The Dangers of Dump Trucks
Dump trucks are typically used to carry loose construction material (like sand, gravel and waste) from one location to another. But while they play a critical role in the construction industry, dump trucks pose unique dangers to other drivers on the road. For example, dump trucks are heavy vehicles that are difficult to maneuver and have trouble coming to a sudden stop. So if a car changes lanes directly in front of a dump truck, or if the truck driver takes his eyes off the road and notices stopped traffic or another road obstruction at the last second, it’s likely he won’t be able to avoid an accident.
Dump truck drivers also have an incentive to get to their destinations quickly (which could mean speeding or violating other traffic laws) because they are usually paid by the load, not by the hour. Many drivers operate their vehicles safely, but not all. In fact, Florida authorities have blamed dump trucks for several recent automobile accidents:
- On May 11, 2017, four people were injured in a multi-vehicle accident caused by a dump truck in Immokalee. The truck rear-ended a Hyundai Sonata, pushing it into a light pole. The truck then hit a Toyota Sienna, causing it to hit a third car (a Kia Optima). The dump truck then overturned, spilling construction debris on the road.
- In January 2017, one person was killed and another injured at an intersection in North Fort Myers when a driver turned right onto State Road 31 and was hit by a dump truck.
- In December 2016, a dump truck and Honda Pilot collided in South Fort Myers, killing one person. The Honda was trying to make a left-hand turn when the truck ran into it.
- In September 2016, a Florida Gulf Coast University student was killed when a dump truck rear-ended his Nissan while stopped at a red light in South Fort Myers.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2016 there were more than 40,000 accidents involving commercial vehicles (commercial vehicles include dump trucks). As of May 17, 2017, there have been more than 15,000 commercial vehicle crashes this calendar year. In Lee County specifically, there were almost 2,000 commercial vehicle crashes in 2016, and there have been more than 500 so far this year.
Comparative Negligence Standard for Determining Damage Amount
Florida operates under a comparative negligence standard, which means that you can only recover damages to the extent that you didn’t contribute to the accident. In the case of an accident involving a dump truck, if a jury determines that the truck driver was 75 percent at fault and the other driver 25 percent at fault, the other driver may recover 75 percent of his damages (such as medical bills and lost earnings).
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one was injured (or killed) in a car accident involving a dump truck, contact a Fort Myers personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation. We can help ensure you that receive the compensation you deserve.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Daytona and Bradenton areas.