Dump Truck Accident Lawyers
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New Jersey Dump Truck Accident Lawyers
Commercial trucks, such as dump trucks, must adhere to government regulations which include designated inspections, maintenance standards, and hours of service limitations. Dump truck drivers, and the companies that own these vehicles, should they not adhere to the rules and regulations, can put everyone else on the road at significant risk of sustaining serious injuries.
We have decades of experience in handling personal injury lawsuits, and can thoroughly investigate the cause of the collision and assess your legal situation should you wish to file a claim for damages. When you speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, you will know your legal rights, and what to expect should an injury claim be filed on your behalf.
Causes of Dump Truck Accidents in Morris County
Car accidents involving dump trucks happen far too often, and New Jersey drivers are no strangers to construction zones where dump trucks are most frequently seen. Although there are many reasons for these crashes, the most common ones, inside and outside a construction zone, include:
- Improperly maintained trucks.
- Broken, defective, failing truck components.
- Manufacturing or design defects.
- Tailgating or following other trucks or vehicles too closely.
- Drivers who do not have the proper training to handle such large vehicles.
- Ignoring traffic laws, such as not using turn signals or running stop signs.
- DWI – alcohol.
- DUI- drugs.
- Driving while drowsy.
- Driving while distracted.
- Weight and balance problems unique to dump trucks.
- Unsafe turns.
- Not signaling before turns or lane changes.
- Failure to adhere to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations and the state of New Jersey rules and regulations.
Types of Dump Trucks on the Road
Dump trucks are classified according to payload designation, weight, and whether or not the driver requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate it. Car drivers can identify a dump truck by keeping a few factors in mind. Some of the following information would make identifying a truck easier. Additionally, the weight of the truck that collides with a car often determines the outcome of the survivors.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – often found on the side of the truck and abbreviated to GVWR. This is the total weight of the truck and its load. The GVWR includes the structure of the dump truck, the fuel, maximum cargo allowed, and passengers, plus the class and structure of the truck. For further information, visit HERE.
There are also various weight classes for dump trucks:
- Light-Duty Trucks – This category includes Class 1 to Class 3, mostly non-commercial vehicles. They may weigh half a ton or higher. Commercial vehicles are larger. Light-duty weight-class vehicles typically include lighter cargo and are used by landscapers, plumbing contractors, electricians, etc. Class 1 trucks weigh 6,000 pounds or less. Class 2 trucks weigh in from 6,001 pounds to 10,000 pounds. Class 3 trucks weigh from 10,001 pounds to 14,000 pounds. Although they may be classified as light-duty vehicles, if they are involved in a collision, the outcome is not always good.
- Medium-Duty Trucks – Include Class 4 to Class 6, and many of these vehicles are commercial trucks. This classification includes delivery trucks, walk-in trucks, and box trucks. A Class 4 truck can weigh between 14,000 and 16,000 pounds. A Class 5 may weigh from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds, and a Class 6 medium-duty truck can weigh anywhere from 19,501 pounds to 26,000 pounds. A car involved in a collision with a truck this heavy is going to sustain serious damage. The passengers may also be seriously injured, or sadly, die.
- Heavy-Duty Trucks – Include Class 7 and 8 commercial trucks, often referred to as big rigs. Most Class 7 vehicles have three axles. Some garbage trucks are in this category, as are street-cleaning vehicles, buses, and larger moving trucks. Class 8 trucks are also called “severe duty.” This Class also includes cement trucks, big rigs, and dump trucks. Class 7 trucks can weigh between 26,001 pounds and 33,000 pounds. Class 8 is often over 33,000 pounds. If a car is involved in a collision with a heavy-duty truck, it often results in catastrophic injuries and/or death for vehicle occupants.
Dump truck classes are distinguished as the following:
- Class A Dump Truck – weighs 26,001 pounds or more when towing over 10,000 pounds
- Class B Dump Truck – weighs 26,001 pounds or more when towing another vehicle weighing 10,000 or less
- Class C Dump Truck – weighs 26,001 pounds or more and is hauling passengers or hazardous material(s)
Dump trucks have a dump body fit to the cab chassis. They are often found on or near construction sites and are usually not used for long-haul applications. On average, a dump truck weighs about 26,193 pounds or 11,881 kg. Accidents involving dump trucks may not always involve a collision, as falling debris can land on other vehicles while the dump truck driver maneuvers forward and backward to pick up and carry their load to another destination.
The following chart outlines the more common dump truck models on the road today and their estimated GVWR:
Dump Truck Model Estimated GVWR
- 2015 Ford F-650 Super Duty 4×2 S/A Dump Truck
- 15,000 lbs. (6,804 kg)
- 1998 Volvo WG 6×4 T/A Dump Truck
- 21,000 lbs. (9,525 kg)
- 1999 Peterbilt 378 Tri/A Dump Truck
- 23,500 lbs. (10,659 kg)
- 2008 Kenworth W900 6×4 T/A Dump Truck
- 25,000 lbs. (11,340 kg)
- 1994 Kenworth T800 Tri/A Dump Truck
- 28,999 lbs. (13,154 kg)
- 2005 Mack CV713 6×4 T/A Dump Truck
- 32,000 lbs. (14,515 kg)
- 2011 Ford F-750 XL Super Duty 4×2 S/A Dump Truck
- 37,850 lbs. (17,168 kg)
Again, being involved in an accident with a large, heavy vehicle can be devastating, with drivers and passengers alike seriously injured, often resulting in lifelong medical issues. At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we understand your anxiety and fear about recovering, and how you are going to pay your medical bills while you are recovering from injuries. We’re here for you. Just give us a call. We are highly experienced in assessing dump truck crashes. Our Dump Truck Accident Lawyers can ensure you understand your rights if you, or a loved one, is involved in a serious accident with a dump truck. If a tragic death has occurred from a trucking accident, a family member can pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased loved one by contacting one of the personal injury attorneys at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm.
Typical Injuries Sustained in a Dump Truck Accident
Survivors often suffer severe injuries, including:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Bone fractures
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Dislocations – shoulder, neck, hips
It is not always just the dump truck driver that is responsible for an accident. The cause for a collision, or other type of crash, may be linked back to the manufacturers of defective vehicle parts, the employer, improper maintenance by mechanics, and/or other third parties. Each has a different cause and outcome. This is yet another reason to discuss your car accident with a highly skilled Dump Truck Accident Lawyer at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm.
Determining Fault in a Dump Truck Accident
When dump truck accidents occur, the actual cause for the collision may not always be clear. Therefore, it is vitally important to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you, or a loved one, are seriously injured. This will allow the attorney time to immediately begin investigating the accident. An investigation will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
The claim you file for compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained in the accident with a dump truck may or may not proceed to trial. It may not go to trial because most cases are settled out of court. Insurance companies are risk averse, and taking an out-of-court settlement may save them spending more settlement money than they wish to spend.
New Jersey is a comparative fault state. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still recover compensation. Damages are reduced by the degree to which you were responsible. For instance, if you are 30 percent responsible for causing the accident with the dump truck, you can still recover 70 percent of the amount awarded.
However, New Jersey has a fault threshold. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you are barred from receiving compensation. You have two years to file a claim from the date of the accident. Contact one of our Dump Truck Accident Lawyers as soon as you can, as our attorneys need to conduct an in-depth investigation, track down eyewitnesses, examine the police report, the scene of the crash, source any dashboard recordings or nearby CCTV or videos, gather and preserve any evidence before it either vanishes or degrades.
Contact the Experienced Dump Truck Accident Lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm Now!
If you, or a loved one, has suffered serious injuries following a truck accident, or sadly, lost a loved one in a wrongful death involving a New Jersey dump truck accident, reach out to the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm for immediate assistance. Attorney Todd Leonard is a Certified Trial Lawyer with more than 30 years of experience helping accident victims recover the compensation they need to overcome the hurdles they face now, and in the future. The truck accident attorneys at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm take an individualized approach to every case they handle, ensuring each client gets the attention they deserve. Over the years, the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm has recovered a total of more than $100 million on behalf of our clients. To learn more and to schedule a FREE consultation, give us a call today at 973-920-7900. You can also connect with us through our online form. We have two conveniently located offices in Denville and Morristown, New Jersey.
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Being injured or having a family member injured can have serious and lifelong consequences. We can try to ease the burden. Contact us today to learn more about how our team of experienced New Jersey accident attorneys can support you through these challenging times.