Dump trucks are used across numerous industries for varying purposes. Most often, they are found on construction sites. But they can ultimately be used to dump and transport large quantities of trash, loose materials, dirt, and debris. While the size and strength of a dump truck make them useful for these purposes, it also means they are inherently dangerous, especially when involved in an accident with smaller vehicles. If you are in an accident it is important to call an experience Michigan dump truck accident lawyer.
Dump trucks weigh thousands of pounds on their own. They weigh even more when carrying a load. The loads that a dump truck carries can also be dangerous if it spills on the road or on top of other vehicles. For this reason, these large trucks pose a high risk of damage and injury to vehicles, passengers, and even pedestrians.
If you have suffered an injury or other damages due to a dump truck accident in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, or anywhere else in Michigan, the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help you seek appropriate and full financial compensation. You have the right to have your medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits paid for by the car insurance company. In addition, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium against the liable party who was responsible for the accident.
What Are the Different Types of Dump Trucks?
A Dump truck is a kind of large commercial truck designed to hold and transport large quantities of loose debris and materials. Depending on the specific use of the dump truck, they can carry almost anything from construction and broken-down building materials to sand, gravel, dirt, and concrete. They can even transport waste or items headed for a junkyard.
The typical load of a dump truck can weigh anywhere from 6 to 14 tons, depending on the truck’s size and the material being transported. This is why this type of truck is particularly dangerous. Not only can the truck itself do severe damage, but the load can also be dangerous if it spills.
Some of the various types of dump trucks you might come across include:
- Standard – The standard dump truck is what likely comes to mind when you think of the average dump truck. They are made with a truck chassis, and a dump body mounted to the frame. This standard style has a hydraulic system that raises the bed of the truck to dump the materials out.
- Side dump – A side dump truck has a tractor front like a semi-truck that pulls a trailer with an open dump bed attached to it. The hydraulic system in a side dump tips the dumb bed either to the left or the right to dump out the contents.
- Transfer dump – This type of dump truck consists of a standard dump truck base that pulls a separate trailer with a movable cargo container. The transfer dump has a container box with wheels and is powered by an electric motor or hydraulic line. This box (B box) then moves along a set of rails on the trailer’s frame and into the empty main dump container (A box).
- Super dump – The super dump resembles a standard dump but is equipped with a trailing axle and load-bearing axle, making it capable of handling heavier loads.
- End dump – An end dump is a large tractor-trailer with its own built-in hydraulic system and dump truck bed. These trucks can carry very large and heavy loads.
- Bottom (belly) dump – Bottom dumps are typically 3-axle tractors pulling a 2-axle trailer with a “clamshell” dump bed. This type of dump bed has a gate on the bottom or “belly” of the trailer that allows for more precise dumping.
- Off-highway – This type of dump truck does not resemble a standard truck but is a special type of heavy construction machinery used for off-road mining and dirt-hauling.
- Articulated hauler – An articulated hauler is a large truck with all-wheel drive, built to go off-road over rough terrain. It has a hinge between the truck cab and the dump box, but its power unit is a permanent fixture, as opposed to a separate vehicle.
How Do Dump Truck Accidents Happen in Michigan?
Dump truck accidents in Michigan can happen for various reasons. As these trucks are large and carry heavy loads, they are inherently dangerous. They can become easily unstable or lose balance. Unfortunately, due to their size and weight, a collision with a dump truck typically results in severe damages and injuries.
Some of the most common causes of dump truck accidents include:
- Bad weather due to snow, ice or rain
- Reckless driving
- Driver distraction
- Fatigued driving
- Overloaded trucks
- Improperly loaded materials
- Unsecured loads
- Truck malfunctions
- Poorly maintained trucks
- Accidental dumping or spilling
- Flying debris
- Trucks tipping over from unbalanced loads
What Are Common Injuries Dump Truck Accidents?
Because of the weight and size of dump trucks, the damages and injuries sustained are often severe. If you notice a dump truck on the road, it is always best to avoid driving near them if possible. Still, even if you and the dump truck driver are being safe and taking precautions, accidents can still happen.
Individuals involved in accidents with dump trucks tend to suffer from severe injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Fractured bones
- Internal bleeding
- Damaged internal organs
- Permanent impairments and disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
Though it is possible to sustain only mild injuries after an accident involving a dump truck, it is always best to take precautions to prevent the worst from happening. At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients get all the money they are entitled to. This includes not only severe injuries, but so-called soft tissue injuries as well.
Our big truck accident Michigan attorneys believe that everyone deserves the right to be made whole and obtain justice. This includes getting medical expenses and lost wages paid, receiving money for pain and suffering and other damages.
Who is Liable for Dump Truck Accidents?
Though Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning injured victims must first seek compensation through no-fault auto insurance coverage, it is possible to take further legal action against the guilty party to pursue additional compensation. When these accidents occur, it is not only the dump truck driver who can be put at-fault. There are other potential parties, including:
The Truck Driver
Of course, the truck driver themself could have acted negligently and caused the accident. If they were driving recklessly, speeding, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they could be held liable.
The Dump Truck Company
The company that owns the dump truck and hired the worker who was driving can also be held liable if an accident occurs. Truck companies have a responsibility to ensure their trucks are in good condition and that their drivers are adequately trained. If they neglect the care of their trucks or knowingly hire someone who is reckless or fails to train them, they could be held liable for the accident.
Other drivers, too, can be at-fault for causing an accident. For example, if a dump truck swerves or accidentally collides with another vehicle in an effort to avoid another driver who is driving recklessly, the accident may not be seen as the truck driver’s fault. Other drivers who are speeding, driving under the influence, or handling their vehicle in any other negligent manner can be held liable for causing an accident with a dump truck.
The Dump Truck Manufacturer
If the accident occurs because of a faulty part or malfunction on the dump truck, liability could be traced back to the manufacturer. These cases are rare, but they can occur. If a manufacturer fails to recall a truck for a known issue, they could be held responsible for any accidents that occur as a result.
The Maintenance Company or Repair Shop
In some cases, the repair shop or maintenance company responsible for repairing and maintaining the truck can be held responsible. If they neglected to repair a known issue or did a poor job maintaining the truck, they can be held accountable for the injuries caused from the poor maintenance.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover If I’ve Been Injured in a Dump Truck Accident in Michigan?
There is no way to determine initially how much money an individual can recover after being injured in a dump truck accident. There are many factors that can play a part in how much money you will receive.
Factor #1: Evidence
The evidence collected at the scene and even after the accident can affect how much money you will receive. Such evidence can include photos or video surveillance of the accident scene, police reports, eye witness statements, evidence of the injuries sustained, and personal property damage (such as car damage).
Factor #2: Michigan No-Fault Insurance
By law, every driver in Michigan is required to carry no-fault coverage through their auto insurance policy. However, each individual policy can have different limits, which can affect how much money you will receive.
Standard no-fault benefits include:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP protection helps pay for all reasonably necessary medical expenses. If you lose out on wages, PIP covers up to 85% of that income for up to three years.
- Personal Property Protection (PPI): PPI pays up to $1 million in damage to another person’s property.
- Residual Liability Insurance: Residual liability insurance helps protect the driver if they cause an accident and injure someone.
Factor #3: Injuries
Naturally, the severity of the injuries matters a lot. Usually, the more severe the injury is the greater the compensation available. However, you have to prove these injuries through medical treatment and as well as damage witnesses. Friends, family and co-workers can do wonders to help explain how the crash and injuries affected your life. The different types of injuries a person can claim includes:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairment
- Wrongful Death
- Scarring and Disfigurement
While it is difficult to put a monetary value on these things, you do have a right to be compensated for them. Your injuries and the emotional trauma could affect you for the rest of your life. It is essential that you are adequately compensated for all you have suffered, not just the initial medical expenses and lost wages covered by insurance.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm Can Win Your Case
For over 40 years, The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has helped thousands of car and truck accident victims. We have collected hundreds of millions for our clients.
We care about the health and wellbeing of our clients. Recovering from a dump truck accident can take time and can result in many financial burdens. Let us help you get the benefits that you need so you can recover as comfortably as possible.
Please call Lee Steinberg and the Michigan dump truck accident lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about your accident. You pay nothing until we settle your Michigan personal injury case.