Cement Truck Accidents
If you have driven around Seattle, Kirkland, or Olympia, you have undoubtedly seen cement trucks on the road given all of the construction and development these areas have seen. Cement trucks can cause significant injuries to people on the road given their immense size. Many cement trucks will weigh between 26,000 and 66,000 pounds if they are full loaded.
While accidents are rare, when they do occur, they can be very serious. There are specific laws in Washington State that are intended to protect drivers and pedestrians from these potentially dangerous trucks.Washington State Cement Truck Laws
If you’ve ever seen a cement truck spinning while it is driving, there is a specific reason for this. The spinning is meant to agitate the concrete, or mix it, since the concrete doesn’t sit and solidify instead of the mixer. As you can imagine, these mixer trucks can create serious accidents if they collide with a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle.
Accidents with cement trucks occur for two reasons: either error by the driver or because something was wrong with the truck, such as a mechanical failure. There are instances of course when both reasons are the cause of an accident. If there is driver error, the most common reasons are:
- Driver fatigue, such as working too many hours and not getting enough sleep
- Driver inattention
- Driver distraction, such as texting or on a cell phone
- Driver impairment, such as drugs or alcohol
- Driving in unsafe road conditions, such as snow, ice, and heavy fog
In order for a cement truck driver to be on the road, the driver must have what is called a CDL or a Commercial Driver’s License. It is not easy to obtain such a license. There are many tests that you have to pass in order to obtain one, such as pass a written test, a driving test, have at least five years of experience in ordinary vehicles, and be able to see over a steering wheel.
Once all of these requirements have been met, a driver can be eligible for a CDL. However, the cement truck company also has a duty to make sure the driver is fit to operate a cement truck, which is even above and beyond what is required to have a CDL. The company must make sure the driver does not have a past that is plagued with driving infraction problems, such as speeding ticket, DUIs, and other forms of reckless driving. The company also, most importantly, must make sure that they have properly trained the driver before he or she is on the road. There are also instances when the cement truck company is to blame for the accident because they did not properly maintain their vehicle. The most common reasons for accidents that occur because of a cement truck mixer’s company’s negligence are:
- Tire blowout
- Faulty brakes
- Defective maintenance of the vehicle
- Failing to properly train or hire a driver
All of these are factors that can lead to accidents occurring with large cement trucks.Common Cement Truck Accident Injuries
If you have been injured by a cement truck, chances are you have significant and life-altering injuries. These injuries are unlikely to resolve themselves on their own, so you need to seek medical attention to address them. The most common forms of injuries from cement truck injuries are:
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Traumatic brain injury
- ACL or MCL tears
If you have suffered any of these injuries, you need to seek care from a qualified and experienced doctor. The most common doctors who can treat these injuries are chiropractors, osteopaths, orthopedic doctors, and physical therapists. All of these providers can help you treat your injuries.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If you have been injured by a cement truck accident in Seattle, Kirkland or Olympia, it is likely that you are facing mounting medical bills, juggling doctor’s appointments, coping with your pain, and fielding many phone calls from insurance companies wanting you to sign documents. Why go through this taxing process alone? The Jackman Law Firm can help you not only navigate this process but thrive in it and maximize your recovery.
Legally, you are allowed to receive the following:
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for medical bills
- Money for lost wages
- Money for out of pocket expenses
The Jackman Law Firm can also help in another important way: we can help prove that you were not at fault for the accident. While it may seem obvious and clear-cut to you that you were not at fault for the accident, there are times when the cement truck company’s insurance company will attempt to blame you for the accident. They may allege that you swerved into the trucker’s lane of travel or that you braked too suddenly.
If this unfortunate and untrue allegation is brought against you, then you need an attorney who is experienced in these matters and knows how to prove your case. The Jackman Law Firm can interview eyewitnesses and bystanders, including the police, subpoena police reports, and send subpoenas for surveillance footage, if there was a camera that captured the accident.
In addition, if there is reason to believe the accident was the result of the truck company’s negligence, such as a tire blow out or a brake failure, the Jackman Law Firm can investigate the truck company’s internal workings to prove how they were negligent.
We can subpoena and send requests for internal documents, maintenance logs, and the like to show that perhaps they were not maintaining their vehicles pursuant to state law, or even the company’s own standards, or the company was keeping a woefully short budget devoted to the safety of their vehicles.
If you have been in an accident with a cement truck, why face these challenges on your own when you can have an experienced attorney help you every step of the way? Feel free to call for a free consultation to discuss your case.