Building structures and roads often requires trucks to carry wet cement to construction sites. Operating cement trucks involves distinctive risks. For example, the high center of gravity in cement trucks increases the risk of rollover accidents , even at relatively low speeds. Since cement tends to harden quickly after it has been loaded into a mixer, meanwhile, cement truck drivers may violate speed limits to deliver a load sooner. This means that they have less time to slow down or stop. As a result, some collisions may occur that could have been avoided if the driver had maintained a safe speed. Other collisions may be more serious because the higher speed causes a greater impact.
Sometimes the mixer of a cement truck will leak cement during an accident. This can cause an additional hazard that leads to secondary accidents involving multiple vehicles.
In addition to these issues, cement truck accidents may result from problems that affect all types of truck drivers. The cement may not be properly loaded, or a driver may get behind the wheel while intoxicated or excessively fatigued. Other crashes may occur because a truck driver got distracted by using a cell phone or engaging in other activities unrelated to driving. Inadequate maintenance of a cement truck also may contribute to an accident.
Pursuing Compensation After a Cement Truck Accident
Cement trucks dwarf ordinary passenger vehicles, and this disparity in size and weight may cause catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities to a victim. They may be able to recover damages for economic and non-economic consequences of the collision. Forms of compensation that may be available often include:
The costs of future medical treatment
Lost earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Lost enjoyment of life
Sometimes the only person responsible for a cement truck accident is the driver, but this does not necessarily mean that they are the only defendant who can be sued. A trucking company also may face liability for the actions of its driver if they caused a crash while they were on the job. This theory of vicarious liability can help a victim recover full compensation by reaching the trucking company insurance policy.
A trucking company also may be directly liable if it hired an unqualified driver or failed to arrange for appropriate maintenance on the truck. If a defect in the truck or one of its components played a role in an accident, a victim also might sue the manufacturer of the truck or component. Additional defendants in a lawsuit after a cement truck accident may include the construction company that controlled the site or a maintenance company that performed inadequate repairs on the truck. A truck accident lawyer can review the facts leading to an accident and bring the appropriate defendants into the litigation.
Since truck accident cases tend to be more complex than ordinary car crash cases, a victim should strongly consider hiring legal representation. They may want to set up free consultations with several attorneys with experience in this area, which can help them understand their legal rights and the scope of the compensation that may be available. If they decide to proceed, they likely will not need to pay attorney fees upfront. Instead, the attorney will collect their fees as a percentage of any compensation obtained for the client.