Large trucks account for over 80,000 injury-causing accidents in the U.S. each year, leaving over 115,000 persons with trauma and over 4,000 dead. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), collisions with single-unit trucks, such as dump truck accidents, cause over 35,000 injuries and 1,000 fatalities per year.
Dump trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and some varieties can carry up to 280,000 additional pounds. In the event of a collision, a dump truck can cause severe damage to a passenger vehicle and its occupants. While the height of the driver’s seat in commercial dumping vehicle typically protects the driver, a passenger vehicle’s proximity to the engine of the truck can cause catastrophic damage to the people within. Usually a passenger vehicle will slide underneath the service vehicle, increasing the likelihood of life-threatening injuries.
If you or a loved one has survived an Alabama dump truck collision, The Citrin Law Firm has experienced truck accident lawyers that can guide you through the litigation process. Our legal professionals have the knowledge and resources to evaluate your case and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and more.
Get the help you need by completing the Free Case Review form on this page. It’s always free and 100% confidential.
Dump Truck Facts
A dump truck is a specific type of commercial vehicle that is most often used to carry loose material in, around and between construction sites. The design uses a hydraulic open-box mechanism, which is hinged at the rear, allowing the front of the box to lift and deposit the contents of the open-box bed onto the ground at the delivery site. Materials carried by dump trucks vary from concrete and sod to hazardous materials & waste.
When fully loaded, the sheer weight and size of these vehicles creates the potential for multiple-vehicle accidents with serious consequences. In 2010, dump trucks were involved in nearly 350 deaths and over 4,300 injuries in the U.S. Only enclosed box trucks/vans, cargo tankers and flatbed trucks have more accidents.
Types of Dump Trucks
There are several variations to the standard commercial dumping vehicle, some being made strictly for off-highway purposes. Thought to be first conceptualized on farms in late 19th century Western Europe, motorized vehicles of the kind were first developed in 1905. Here are some of the varieties known to modern roadways:
- Standard: chassis with a frame-mounted dump body
- Transfer: standard with a separate trailer for additional hauling
- Truck & pup: standard with a separate trailer that is capable of self-unloading using hydraulics
- Superdump: standard equipped with a trailing axle which increases load capacity
- Semi-trailer end: tractor-trailer combination with trailer containing hydraulic hoist
- Semi-trailer bottom (“belly dump”): 3-axle tractor + 2-axle trailer which contains a “clam shell” style dump gate that opens beneath
- Double & triple trailer bottom: 2-axle tractor + 1-axle semi-trailer + one full trailer (or two, for a triple)
- Side: 3-axle tractor + 2-axle semi-trailer with hydraulic rams that tilt the body to the left or right
- Winter service: vehicles used to salt roads are based on dump trucks
- Off-highway: heavy construction equipment with little resemblance to standard made for mining and heavy dirt hauling with either a rigid or articulating frame, traditionally called “haul trucks” within industry
- Haul: for use in quarries and large surface mines; has rigid frame and rear wheel drive
- Articulated hauler: all-wheel drive with permanent power unit on-board
While only some of these variations may be encountered on the highway, several are used in highway projects and construction zones. Get to know the common causes of collisions with commercial dumping vehicles to avoid an accident.
Causes of Dump Truck Accidents
The unique shape, size and handling of commercial dumping vehicles allows for many factors to contribute to a collision. Alabama roads see over 100 fatal crashes involving large trucks annually. With the nature of injuries in such accidents being so severe, it is wise to know the common causes of dump truck collisions, in order to practice defensive driving in the presence of these transportation mammoths.
- Adverse weather: extreme conditions can make maneuvering the vehicle a challenge, and slippery roads can contribute to the cause of collision
- Lane crossover: many accidents result from either the dump truck driver or the driver of another vehicle crossing over the center line of the road, traversing into oncoming traffic
- Not braking in time: not providing enough room to stop often contributes to these types of accident
- Rollover or tipping: cargo can become unbalanced, causing the vehicle to be susceptible to tipping or rollover
- Backing up: large blind spots limit visibility when a driver is backing up, which may result in a collision with an approaching or parked car
- Work zones: there are often several work vehicles located in a construction zone, and vehicles entering or exiting the highway can create the conditions for a collision
It’s important to exercise caution when maneuvering around a large, heavy commercial vehicle. Keep an eye out for these causes of a collision to protect yourself and your passengers.
Contact Our Mobile Dump Truck Accident Attorneys
Victims of dump truck accidents often receive life-threatening injuries, require hospitalization and may suffer permanent bodily damage. If you or a loved one has survived a collision with a dump truck, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, psychological trauma and more. At Citrin Law Firm, we dedicate ourselves to fighting for your justice.
Our legal professionals are passionate about providing Alabama residents a means to defend their rights. Our attorneys are prepared to fight for fair and just compensation in your case.
The Citrin Law Firm’s main offices are located in Mobile, AL, and we are proud to serve both Baldwin and Mobile County. Our attorneys are licensed to practice across the state of Alabama, and can service victims in the surrounding towns and suburbs, such as:
- Tillmans Corner
- Bay Minette
- …and more
Our law firm understands how an accident can have life-altering consequences. An experienced personal injury lawyer will apply their knowledge to construct a complete profile of all physical and monetary damages in your case, and work with life planning experts, medical professionals and therapists to determine the cost of care for your future. We work on a contingency basis, so there is no charge to you unless we obtain a settlement for your case.
Find out how we can help now – call us at 251-888-8888 to speak with a member of our intake team, who will listen to the details of your case and quickly refer you to the attorney best suited to your situation.
For the fastest service, fill out the Free Case Review form at the top of this page.