Dump Truck Accidents and the Law


Every year in the United States about 500,000 commercial truck accidents happen. Of those, about 5,000 are fatal. That comes as no surprise: the sheer size and weight of trucks make them much more dangerous on the road. A dump truck or garbage truck is considered a commercial vehicle used for the transportation of bulk material that has a body that tilts to dump its contents.

Personal injury law involving commercial vehicles pays close attention to negligence, and garbage collection companies in some states are subject to the “common carrier” law. In the United States, a common carrier (or simply “carrier”) is an entity whose business transports items from one place to another for a fee. Dump trucks may be held liable for the injuries caused to other drivers, but only if the plaintiff can prove negligence.

However, liability can be difficult to prove when the commercial vehicle is owned by a state or a municipality, as many dump truck entities are. Whether an at-fault commercial vehicle entity is public or private may make a difference to the ease with which you can get compensated after an accident.

Dump Truck Accident Statistics

The number of dump truck accidents (which includes many non-construction-related uses) involving injuries rose 3.7%, to 6,483 in 2021, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).

Dump Truck accidents where the driver is at fault

If you are injured as a passenger of a commercial vehicle, a third-party claim can be made to the insurer of the at-fault driver. When filing a claim for compensation for an injury caused by an accident on public transportation, you may be eligible to be compensated for:

-Expenses related to medical care, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation.

-Replacement of income as compensation for lost wages for not being able to work due to injuries suffered in the accident.

-Home services to help with grooming, dressing, showering, bathing, and other personal needs that you cannot perform on your own due to injuries sustained in the collision.

You have the right to file a claim for compensation against the company that manages the dump truck that caused the accident.

How negligence is determined in dump truck accidents

To determine the responsibility or fault after a dump truck accident, a special investigation will be needed and the factors that may have caused or contributed to the accident will be reviewed, such as:

-If the dump truck driver was fatigued.

-If the driver received proper training or had been qualified prior to the beginning of the work engagement.

-If the dump truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

-If the dump truck was overloaded.

-If the dump truck was properly maintained.

How to make a claim after an accident with a dump truck company

Dump truck companies are usually state or municipal agencies, and, for accident claims filed against them, unique laws may apply.

To file a claim against a government entity, there are deadlines that are known as the statute of limitations. These deadlines vary from state to state.

If your injury case involves the potential liability of a government entity or employee in Texas – for example, you were hit and injured by a vehicle owned by a state agency — you cannot simply file a lawsuit against the government.

Instead, you need to file a formal claim with the governmental unit that you believe may be responsible for causing your injury, and the claim needs to be filed within 6 months of the underlying incident. The claim should include a description of the damage or injury, the time and place of the incident, and a summary account of what happened.

The government must receive notice of your claim within six months after the date that it occurs. However, cities are also allowed to enact a shorter notice period as well. For example, Houston, as well as several other major cities in Texas, uses a 90-day timeframe to receive notice. That means that if you do not provide notice to the City of Houston of your claim within 90 days of the date of the incident, you may lose your right to start a claim at all.

Also, most states have limits for injury claims against state or municipal agencies, such as commercial transportation companies. The special rules may also place limits on how much can be recovered from government entities. The cap on what you may recover from a governmental entity is as low as $100,000 in some states.

Why do you need a lawyer to claim compensation or file a lawsuit?

Having a lawyer establish a claim against a state or municipal agency is important because there are strict guidelines that need to be followed.

Our lawyers have experience with these sorts of claims, as well as what information and arguments to present to fight for a positive outcome for you or your loved one.

How PMR Law can help

If you were injured in an accident with a dump truck or other commercial transportation vehicle, it is important that you understand your legal rights.

The attorneys at PMR Law can help you understand the complicated laws related to accidents involving commercial transportation companies. We will work with you to fight for the terms of a settlement, including compensation and reimbursement, which your injuries deserve.

An attorney who has experience with public transportation claims will be able to consult with you about your legal rights and open an investigation into the full cause of the accident to help determine true liability. Get in touch with us so we can evaluate your case for free. Call PMR Law at 832-844-6428 and a member of our team will get in touch with you immediately.

PMR Law is considered one of the Best Law Firms in America, by Rue Ratings. Several of our attorneys have been given the honor of being named Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has named our attorneys 10 Best in Client Satisfaction. Speaking of personal injury, Attorney and Practice Magazine awarded our attorneys with Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney distinctions. The National Trial Lawyers have named three of our attorneys as Top 100 attorneys. The Academy of Attorneys has named two of our attorneys as Top 40 Under 40. Our attorneys have been recognized as Best Attorneys of America, by Rue Ratings. PMR Law is a proud member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum. Texas Lawyer magazine has named PMR Law as the #1 Personal Injury Law Firm in Houston.