A Michigan dump truck accident lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was seriously injured by this type of heavy equipment. Serious injuries and deaths result from the negligent operation of these large trucks as well as from flying debris coming from the beds.
If you or someone you care about was injured by a dump truck in Michigan, you should contact The Buckfire Law Firm immediately to get started on your case. We will review your case for free and if you choose us as your attorneys, we charge no fees unless you win a settlement.
- Are there Regulations for Dump Trucks?
- Flying Dirt and Rocks from Dump Truck Beds
- Common Causes of Michigan Dump Truck Accidents
- Who Can I Sue for a Dump Truck Accident?
The Dangers of Dump Trucks
Dump trucks are designed to carry very large and heavy loads and are used for construction, farming, hauling dirt and rocks, and even salt for spreading on roads in cold weather states. They are frequently seen on highways, city streets, and even in subdivisions.
Based upon their massive size, they pose a great risk of injury to any person that is struck by one, even when driving in an oversized sports utility vehicle or pickup truck. A large dump truck with a full load can weigh about 13 tons and some trucks are even much heavier.
Passengers in standard-sized vehicles and small SUV’s have a small chance of avoiding harm in a crash with a dump truck. The large loads make these trucks even heavier and more dangerous.
Types of Dump Trucks
There are several different types of dump trucks. Most have an open-box bed and operate using hydraulics, but there are different shapes and sizes of his heavy machinery.
- Standard Dump Truck: has chassis or base frame with a mounted bed that is raised and lowered using a hydraulic ram. The loads through a tailgate that raises up to dump out material.
- Transfer Dump Truck: very similar to a standard dump truck but has a movable cargo container on a trailer that is pulled behind the truck.
- End Dump Truck: a tractor-trailer combination with the trailer pulling a large dump truck container bed behind it to carry much larger payloads.
- Tri-Axle Dump Truck: a hauling truck used for smaller loads and short distances making it very ideal in large cities and urban areas.
- Super Dump Truck: extra big dump trucks that allow heavier loads than other trucks and still meet the federal bridge formula standard.
- Bottom and Double Bottom Dump Trucks: have dump trailers that dump from the bottom or belly of the trailer to spots directly under the trucks.
Are there Regulations for Dump Trucks?
Dump trucks generally fall under The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. It classifies a commercial vehicle used on an interstate or intrastate highway that has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more. Most dump trucks, especially those with full loads, meet these criteria and fall under the federal regulations.
Operators of dump trucks must pass background checks, which include having a valid driver’s license and no history of driving while intoxicated charges for more than two years before applying for a commercial driver’s license. For the license, an operator must pass a vision test, a hearing test, and have no medical conditions that affect the ability to safely drive a truck.
Flying Dirt and Rocks from Dump Truck Beds
Anyone who has driven behind a dump truck and has seen flying dirt and rocks understands the terror of that situation. Most states have tarping laws and requirements to prevent flying debris from escaping an overloaded truck bed because of the significant danger to motorists and pedestrians. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are at a very high risk of injury.
In Michigan, there is a specific statute to prevent contents from escaping construction and loading vehicles. MCL 257.720 makes it a misdemeanor offense for operating an uncovered dump truck on highway without a cover to prevent “its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing off, or otherwise escaping the vehicle.” A violation of this statute constitutes prima facie liability, meaning the driver and truck company are deemed liable if this happens.
Flying rocks and debris can shatter windshields and cause drivers to panic, causing sudden lane changes or driving off a highway resulting in a serious crash. This debris can also seriously injure a motorist with a direct hit and is especially hazardous to occupants of convertibles, motorcycles, and even bicyclists riding on the shoulders of the highway.
The failure to properly cover or tarp a dump truck can give rise to a personal injury lawsuit if a person is injured or dies due to flying debris. An experienced Michigan truck accident lawyer at The Buckfire Law Firm will help you win the maximum settlement for your case.
Common Causes of Michigan Dump Truck Accidents
Like any auto crash, there are several common causes of Michigan dump truck accidents. In most cases, it is the negligence of the dump truck driver that causes the crash. The most common causes of these accidents are:
- Illegal lane changes
- Failure to stop within the assured clear distance ahead (rear-end crashes)
- Running red lights
- Failure to yield or stop at posted sign.
- Distracted driving
- Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Careless and reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
Many accidents also result from poor maintenance of the truck, like worn-out brakes and hydraulic systems. Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential for heavy equipment.
Who Can I Sue for a Dump Truck Accident?
You can sue the dump truck driver and company that owns the vehicle if you or someone you care about was injured in a dump truck accident. To win your case, there must be evidence that the truck driver was negligent in operating the truck and this caused the crash.
You must also prove that you suffered serious injury and harm because of that negligence. In Michigan, there are specific injury criteria for pursuing a motor vehicle accident case. For example, a sore back that heals in just a few days will likely not qualify for a case.
However, an injury that results in a spinal cord injury, bone fracture, herniated disc, nerve damage, or a traumatic brain injury qualifies as a serious enough injury to file a claim.
And of course, a fatality caused by the crash would qualify the family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases seek damages for the loss of the loved one.
How much are Michigan Dump Truck Accident Settlements?
Most often, the company that owns and operates a dump truck has a large auto insurance policy to compensate injury victims and to pay wrongful death claims. Settlements in truck accident cases include money damages for pain and suffering, psychological damages, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In addition, there are claims for payment of medical bills, loss of earnings and income, and loss of services. These financial losses are claimed under the Michigan No-Fault Insurance laws and excess claims can be filed against the insurance company of the dump truck.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys will gather your medical records, bills, and wage loss evidence to prove you are entitled to a large settlement. We will work hard to get you the maximum possible settlement so you can recover and move on with your life.
Our No Fee Promise for Personal Injury Cases
The Buckfire Law Firm will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means that you will never be charged a penny for our work and we only earn a fee when we settle your case. It costs you no money to start your case and if your case is unsuccessful, you owe us nothing.
Contact Our Michigan Dump Truck Accident Lawyers
Call The Buckfire Law Firm now to get started on your case. We will listen to your story and start working on your case immediately. It is important to get started as soon as possible, so our attorneys and investigators can get the evidence needed to prove and win your case.
There are strict time deadlines for filing truck accident cases in Michigan, so call us now!
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