Garbage trucks pose unique dangers on the road due to their large size, heavy loads, and frequent starting and stopping. When garbage truck accidents occur, injuries are often serious or fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a garbage truck, contacting an experienced garbage truck accidents lawyer can help you understand your legal options and fight for maximum compensation.
Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
There are several common factors that contribute to garbage truck crashes:
- Driver Fatigue – Garbage collection often starts very early in the morning, when drivers are tired and less alert. Fatigued driving impairs reaction times and decision making.
- Driver Error – Garbage truck drivers need to frequently hop on and off the truck to collect garbage cans. This increases the risk of driver errors like leaving the truck in neutral or forgetting to set the parking brake.
- Poor Visibility – The large size of garbage trucks, along with the hopping on and off, creates visibility issues that make accidents more likely.
- Defective Parts – Garbage trucks undergo a lot of wear and tear. Broken or defective parts like brakes can cause the truck to malfunction and crash.
- Speeding – Garbage trucks often speed between stops to complete their routes faster. Excess speed makes accidents much more severe.
Common Garbage Truck Accident Injuries
Due to their massive size and weight, collisions with garbage trucks often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Head and Brain Trauma – Victims can be thrown about or slammed into windshields, causing concussions, skull fractures, bleeding, and brain damage.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – The violent forces imparted by a garbage truck accident can crush vertebrae or sever the spinal cord, leading to partial or total paralysis.
- Amputations – Truck wheels or compacting components can crush and sever limbs when accidents occur. These gruesome crush injuries typically require amputation.
- Internal Organ Damage – The severe crush forces and penetrating truck components can lacerate organs and cause internal bleeding.
- Wrongful Death – With heavy trucks weighing 20-30 times more than passenger cars, deadly injuries are common in garbage truck collisions.
Garbage Truck Accident Lawsuit Process
If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries in crash involving a garbage truck, contacting a garbage truck accident attorney is critical for building a strong injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit. Key steps include:
- Investigation – Your lawyer will order police reports, inspect the crash scene, interview witnesses, and gather truck maintenance records to prove fault and liability.
- Claim Filing – The at-fault driver and garbage company will be formally notified of your injury claim and settlement demand.
- Settlement Negotiation – Your attorney will negotiate vigorously to reach a fair settlement covering all costs and damages.
- Trial Preparation – If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, the lawyer will prepare for trial to convince a jury to award maximum compensation.
- Recovery Assistance – Throughout the process, your lawyer will handle all the legal details so you can focus your energy on healing and recovering from your injuries.
Garbage Truck Accident Compensation
In injury claims and lawsuits stemming from garbage truck crashes, multiple parties can share liability, including:
- The Negligent Driver
- The Garbage Truck Company
- Parts or Maintenance Companies
By proving the negligence and liability of all responsible parties, your attorney can seek full compensation for:
- Medical Bills from Injury Treatment
- Lost Income from Missed Work
- Pain and Suffering Damages
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Companionship or Consortium
- Punitive Damages in Cases of Recklessness
With experienced representation building a lawsuit against all liable defendants, total compensation for catastrophic garbage truck accident injuries can potentially reach into the millions of dollars.
How much does hiring a garbage truck accident lawyer cost?
Most work on a contingency fee basis, taking a percentage (25-40%) of the settlement or award if your case is successful. There are no upfront fees or costs to you.
How soon after my accident should I hire a lawyer?
As soon as possible – the sooner your attorney can start investigating and building your injury claim, the better your chances of a positive outcome.
Can I still get compensation if I was partly at fault in the accident?
Yes, most states have “comparative negligence” laws allowing injury victims to recover compensation reduced by their percentage of fault.
What if the garbage truck driver did not have insurance?
Your uninsured motorist coverage would apply, or your attorney can pursue claims against the driver personally and garbage truck company.
What if my loved one died in a garbage truck crash?
A wrongful death lawsuit brought by family members can seek compensation for funeral costs, lost companionship, grief, and other damages suffered by relatives.
- Garbage truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries due to the tremendous size and weight of these commercial trucks.
- Common injuries include head/brain trauma, spinal damage, amputations, organ damage, and wrongful death.
- Experienced garbage truck accident lawyers can investigate liability, negotiate settlements, and file lawsuits to recover full compensation from any negligent parties.
- There are often no upfront costs, and compensation can potentially reach millions of dollars to account for severe injuries or wrongful death.