Cement trucks, also referred to as “in transit mixers,” are designed to mix concrete and transport it to construction sites for use. The water and dry materials are often loaded into the drum mounted on the back, and the concrete is mixed while in transit. These large and heavy vehicles are often equipped with anywhere from two to six axles for even load distribution and to reduce wear on the road.
Due to their sheer size and weight, a collision with a cement truck can result in severe or fatal injuries, along with extensive property damage. If the truck driver, truck owner, or trucking company was responsible for the crash, victims could be owed significant compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, and more.
If you have been severely injured in an accident with a cement truck, you need to speak with the truck accident attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. right away. Since our firm opened its doors more than 35 years ago, we have helped our clients recover more than $1.5 billion in compensation, including 280 multi-million dollar judgments.
Our team is standing by to speak with you about your cement truck accident case. Call one of our offices or visit our contact page for a free case review.
Dangers of Cement Truck Accidents
Cement truck drivers are under intense time pressure because they often have a short window to get the materials from its point of origin to the construction site. This deadline pressure encourages cement truck drivers to take risks like speeding, aggressive merges, and not slowing down enough to navigate turns safely.
Furthermore, the way cement trucks are designed and manufactured also makes them particularly dangerous to other motorists. The drum that holds and mixes the cement is constantly turning to prevent the cement from drying out. It also gives the cement truck a high center of gravity. This makes cement trucks more unstable than cars as well as other large trucks. Cement trucks have been known to overturn going as slowly as 5 mph.
Lastly, the cargo itself can cause issues for cement truck drivers. The cement sloshing around in the holding chamber as it turns is inherently more unstable than solid cargo that isn’t moving. This means concrete truck drivers need to be especially careful when making turns.
These unique elements make it a lot easier for cement truck drivers to lose control and cause an accident. Some of the common injuries that occur in cement truck accidents include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including full or partial paralysis
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe cuts and bruises
- Damage to internal organs
- Crushed or severed limbs
Common Causes of Cement Truck Accidents
A few of the most common causes of concrete truck accidents are:
- Driver error – Cement trucks are much more difficult to handle than a typical car. This means drivers need to be extra careful, especially when turning, changing lanes, and braking. If they are not careful enough, a serious accident may result.
- Overloading – If there is too much cement in the holding container, a cement truck becomes extremely unstable. This makes the truck more vulnerable to overturning, especially if the driver takes a turn too sharply or too quickly.
- Speeding – Cement truck drivers need to deliver their payloads quickly before the cement hardens, which encourages them to speed and take other risks. Speeding makes it harder for cement trucks to avoid an accident and may cause them to overturn while maneuvering the vehicle.
- Driver inexperience – A driver who does not have experience handling a cement truck may not be aware of the challenges of maneuvering such a big and heavy vehicle. This makes it much more likely that a driver will make an error and cause a collision.
- Mechanical failure – Cement trucks have lots of moving parts. Many of these parts are different from what you find on other kinds of large trucks. If any of these parts fail, the truck may become unstable and more prone to causing an accident.
- Vision issues for the driver – To avoid traffic, many cement truck drivers will make their deliveries in the early morning or late at night. This means the drivers are working when it is difficult to see all the potential hazards around them, making an accident much more likely.
Cement Truck Accident Liability
The cement truck driver may not be the only liable party in the event of an accident. Some of the potentially liable parties in a cement truck accident include:
- The driver’s employer
- The manufacturer of the truck, if there was some kind of design or manufacturing defect
- The truck’s mechanic, if they failed to notice or fix a mechanical error
By pursuing a cement truck accident claim, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- The cost of past and future medical care related to the accident
- Any lost wages while you were recovering from the accident
- Your reduced ability to work and earn a living if you were disabled in the accident
- Your physical pain and suffering
- Your mental anguish
- Loss of emotional or financial support from a family member
Steps to Protect Your Rights After a Concrete Truck Accident
Some steps that can help you protect your rights and maximize the value of your potential claim after a cement truck accident are:
- See a doctor as soon as possible and follow their instructions exactly as ordered.
- Preserve your medical records, pay stubs, photos from the accident scene, and other evidence.
- Start a daily journal to monitor your pain and how it impacts you daily.
- Do not make any posts about the accident on social media.
- Do not give a statement to an insurance company before consulting an attorney.
- Hire an attorney as soon as possible.
How Our Attorneys Can Help with Chicago Cement Truck Accidents
Our highly skilled and driven team of accident attorneys can investigate your claim to find all potentially liable parties and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.