A dump truck accident is capable of producing terrible injuries, especially when the vehicle is loaded down with cargo. The weight difference between a typical car and a loaded cargo vehicle is staggering, and this can lead to tragic incidents that involve multiple drivers. This is why people in charge of handling cargo vehicles must exercise caution when on the road, and refrain from aggressive or inattentive driving. Unfortunately, too many drivers fail in this regard and represent a major risk to others.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES MAY BE CAUSED BY A DUMP TRUCK ACCIDENT?
Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of severe injuries in the U.S., and the risk of severe injury is particularly high when a cargo vehicle is involved. The sheer forces involved may leave a victim with serious physical trauma that manifests as broken bones, lacerations, or deep contusions. Crushing injuries are common when a vehicle is pinned against a wall or rail, and this may cause extreme nerve damage and leave a limb permanently disabled. Amputation may be the only solution for such injuries.
Burns are often present, especially when the cargo vehicle is hauling hazardous or flammable materials. If the victim is not extricated from their vehicle immediately, they may sustain deep tissue burns that result in extensive scarring, chronic pain and limb paralysis. Severe burns are often present when a victim is knocked unconscious during the crash, or is pinned inside their vehicle.
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, and injuries that result in paralysis are some of the worst that a victim can face. A dump truck accident can cause extreme damage to a victim’s brain or spine, leaving them as a paraplegic or quadriplegic, or with extensive cognitive debilitation. TBIs can range in severity from mild to severe, and while mild TBIs can fully resolve, moderate and severe TBIs tend to be permanent. Such TBIs can cause problems with speech, motor function or cognition, as well as chronic pain, nausea or mood disturbance. In the most severe instances, a victim may require assistance with basic daily tasks, or even life support.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE WHEN A DUMP TRUCK ACCIDENT OCCURS?
It depends on when the crash occurs and under what circumstances. In most cases, the driver’s employer will be held responsible for a wreck, under the principle of respondeat superior. If a driver error was committed while working, and they were operating within the scope of their job duties, the employer will be liable for any damages, though the driver will likely be named as a defendant as well.
If the cargo vehicle itself suffered a technical failure, such as a brake or tire failure, there may be several responsible parties. In addition to the vehicle’s owner and any maintenance personnel assigned to the vehicle, the vehicle’s manufacturer may be liable if the failure was due to defective parts.
Severe injuries and multiple defendants can make for a complicated case, so in the aftermath of a dump truck accident, any victims are encouraged to seek help from a personal injury attorney.