Hurt in a Cement Truck Accident? What You Should Know About Your Options.
Undefeated Houston Cement Truck Accident Lawyers
Cement trucks are a common sight along the nation’s streets, roads, and highways.
But compared to other vehicles, trucks hauling wet concrete are extremely heavy, with much of their weight carried in a constantly rotating drum. As a result, they’re inherently unstable and much more likely to cause a catastrophic crash when something goes wrong. Sadly, as is the case with most collisions involving large trucks, the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles account for most injuries and deaths reported in connection with cement truck accidents.
Having successfully represented hundreds of truck accident victims against the largest trucking and transportation companies in the world, it’s been our experience that most of these accidents are entirely preventable and result from negligence on the part of the trucking company, construction company, or its driver.
Why are Cement Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
A single empty cement truck weighs around 26,000 lbs. and can carry as much as 40,000 lbs. of wet cement, bringing their combined gross weight to over 60,000 lbs. These vehicles are equipped with a rotating barrel to hold and prevent the cement from hardening before it’s needed, as well as pumps, hoses, and other equipment used to pour the cement once it’s delivered to the job site.
Their size and weight alone make cement trucks particularly dangerous, especially if they become involved in a collision. And because they’re used to transport wet cement to construction projects and other job sites, they’re more likely to encounter smaller passenger vehicles along congested urban streets and narrow rural roads than most other large commercial trucks,
There’s also the added danger of wet cement spilling onto the roadway, creating a potentially deadly hazard for any approaching vehicle.
Recognizing the danger they pose to other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, most states require cement trucks to travel at lower speeds than other commercial vehicles. But all too often, cement truck drivers ignore these and other vital safety regulations with disastrous results.
How Common are Cement Truck Crashes?
Commercial trucking accidents cause an average of 5,000 preventable deaths in the United States every year.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roughly 357 of these fatalities result from collisions with cement trucks and other concrete hauling vehicles. Crashes involving dump trucks, including concrete hauling trucks, also cause roughly 1/3 of all truck accident injures reported each year.
These crashes aren’t limited to construction sites, as 66% of all serious accident injuries involving cement trucks occur on roads and highways.
Some of the most common causes of cement truck crashes include:
Cement trucks are difficult to maneuver, suffer from large blind spots that can hide dangerous obstacles, and have a high center of gravity. These factors, combined with the constant movement of the vehicle’s drum, make a cement truck inherently unstable and more prone to tip over if the driver swerves suddenly, stops too quickly, or fails to lower their speed while rounding a corner.
It takes training and experience to maneuver a heavy cement truck safely. But with veteran truck drivers in short supply across all transportation industry segments, hiring and retaining experienced cement truck operators is becoming increasingly difficult.
As a result, many of today’s drivers are significantly younger and lack much of the experience and training they might have had in the past.
The current truck driver shortage also means that many cement truck drivers work longer shifts without needed breaks or days off to rest. An overworked and fatigued driver is far more likely to cause an accident, especially one operating any heavy truck.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 71% of all large truck crashes result from distracted driving.
A driver who takes their attention away from the road by eating, using a cell phone to talk or text, using a dispatch device, adjusting the radio, or looking at a passing building, billboard, or person is far more likely to cause a serious or fatal accident.
Unlike long-haul 18-wheelers, cement trucks are more likely to travel on congested roads and in work zones. Their increased proximity to other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles increases the potential for a crash.
Shifting Loads and Improperly Secured Equipment
Shifting loads and equipment that comes loose during transit frequently causes cement truck accidents, especially when the driver must make a sudden move to avoid colliding with a passenger vehicle. In such cases, the driver may lose control of the truck, or the truck could flip over due to the added instability of the shifting load.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Most jurisdictions require cement trucks to maintain lower speeds than other vehicles on the road. But given the fact that concrete begins to harden after just 90 minutes, drivers often face enormous pressure to make quick deliveries. Some are even paid by the load.
This pressure may induce a cement truck driver to speed and engage in other aggressive or reckless behaviors, increasing the potential for a crash.
Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
Concrete trucks are subject to heavy use and often make dozens of trips to and from a worksite every day. In a rush to complete a project, the trucking company might be reluctant to pull a truck from service for needed maintenance and repairs.
Negligence on a Construction Site
Crane collapses, falling objects, and electrical accidents are just a few of the hazards that construction workers face daily. Their close proximity to cement trucks and other vehicles also increases the potential for serious or fatal construction accidents.
To avoid tragedy, these worksites must be well-managed. Unfortunately, we’ve seen far too many cases where a company failed to institute proper procedures that could have prevented an accident.
Who Can I Sue After a Cement Truck Accident?
Because the typical passenger vehicle is no match for a cement truck in a crash, others on the road are far more likely to sustain severe, debilitating, and even fatal injuries in the event of a wreck, including:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Burn Injuries
- Lacerations, Cuts, and Bruises
If you were hurt or experienced the wrongful death of a loved one in connection with a concrete truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation from those responsible. However, determining liability for a cement truck crash can be very complex, as it’s likely multiple responsible parties were involved.
- The Cement Truck Driver: the truck driver is liable if speeding, reckless driving, distraction, fatigue, carelessness, or other poor driving decisions caused or contributed to the crash.
- The Cement Truck Company: the concrete company or construction company will also be liable for the actions of their drivers and employees. The company will also be liable if they allowed a defective or poorly maintained truck to stay on the road or if their driver wasn’t wasn’t properly trained or screened before being hired.
- Maintenance Department: Cement truck companies often have their own in-house mechanics and maintenance departments, which makes the company liable when mechanical defects cause a crash.
What To Do After a Cement Truck Crash
Because cement truck accidents are more likely to result in severe injury and death, verdicts and settlements tend to be significantly higher as well. In many cases, they even break records. For that reason, the concrete or construction company and its insurance carrier will go to almost any lengths to avoid paying you and your family full compensation for all of your injuries and losses.
That means you need to act quickly to protect your rights and your future:
Call 911 and Get Emergency Medical Treatment
Call 911 to ensure police arrive on the scene to fully document the accident and prepare a written report that you can use to refute any attempts by the company or its insurer to blame you for the crash. Heading to the emergency room – even if you don’t think you were hurt – will ensure all of your injuries, including any not yet apparent, are also fully documented in case the company tries to cast doubt on their severity.
Document the Accident Scene
If possible, take photos and video of the accident scene. Pay particular attention to skid marks, damage done to all involved vehicles, and lighting and other road conditions in the area.
You should also record or write down the truck driver’s name, the name of the cement or construction company, all vehicle license plates, the name of the truck driver’s insurance company and the policy number, and contact information for any witnesses.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Even if you’re certain you weren’t at fault for the accident, you must contact your insurance company to avoid a detail of coverage that would prevent you from receiving PIP, Med-Pay, and other benefits that could otherwise be used to help cover your medical bills and other expenses.
Don’t Speak with the Company’s Insurance Adjuster
The company’s insurance adjuster has just one goal: minimizing your injuries and blaming you for the crash. You should not speak to them or agree to give them a recorded statement, and you’re under no obligation to do so.
Follow All Medical Advice and Keep All Appointments
Giving the insurance company any opportunity to dispute or downplay your injuries could prevent you from obtaining all the compensation you are owed. Make sure you attend all of your medical appointments and follow all of your doctor’s advice while you’re recovering.
Keep Records of Your Medical Treatments and Recovery
Save receipts of co-pays and any other out-of-pack payments for medical treatments and therapies. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal of your recovery to document your good-faith efforts to heal, the full extent of your pain and suffering, and the various ways your injuries have diminished the quality of your life.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer – one with a record of success against the largest trucking companies and corporations in the world – will understand the tactics the company will use to deny you and your family maximum compensation for all of your injuries and losses. They’ll also know what evidence is needed to prove your case, exactly where to find it, and what steps to take to ensure it’s preserved.
Houston Cement Truck Accident Lawyers: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation
Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers have won billions and consistently recovered the Largest Verdicts and Settlements in History for truck accident victims and their families in Texas, Louisiana, and throughout the United States..
If you were hurt or a loved one was tragically killed in a cement truck crash, our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers can help. Please call 1-888-603-3636, use the chat button on our site, or click here to send us a confidential email.
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