Construction vehicles can cause serious injuries in an accident on the road or at a construction site. Dump trucks are dangerous not only because of their size but also because of the weight of their loads and the nature of the materials that they move. If you were hurt in a dump truck accident, you should retain an experienced Folsom truck accident lawyer who can help you pursue damages. Not all personal injury attorneys understand how to gather evidence in a truck accident case. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, we understand how insurance adjusters think and which kinds of issues are likely to arise in a dump truck accident case.
Holding a Careless Trucker Liable for Your Injuries
Dump trucks move construction materials such as sand, gravel, and waste and often are built to be driven off road or on a construction site. They are designed like tanks with high bumpers or no bumpers. In a collision, the motor of the dump truck could move underneath the other vehicle. The dumping mechanism is large and can harm bystanders in addition to people in other vehicles. Any cargo must be properly secured. The force of the collision, given the load that the dump truck is carrying, could result in a massive crash and serious harm to people in another vehicle or pedestrians.
Dump trucks also present a risk of tipping because of their loads. They can be particularly dangerous when the driver is backing up with a load at a site. On the road, dump trucks may not drive at the speed of traffic.
If you are injured in a dump truck accident, you will likely need to establish the dump truck driver’s negligence. Dump truck drivers owe others a duty to operate a dump truck safely and to adhere to safety protocols to avoid injuring others. If a dump truck driver breaches this duty on the road, and the result is injuries to someone in another car or a pedestrian, the injured person is likely to be able to recover damages from the dump truck driver and their employer. The analysis is more complicated, however, if the person is injured on a construction site.
If you and the dump truck driver are co-employees of the same employer, you may not be able to recover anything but workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you have a different employer from the dump truck driver, even though you work at the same site, you may have grounds to sue the dump truck driver and their employer for negligence. The employer can be held liable under a theory of vicarious liability if the dump truck driver was negligent in the course and scope of their employment.
The employer that hired the driver may also be liable under a theory of negligent hiring, training, or supervision. These are theories of direct liability that are appropriate when the company has failed to act as a reasonable company would. For example, if the company failed to conduct a background check that would have revealed that the dump truck driver had an extensive accident history, it may be liable for negligent hiring. If, in another example, the company failed to ensure that the dump truck driver knew how to back up safely with a load before entrusting them with a vehicle, it could be liable for negligent training.
Assuming that you are not restricted to workers’ compensation, if liability is established, you may be able to recover from the defendants a wide range of compensatory damages, including medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and household services. The amount of damages will depend on the extent and severity of your injuries.