Garbage pickup services are needed to keep neighborhoods clean and tidy. Companies contracted for this service use huge waste collection vehicles. Collisions involving these vehicles can result in severe injuries that require a long recovery. If you have been in a garbage truck collision where the other party is either at least partly responsible, you may have the opportunity to recover your losses. It all starts with consulting a personal injury lawyer.
Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
Garbage trucks are a standard fixture in our community. They come through our neighborhoods daily to dispose of the waste we leave behind. The problem? The increased likelihood of one of these trucks crashing into other cars, buildings, or pedestrians. Specific factors can cause these trucks to lose control and cause accidents.
While most other professions do not work out in the rain, sanitation workers do not have that same luxury. They are on a tight weekly schedule. These professionals must, for the most part, work whether there is rain, snow, sleet, storms, wind, hail, or even bright, sunny days.
Bad weather often creates slippery road conditions and poor visibility. On such days, collisions can be even more challenging to avoid.
Garbage trucks carry between 12 and 14 tons of trash and debris. On busy trash days, like the day after Christmas morning, garbage trucks can be a bit extra heavy. Overloaded trucks can increase the chances of a rollover and be more challenging to control. Debris may even be easier to dislodge from an overloaded truck and fall into the streets, creating additional hazards.
If you have been stuck behind a garbage truck, you understand how frustrating it can be. These large trucks stop at every single home and business along their route.
Drivers may find themselves tailgating a garbage truck looking for an opportunity to pass it. The garbage truck can stop suddenly and can cause a rear-end collision.
It’s also worth noting that stopping a large vehicle frequently can strain the brakes, causing wear and tear.
Early morning routes
Depending on where you live along a route, your trash may be picked up at different times. Even if the truck makes its way down your road later in the day, collectors often start early when the sun is not yet up. The early morning rush hour is when traffic can be at its busiest. Low visibility combined with heavy traffic during an early morning commute is its own hazardous situation.
Difficult route locations
Not all route locations are built the same. You may live on a road that is wide enough to handle regular trash pickup. Some routes can take a garbage truck down a narrow residential street, a dirt road, or even a busy, heavily populated neighborhood in the city.
These sanitation vehicles go wherever they need to go to pick up everyone’s trash, even if that location is inconvenient for other traffic. Unfortunately, garbage truck drivers sit high in their cabs, making it more challenging to notice children who might be standing at a bus stop or other pedestrians taking a stroll.
Some garbage truck accidents may not have an outside reason other than pure negligence from the driver. The driver could have been driving under the influence, speeding, or while distracted. Any driver who is not paying complete attention to what’s going on around him puts the lives of others at risk.
Failing to inspect and maintain vehicles
Garbage trucks are used year-round in every type of weather condition. Companies put thousands of miles yearly onto their trucks, so wear and tear are common. Sanitation companies should regularly inspect their trucks to ensure they are safe for the road.
These inspections should include checking the tires, brakes, engine, and more. Failing to inspect and maintain vehicles can cause them to break down while in use, which puts others in danger of being hurt in a collision.
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law today if you have been involved in an accident with a garbage truck. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Potential Garbage Truck Accident Victims
If a garbage truck loses control, there are several types of potential victims who can be hurt. Due to the large size of these trucks, collisions can cause severe injuries or even death. Please note the following list of potential garbage truck accident victims.
Employees of waste management companies
In a 2017 article, TIME magazine ranked trash and recycling collection as the 5th most dangerous job in America. This is likely due in part to the many dangers that come with waste management. Workers often find themselves around hazardous materials, hanging off the back of trucks, and out in bad weather.
Motorists and passengers of other vehicles
If a garbage truck loses control, it might end up hitting another car and injuring passengers. Cars, trucks, and SUVs may face off against a much larger vehicle but are not likely to win.
Garbage trucks make their way through populated neighborhoods. Kids are all over the place, playing in the street, riding bikes, and waiting for the bus. Other people may go for a jog or be pulled out of their driveways. Smaller vehicles and people are challenging to see from a higher position in a large truck. Truck drivers may not see pedestrians from their vantage point.
Steps to Take After Being in a Garbage Truck Accident
If you want to be compensated after being injured by a garbage truck, there are several steps you can take to make the process easier. Winning damages from a negligent company requires evidence to prove your side of the story, so you should take the following steps.
Right after the collision, dial 911 for law enforcement and medical assistance. The officers who respond can do their investigation of the accident and put together a police report. This report will go a long way in proving that the other driver was at fault.
Seek medical attention
You will be unable to be compensated for your injuries if you do not have proof that you were injured by the garbage truck. The best evidence you can use to assert your claim is having a medical record of your injuries.
Adrenaline and shock have a way of masking pain and other physical symptoms. Some personal injury victims feel fine right after the collision only to feel tremendous pain a day or two later. So let yourself be checked out by the paramedics and accept their offer to take you to the hospital if necessary.
It should also be noted that part of this process is following your doctor’s treatment orders. If you do not follow the treatment plan, the insurance company can claim that you made your injuries worse. They can even say that you are not seriously hurt at all.
Gather contact information
If you can, speak to any witnesses who saw what happened. Their testimonies will be valuable later. Be sure to write down their names, addresses, phone numbers, and other relevant information so they can be contacted later.
Another important aspect of your case will be having photographs of the accident scene. Yes, the officers may already do this, but you should have your own pictures and records for future reference.
After all, though a police report should back up your case, the officers are not concerned with your best interests and could end up missing something that strengthens your side of the story. So take photos of everything you can think of, including damage to all involved vehicles, skid marks, and even the current weather and road conditions.
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law right away
You should not have to face this situation on your own. It can be a long, complicated process to obtain compensation. The insurance company often denies your claim or fights you over the amount of money you deserve. An experienced attorney, though, will know how to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
If the insurance company is unwilling to budge, your attorney can even fight for your rights in court. Judd Shaw Injury Law is not easily intimidated, and our attorneys are prepared to do whatever it takes to resolve your case to your satisfaction.
We are available 24/7 for a free case evaluation. Our No Fee Guarantee® means you will not have to pay unless you win. This can give you peace of mind so you can focus on recovery.