Seeking Compensation for Cement Truck Accidents

In addition to being bigger than most vehicles on the road, cement trucks are unique as they carry cylinder-shaped containers that can sometimes prevent the driver from seeing their surroundings properly, significantly reducing their vision. Because the cement mixture usually hardens in up to 90 minutes, cement truck drivers are mostly speeding to reach construction sites.

These factors make it hard for cement drivers to stop in an emergency or unexpected situation. Consequently, minor distractions on the road usually lead to a traffic accident. Considering the massive weight of the trucks, accidents can have catastrophic consequences.

The accident can kill or leave other road users with severe injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of a cement truck accident, you deserve compassionate and dedicated legal representation. At Fiore Legal, we are committed to helping you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today to learn more.

Common Causes of Cement Truck Accidents

While the state of California holds cement truck drives to a higher standard, that doesn’t mean it is always met. Here are some of the more common causes of Los Angeles cement truck accidents:

Negligent Driving

Cement truck drivers’ negligence can take many forms, including speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. While cement truck drivers spend significant time training on safe driving and have a higher duty of care than other drivers, they are still human and make errors on the road.

DUI Driving

Despite California's strict DUI laws, driving under the influence remains of the significant causes of traffic accidents in Los Angeles. The pressure associated with cement truck driving can leave drivers stressed and tired, for which cement truck drivers take stimulating substances, including amphetamines. These substances drastically reduce the driver's ability to drive correctly, increasing the likelihood of a traffic accident.

Speeding

Cement manufacturers recommend pouring concrete or cement mixture approximately an hour after mixing. This means drivers are usually on a tight deadline to reach their destination. Consequently, most drivers are tempted to speed or engage in reckless behavior, including running red lights and carelessly changing lanes to deliver the mixture on time. Considering the massive weight of a cement truck, the rush usually results in devastating cement truck accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving involves driving while talking on the phone or with other passengers. In some cases, it may also include driving while eating or drinking. The truck driver may also be distracted by focusing on the navigation system, the radio, or something else on the road, including billboards.

Poor truck maintenance

The cement or concrete mixture usually adds up to 30,000 pounds or more. This tremendous weight on the truck's rear axle can easily cause a poorly maintained axle to give way. The massive weight also leads to wear and tear on other parts of the truck, and if not carefully and frequently inspected, it can lead to mechanical breakdowns. A cement truck breakdown can cause a rollover accident, which is usually catastrophic.

Equipment malfunction

Related equipment, including the mixer and other vehicle parts, may unexpectedly fail due to defective manufacturing. The mechanic may also intentionally or unintentionally add a dangerous or defective part during repairs. Several parties may be liable in equipment failure cases, including the manufacturer, the mechanic, and the company that sold the cement truck.

Poor road and weather conditions

The large size of a cement truck and the massive weight make driving them challenging. This task becomes more complicated when the driver has to deal with poor road and weather conditions like rain or snow. Other road hazards, including poor maintenance, increase the likelihood of a traffic accident. When poor road conditions cause a cement truck accident, you may be able to file a compensation claim against government agencies. However, filing such claims is complicated and must be done within tight timelines.

Improper loading

Depending on the weight they can carry and other capacities, the law requires construction companies to follow loading regulations for the different trucks. However, cases of overloading and improper loading are common. Overloading a cement truck increases the truck's likelihood of being involved in an accident, including rollovers and jackknifing accidents.

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cement mixer truck on the road parked in the middle of a road

Cement Truck Accidents and Personal Injury Claims

Like other personal injury claims, California law requires the plaintiff in a cement truck accident to prove that the defendant's negligent acts caused their injuries. As the plaintiff, the law requires you to confirm that:

  • The defendant(s) owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant(s) breached this duty of care through their actions.
  • The defendant(s) actions or acts of omission caused the cement truck accident.
  • As a result of the accident, you sustained physical injuries or suffered other damages.

From rear-end collisions to rollovers to hitting pedestrians and cyclists, it is usually hard to determine who is liable or the at-fault party/parties. That's where Fiore Legal steps in to simplify the process and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Truck Driver’s Duty of Care

The law requires cement truck drivers to follow a higher standard of care while on the roads. Since the legal principle of negligence plays a significant role in determining who is liable in a personal injury claim, the higher duty of care is central to cement truck accidents, meaning the law can hold them responsible even for minor acts of negligence.

This higher standard of care that the law expects of truck drivers should make it easy for plaintiffs to file personal injury claims. However, the plaintiff can only get compensation from other parties in what is known as vicarious liability.

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Vicarious Liability

Similar to negligence, the legal principle of vicarious liability is significant in determining who is liable in a cement truck accident. Vicarious liability occurs when other parties are responsible for paying for damages due to the cement truck driver's negligence. As such, employers must be cautious when hiring people for positions with a higher duty of care.

The construction company that has employed the driver is mostly vicariously liable for their negligent actions. Personal injury attorneys in cement truck accidents use the principle of vicarious liability to go after construction companies since plaintiffs cannot claim compensation from truck drivers. In this case, the construction company becomes a co-defendant in the personal injury case.

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Who Do I Sue for a Cement Truck Accident?

The complexity of cement truck accidents means that more than one person or entity can be liable to pay damages in a single accident. Possible defendants in a case include:

  • Cement truck drivers
  • Construction companies
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Mechanics

Government agencies are among the various parties a plaintiff can sue in one case. For instance, in one accident, the plaintiff may sue the truck company for negligence but still have claims against a government agency for poor road conditions. While this dramatically increases the case's value, it also complicates and often extends it.

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Contact a Cement Truck Accidents Attorney Near Me

If you or your loved one is a victim of a cement truck accident, you may be confused about who to sue. You may also be unaware whether you have claims against any other party, including government agencies. The complexity of the process, including dealing with multiple insurance companies, may lead to the loss or delay of your compensation for damages. At Fiore Legal, our attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience helping victims of cement truck accidents and their families. We will help you get the compensation you need and deserve. To learn more about our services, contact us today.

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