Dump truck accidents occur often, with rocks chipping windshields and causing minor damage as these heavy haulers move through construction sites. Accidents resulting in serious injuries are much less common, but according to the National Safety Council, they are on the rise – up 10% since 2019. While not as common as passenger vehicle accidents, over 5,000 accidents involving dump trucks cause severe injury or death each year. Is there certain workers’ compensation for dump truck drivers?
Let us dive in!
Hoffman Law Firm is proud to serve injured dump truck drivers here in the Lowcountry. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers will fight for the benefits you deserve, offering quality legal advice along your road to recovery.
What Type of Large Truck is Considered a Dump Truck?
Any large truck with a body that opens or tilts at the back is considered a dump truck. Used for transporting loose materials (sand, gravel, etc.), these vehicles are essential to the construction industry.
Because of the size and weight of dump trucks, their operation requires proper training and extreme care. Dump trucks can easily overturn or drop their loads unexpectedly, making proper maintenance incredibly important as well.
Are Owner Operators of Dump Trucks Legally Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
For those who own and operate their own dump truck without the help of employees, Workers’ Compensation insurance is not typically required. But if you lease your dump truck to a Motor Carrier, Occupation Accident insurance is recommended. Some Motor Carriers will provide coverage, while others require owner operators to purchase it themselves. That said, the need for Workers’ Comp insurance is based on state law, your particular needs, and the amount of risk involved.
Types of Liability Insurance Coverage for Dump Truck Drivers
There are several sources of insurance that may provide coverage, such as the following:
- If the driver is employed by a company at the time of the dump truck accident, the company’s commercial insurance should apply. (Note: Federal law mandates minimum limits of $750,000)
- If the dump truck driver is an independent contractor, they may carry personal insurance coverage that can be used. (Minimum limits of $750,000)
- If the trailer is carrying cargo, the trailer might be insured separately.
- If the “broker company” had reason to suspect that the trucking company used to carry freight had a history of safety violations or other crashes, then its insurer could be considered liable.
Note: If a catastrophic injury or fatality occurs, umbrella, secondary, or other excess liability policies may apply.
Here in the Palmetto State, a dump truck company’s insurance not only applies when the driver is at fault but covers the company’s negligence. In some cases, the company itself is held liable for an employee’s accident if they did not provide the proper training or supervision. The company is also responsible for maintaining the dump trucks and could be on the hook if a mechanical failure resulted in an accident.
Common Injuries for Dump Truck Drivers
These on-the-job injuries are common among dump truck drivers:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Spinal injuries
- Brain trauma
- Concussions or head trauma
- Neck injuries
Common Dump Truck Accidents
Dump truck crashes are often caused by the following:
- Poor visibility
- Flying debris
- Tipping due to overloading
- Tipping due to uneven roads
How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Dump Truck Drivers After an Accident?
If you have been hurt at work while operating a dump truck, Hoffman Law Firm can help. Because accident claims can be tricky, our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers will handle all the heavy lifting.
After learning more about your dump truck accident, Attorney David Hoffman and our team will have a better idea how much your case is worth. We will fight to maximize the benefits you receive, ensuring you never settle for less than you are entitled to.
For trusted legal counsel, schedule a free consultation with one of our Workers’ Compensation lawyers today.
Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State. Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation in a wide variety of cases here in the Lowcountry, including: