Although much less common on Tennessee’s roads and highways than standard commercial tractor-trailers, dump trucks are still encountered by most drivers on a regular basis—especially if they live in areas with frequent construction or industrial work.
Like commercial tractor-trailers, dump trucks are significantly larger and heavier than standard passenger vehicles. They also carry thousands of pounds of raw materials that can range from raw building materials to excavated dirt. Because of their size and the nature of their cargo, dump trucks can pose serious risks to other drivers if they’re involved in any type of accident.
The causes of dump truck accidents can vary significantly. Some of the most common causes we’ve seen in our practice include:
Construction sites are often directly adjacent to heavily trafficked roadways in Tennessee. At those construction sites, there may be one or more large dump trucks responsible for hauling materials in and out of the work zone. Dump truck drivers are responsible for being cautious when entering and exiting the work zone—especially if they’re next to a major thoroughfare. If a dump truck driver fails to yield or proceed into or out of a construction zone, he could cause a serious accident.
Dump truck vehicles themselves aren’t the only threat to other drivers on the roadway—the cargo they can carry can also pose serious risks. Dump truck drivers should always inspect their loads and make sure they are properly secured and won’t fall out as they drive. Falling debris or cargo from the back of a dump truck can strike vehicles and cause major damage and injuries, or cause drivers to swerve out of the way and lose control of their vehicles.
The nature of the work at construction sites means that dump trucks are often driven in reverse in order to navigate in tight spaces and unload cargo in specific areas. Work sites are required to have a strict protocol for when dump trucks are driven in reverse in order to keep workers safe, but those protocols are sometimes violated to save time or due to negligent drivers. When that happens, workers on the ground may be at high risk of being run over by the dump truck.
Whether the dump truck owner is the company using the vehicle for business-related purposes or a third party, they are responsible for making sure it is well-maintained and safe to drive at all times. If a critical component, such as the brakes, tires, wheels, or steering column fail while the vehicle is in motion and cause an accident, the truck owner can be held liable for any damages that result from the accident.
Above all else, dump truck drivers are expected to follow all traffic laws and any regulations set forth by their employer. Violating these laws and regulations by speeding, running stop signs or red lights, following too closely, and driving under the influence of alcohol are drugs can make drivers far more likely to cause serious accidents.
Dump truck accidents can cause severe injuries and major damage to your vehicle. If you were the victim of a negligent dump truck driver or owner, you may be facing expensive medical bills, significant time away from work during your recovery, and vehicle repair costs that you can’t afford.
The Nashville dump truck accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know what you and your family are going through at this time, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you get the maximum compensation that you deserve. To get in touch with our legal team, contact us at (615) 200-1111 or submit a free online consultation form.