According to the 2010 North Carolina Traffic Crash Facts, there were 1,224 fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles over the course of the year and another 69,138 truck collisions. These accidents included 23 deaths and 933 injuries in crashes involving a single unit truck with two axles and six tires. The accidents also included 18 fatal accidents and 375 injury-accidents involving single unit trucks with three or more axles.
One type of commercial truck that could potentially be involved in a wreck in North Carolina is a dump truck. Unfortunately, according to the News & Record, there were three accidents involving dump trucks on a Tuesday in early September. All three of the accidents resulted in death. These trucks are inherently unstable, and when improperly operated or maintained, can lead to serious and fatal traffic collisions.
Lawyers in North Carolina for car accidents know that the family members of those killed in such collisions may potentially have a claim for monetary compensation. But this is likely little comfort for the family members of those who lost their lives.
Three Dump Truck Accidents Take Lives
The three dump truck accidents in North Carolina all occurred under very different circumstances.
The first crash occurred when a 65-year-old driver was driving a dump truck loaded with soil along N.C. 68. At around 3:30 in the afternoon, the driver approached a northbound vehicle that was waiting for the road to clear for a left turn. The dump truck driver hit his brakes, but the brakes locked and the dump truck ran off the right side of the road. Like many trucks that are top heavy, especially when loaded full of dirt, the truck overturned. The older driver was pronounced dead after the crash.
The second crash happened when a construction worker became pinned underneath the rear of the truck. This worker suffered crushing injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the dump truck accident.
Finally, the third crash happened when a rock came off of a dump truck that was travelling on U.S. 221. The rock hit the windshield of another driver’s car, resulting in the accident and injuries. The victim of this accident was also pronounced dead at the scene.
While these three accidents occurred in vastly different ways, the surviving family members of those left behind may all have certain legal protections available to them. The family members of those killed at work, for example, may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim to obtain benefits under workers’ compensation insurance provided by the construction company or by the company that employed the older dump truck driver killed while operating his vehicle. The final victim’s family could potentially have a wrongful death claim depending upon whether the driver and trucking company’s failure to secure the large rocks is considered negligence.
An experienced attorney can assist injured victims in assessing whether they may have a claim after an accident with a commercial vehicle in the Carolinas. If so, often it is not the driver who is the best defendant to sue but instead the employer of the driver, who usually has more money and more insurance coverage to pay for losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, lawyers in North Carolina for car accidents can help. Give us a call today at 1-800-FLEXNER for your free legal consultation.