded. Add a load of gravel or sand or chipped concrete and you might as well be colliding with a brick wall. Your car is going to come out on the losing end along with the occupants.
Causes of Dump Truck Accidents
There are many reasons that dump truck accidents may occur. Some of the reasons for dump truck accidents include:
- Driver inattentiveness
- Distractions while driving
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to yield right of way
- Failure to stop at intersections
- Failure to maintain the dump truck brakes
- Speeding to get the next load
- Overloaded and overweight vehicles
- Vehicles tipping due to dumping on uneven surfaces
- Accidental dropping the trailer while maintaining the vehicle
- Unsafe lane changes
- Backing when unsafe
- Spilled or lost loads
Dump Truck Accidents Due to Losing Loads
One type of accident more common among dump trucks that other trucks is an accident caused by the truck losing its load. Improperly contained loads can blow and spill out of the back of open tops and poorly secured doors. You may have seen the signs on the back of trucks that warn you of falling debris. They often say something like: “Warning. Not responsible for broken windshields.” Ever wonder if that sign is valid? It is not.
Texas law requires that all vehicles including dump trucks “shall be equipped and maintained …to prevent loose material from escaping by blowing or spilling.” Texas Transportation Code 725.021. Failure to secure a loose load with a tarp, lid or other containing device can result in a fine of up to $500.00 in addition to civil liability. A dump truck company can no more disclaim their obligation to comply with this law than they could disclaim their obligation not to commit murder. Thus, if a dump truck loses its load and causes damage to person or property, they are responsible. However, it is your burden to prove that the damage came from their dump truck.
Talk to an Attorney
If you have been injured due to a dump truck accident, whether it struck your vehicle, hit you as a pedestrian, or lost its load causing someone injuries, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free consultation with our truck accident team regarding your case. If we take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis—meaning we charge you nothing unless we make a recovery. Call today: 1-800-298-0111.
*Reference: Mccann, Michael & Cheng, Mei-Tai. (2012). Dump truck-related deaths in construction, 1992-2007. American journal of industrial medicine. 55. 450-7. 10.1002/ajim.21028.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.