If you’ve ever driven next to a dump truck, you probably tried to stay out of its path or even go around it. Dump trucks are very dangerous due to their enormous weight and unwieldy operating characteristics. The commercial vehicles are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, and dump truck drivers must be qualified with Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs) to get behind the wheel. When these drivers are negligent or their dump trucks are not properly maintained, however, dump truck accidents can cause severe injuries and even death.
On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Tampa, FL experienced its most recent near-fatal dump truck accident at the intersection of East Hillsborough Ave and North 34th Street. According to the Tampa Police Department, the dump truck was traveling West on Hillsborough Ave and crossed the median, striking an SUV and another car. One of the vehicles caught fire and Good Samaritans saved the victims’ lives by helping them out of the vehicle. A 2-year-old passenger was transported to a local hospital as a trauma alert (see next section).
This is a developing story and investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accident. You can read the full news coverage and check for updates here.
What Is a Trauma Alert?
Emergency officials order a trauma alert when a patient needs to reach the hospital within the golden hour – the first hour after a traumatic injury. The golden hour is the most critical period for successful emergency treatment. When officials issue a trauma alert on behalf of a severely injured patient, a team of doctors assembles at the hospital. This team includes medical experts from special fields, such as:
- Vascular surgery
When the victim arrives in the emergency room, the doctors are ready to get to work and may have a better chance of saving the injured person’s life.
Characteristics of Dump Truck Accidents
In our experience at Harmon Parker, P.A., dump truck accidents are frequently caused by inattentive drivers and poor maintenance. We have hired renowned national experts to inspect brakes soon after accidents and are often shocked at the poor conditions of these vital auto parts. Sometimes, the dump truck is operating on less than 50% braking power as a result of worn brake pads or other parts of the brake system. Other times, the tires are worn and don’t provide sufficient traction on wet roadways.
Our Success Story
Our attorneys recently represented a family who was deeply impacted by a tragic dump truck accident. When 74-year-old Daniel Ragan of Spring Hill failed to stop for slowing traffic in Tampa on Interstate 75, he drove his dump truck into 2 other cars and overturned onto a van before colliding with 5 other cars.
The van’s driver, a 46-year-old father of 2, was killed in the collision, along with a 2-month old child in another car. We represented the family of the loving father and our firm successfully reached a 7-figure settlement on their behalf.
While our work will not bring their beloved family member back, we were able to provide the bereaved with a sense of justice and a meaningful financial award. This money will reimburse the family for funeral expenses and other losses while allowing them the time and space they need to recover.
For details about the accident, click here.