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Concrete Mixer Truck Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 5,237 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2019, a 2% increase from 2018. Automotive accidents happen every day—but cement truck crashes can be especially devastating. The size and weight of these industrial vehicles can turn what may otherwise have amounted to a minor collision into one resulting in severe injuries or a catastrophic loss of life.

Victims of cement mixer accidents deserve to hold the liable parties accountable and receive fair compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a cement mixer truck, here’s what you need to know to protect your rights.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Who Is Responsible for Injuries and Other Damages After a Cement Truck Accident?
  2. Causes of Cement Truck Accidents
  3. Injuries from Cement Truck Accidents
  4. What to Do After a Cement Truck Accident
  5. The Dangers of Cement Trucks for Workers on Construction Sites
  6. How Much Is a Cement Truck Accident Claim Worth?
  7. Case Study: $2.5 Million for Client Hurt by Cement Mixing Truck
  8. Legal Help for Cement Mixer Accidents

Who Is Responsible for Injuries and Other Damages After a Cement Truck Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a cement truck mixer accident, you could be wondering who is responsible for damages. Depending on the incident, the driver, the company that owns the truck, and others could be held liable. Here are some common liability scenarios to consider after a cement truck accident:

Driver liability: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides strict instructions for those operating commercial vehicles. If a driver violates federal trucking regulations by driving extended hours, operating a vehicle under the influence or failing to adhere to traffic rules, they can be held accountable for injuries caused by their negligence.

There are strict instructions in place for commercial truck operators. FMCSA works to make sure that comprehensive training is provided to drivers and that they adhere to federal regulations. Commercial truck drivers agree to follow these regulations when they get behind the wheel. If the truck driver operates the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, practices reckless driving, or fails to follow safety procedures, they could be found in violation of federal regulations.

Company liability due to vicarious responsibility: In many situations, a company can be held responsible for the unlawful actions of the cement truck driver. For instance, if the cement truck company employed the driver to operate the vehicle, and the driver failed to operate the cement truck reasonably, the company would generally be found vicariously responsible for the accident.

Truck company liability due to negligent entrustment: Cement trucks are typically owned and operated by a construction company. A company can be responsible for the accident due to negligent entrustment, a common law theory that holds the owner of a vehicle (the company) liable when the owner allows a negligent driver to operate its vehicles. If you are in an accident with a cement truck due to the negligence of the driver, the cement truck company can be found at least partially liable for damages.

Company liability due to general negligence: The FMCSA also places regulations on the maintenance and repair of commercial vehicles. If a cement truck was not properly maintained, and that led to an accident, the company could be held responsible.

Manufacturer liability: The manufacturer of the cement mixer could also be considered liable if faulty parts on the cement truck caused the accident.

Other parties: Other motorists or individuals on the scene who were involved in the accident may also be liable, depending on the nature of the accident.

A cement mixer accident falls under commercial vehicle accident law and federal trucking regulations. This means a company is likely at fault for a cement truck mixer accident caused by negligence, and the actions of the company will come under the scrutiny of the laws set in place.

The commercial vehicle accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are fierce advocates for clients both in and out of the courtroom. Since 2012, no other law firm in New York attained more results exceeding $1 million than Block O’Toole & Murphy. Our lawyers are experienced in litigating cement truck collision cases and have resolved top results, including a $2.5 million verdict for a woman t-boned by a cement mixer. To speak with an attorney today, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form. We serve New York and New Jersey.

Causes of Cement Truck Accidents

Cement trucks are some of the heaviest construction vehicles on the road. This and a few other factors make them especially hazardous to operators, pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.

  • Cement Trucks are Heavy: Depending on the make and model, cement mixers can weigh up to 30,000 pounds when empty and can carry about 40,000 pounds of cement. Fully loaded, that means approximately 70,000 pounds moving on the road. Imagine steering a grocery cart full of water jugs … that extra weight makes it more difficult to accelerate, turn, and stop.
  • Blind Spots: Blind spots have long plagued cement mixer drivers due to the size and shape of the trucks. The entire front grill of the truck, back, and most of the side views are obstructed. The Haomei Concrete Batching Plant states, “High body, large volume, [and] long wheelbase can produce blind spots in the driver’s line of sight when turning.” To reduce collisions, it’s imperative that the cement truck driver is provided proper training and pays close attention to the road while operating the vehicle.
  • Difficult to Brake: Cement trucks are heavy, have slow maneuverability, and blind spots. All of these factors make it hard to stop both empty and fully-loaded cement trucks. The most extreme cases of hard braking can lead to concrete truck rollovers, in which the driver loses complete control of the vehicle and it turns on its side or even slides down the street.
  • Concrete Truck Rollovers: Turning while maintaining a high speed can easily topple a cement truck. In 2015, 22-year-old Bennett Alterman was stopped at a red light when a concrete truck rolled over onto his car. The truck had attempted to brake while swerving, and the weight of the cement barrel gave in to physics. Alterman’s Lexus was completely crushed and he was pulled from the wreckage with injuries to his head and chest.
  • Drivers May Be Paid by the Load: If cement truck drivers are not paid by the hour, this means they are struggling to get as much work done as possible. Being paid by the load means drivers are working against the clock to unload the truck as fast as possible. In these instances, red lights cost them money. With a paycheck on the line, drivers could engage in negligent driving practices. After Alterman’s accident, WXIA TV in Atlanta reporters witnessed many cement trucks rolling through red lights in an attempt to deliver the load faster.
  • Pressure to Unload the Cement: Cement truck operators, especially those paid by the load, are under significant pressure to deliver on time without the cement drying up in the truck. WXIA TV reported, “The clock is also ticking from the moment water is mixed with the concrete at the plant. Drivers have about 90 minutes to get the mixture out before it hardens inside the truck. That 90 minutes includes getting to the job site, 15-to-20 minutes discharging the concrete, and finally removing any excess on-site or back at the plant where the final remnants are washed out with a flush of water.”

Injuries from Cement Truck Accidents

Concrete truck accidents can be fatal, and due to the size of the trucks, victims that do survive often suffer serious injuries. Injuries can include:

Damages could go beyond physical injuries. Victims of concrete truck accidents often experience long-term psychological and economic damage. Injuries could prevent you from working, medical bills could pile up, and a loss of mobility or trauma can cause mental anguish. Quality of life can be impacted as pain and suffering are stretched for months and years.

What to Do After a Cement Truck Accident

An individual’s health and welfare are the priority. As a victim, when you’re able to do so, move yourself and anyone with you away from danger. If you or anyone involved in the accident has been injured, seek medical help immediately. If you are able to do so, carry out the following to protect your rights:

  • File a Police Report: All parties should be a part of the filing process. Make sure your side of the story is told. If you are unable to, a bystander or loved one on the scene could make a statement.
  • Move Forward With Legal Recourse: Victims of concrete truck accidents should not have to pay for damages, medical bills, or live with life-changing pain and suffering caused by another party’s negligence. Move forward with a personal injury lawsuit as soon as you can.

For Injured Truck Drivers: If you are a cement truck operator who was injured in an accident on the job, follow the steps above. Get out of danger, file a police report and notify your company. Start the process of filing a work injury claim, and seek legal counsel.

The Dangers of Cement Trucks for Workers on Construction Sites

Cement trucks are a necessary part of the job site but can easily become lethal if proper safety precautions are not followed. Construction workers are the people who are around the trucks the most, making them the most likely to be injured or killed in a cement mixer accident.

Commercial truck companies and municipalities are among those responsible for maintaining the trucks, training their workers, and performing regular safety checks to avoid concrete truck accidents.

On-the-job accidents can be prevented when precautions are taken. These precautions include:

  • Mechanics should regularly service the trucks to make sure they are safe and functional
  • Mechanics and drivers should check the condition of the vehicle tires before each operation
  • All employees should be aware of who is walking around the job site before moving a truck
  • Drivers should check all mirrors before proceeding, and only move the truck if they are certain it is clear of all obstacles
  • Operators should adhere to drug and alcohol testing
  • Drivers should not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating the vehicle
  • Drivers should check their truck before driving and alert a mechanic if something needs fixed
  • Drivers should keep the weight of the truck in mind and drive slowly, even when in a rush to deliver the cement
  • Avoid distracted driving, including phone calls, texts, and eating

If you are a construction worker who was injured on the job by a cement truck, or a family member of a fatal accident victim, the commercial truck company could be liable for damages if they failed to properly train and enforce the safety of its workers.

Here are a few concrete truck accident scenarios that could unfold on the job site:

  • Truck rollover due to speeding and braking
  • Collision between vehicles
  • Construction worker is run over by the truck while walking through the job site
  • Mechanical malfunction on part of the truck due to poor maintenance or manufacturing
  • Moving truck parts hitting or crushing a construction worker
  • Cement poured incorrectly or onto a construction worker
  • Poorly mixed cement leading to complications upon unloading

Big companies have a lot of resources at their disposal, so accident victims need a legal team experienced in fighting for the rights of victims. If you were injured in a cement truck accident on the job, seek out an attorney that knows the ins-and-outs of cement truck accident lawsuits and can recover the most compensation.

How Much Is a Cement Truck Accident Claim Worth?

How much a victim can receive for a cement truck accident depends on the circumstances of the accident, the amount of insurance held by the cement truck company or local government, and the skill of the attorneys in the victim’s corner.

The victim’s lawyer will work with medical, financial, and other experts to calculate the financial, physical, and emotional toll that the cement mixer accident has on the victim.

Economic Damages

  • Time off work
  • Loss of ability to work
  • Future missed wages
  • Doctor visits
  • Hospitalization bills
  • Emergency room bill
  • Cost of an ambulance
  • Cost of care attendant
  • Medical equipment such as crutches
  • Prescription medication cost
  • Funeral service and burial costs

Physical and Emotional Damages

  • Mental trauma and anguish from the event
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental trauma due to lasting injuries (loss of limb or mobility) or death
  • Loss of quality of life, unable care for self without assistance
  • Unable to take part in usual hobbies, activities

A skilled attorney will ask you about these damages to help assess the severity of each. It can be difficult to know how much you are legally entitled to, so it is important to have an attorney walk you through the process. At Block O’Toole & Murphy, our attorneys have experience in recovering compensation for cement truck accidents.

Case Study: $2.5 Million for Client Hurt by Cement Mixing Truck

In a Brooklyn case, our client was driving lawfully on a one-way street when a concrete-mixing truck struck her car in a T-bone collision. The cement truck pushed our client’s car several feet through the street, causing not only personal injuries to our client, but additional property damage. Our client suffered severe back and knees, requiring extensive physical therapy, a microlaminotomy to repair the damaged lumbar discs, and bilateral arthroscopic knee surgery in both knees.

The concrete company employee behind the wheel of the cement truck had not exercised reasonable and proper care in driving the concrete-mixing truck. Our Firm Partner, Jeffrey A. Block, Esq., proved to the court that the construction company failed to manage a safe worksite and recovered $2.5 million for our client.

Legal Help for Cement Mixer Accidents

You deserve to recover maximum compensation under the law to help restore you to, as close as possible, the state you were in before the accident. Call the personal injury attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy to fight for you. We have recovered well over $1.5 billion in compensation for our clients.

Select results in commercial vehicle accident cases include:

  • $14,000,000 settlement for a motorcyclist was hit by a left-turning truck, resulting in 10 surgeries and a leg amputation
  • $5,000,000 settlement was recovered for the family of a woman who was killed when she was hit by a commercial garbage truck while walking on the sidewalk
  • $2,760,000 settlement for a client whose vehicle was rear-ended by a UPS truck, resulting in severe Injuries to his neck and back
  • $2,100,000 settlement for a 23-year-old cyclist who required fusion spine surgery after he was struck by a garbage truck in Queens

Call 212-736-5300 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our online contact form. We serve New York and New Jersey.

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