There’s no denying that garbage and dump trucks play essential roles in American communities. However, when these massive and complex vehicles are involved in motor vehicle accidents, they can cause significant injuries and even death. To make matters even worse, these claims are quite often challenging. If a garbage or dump truck driver injures you, seek experienced truck accident attorneys as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Garbage Trucks
While they are quite common sights and likely roll through everyone’s neighborhood about once a week, garbage trucks rank among the most hazardous vehicles on U.S. roads.
These substantial vehicles come with extensive blind spots and engage in frequent backing up and abrupt maneuvers, posing a significant threat to other vehicles, as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders. A garbage truck endangers everyone around it.
These trucks navigate through residential neighborhoods, where individuals tend to feel at ease utilizing streets and sidewalks. Unfortunately, it only takes a single misstep or a fleeting lapse in attention for a potentially fatal accident to occur.
Garbage trucks’ unpredictable and jerky movements, with possible impacts from distracted driving and fatigue, pose the most dangers.
Other factors that increase the risk of a garbage truck accident include:
- Garbage trucks are large, often weighing as much as 32 tons when they are empty
- Garbage trucks are frequently backing up
- They have large blind spots
- They stop and start often
- They accelerate suddenly without warning
- They tend to operate in the early morning hours, often in darkness
- They frequently block roadways and driveways
- They sometimes unpredictably stop in the middle of the road
- Other drivers and walkers have a hard time predicting their movements
- Garbage truck drivers often have poor visibility
Dump and Garbage Truck Accident Statistics
The Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals the following shocking statistics about how unsafe dump and garbage truck accidents are:
- About 8 percent of all the large trucks involved in fatal traffic accidents were attributable to dump trucks, putting dump trucks in fourth place in terms of overall danger.
- Dump trucks were responsible for 10 percent of all injury-causing accidents (again in fourth place).
- Garbage trucks were responsible for between 2.2 and 2.5 percent of all large trucks in fatal traffic accidents. This rate put them in the top 10 types of trucks involved in deadly crashes.
Far too many people suffer injuries or die in accidents with garbage and dump trucks in America each year. Many of these accidents are avoidable and caused by driver or trash company negligence. Those with injuries can pursue compensation for their damages with the representation of a truck accident attorney.
What Factors Contribute to Garbage and Dump Truck Accidents?
Waste management and construction companies, garbage and dump truck employees, and the characteristics of the trucks themselves can all contribute to garbage and dump truck accidents. No matter which parties contributed to your garbage or dump truck accident, you must call a truck accident lawyer to evaluate your case.
Garbage and dump truck drivers play a vital role in our communities. Still, certain behaviors can significantly increase the risk of accidents. Like anyone else, these drivers can be prone to distractions or other unsafe habits while operating their vehicles.
Here are some factors that can escalate the likelihood of accidents:
- Driving under the influence: Operating a garbage or dump truck under the influence of alcohol or other substances is illegal and extremely dangerous. Impaired judgment and slowed reaction times put the driver, pedestrians, and other road users at serious risk.
- Drowsy driving: Long hours and demanding schedules can lead to driver fatigue, a significant concern for anyone on the road. Fatigued drivers may experience impaired concentration and slower reflexes, increasing the potential for accidents.
- Rushing to meet deadlines: The pressures of adhering to tight schedules can prompt drivers to hurry, potentially leading to reckless driving behavior. Speeding and abrupt maneuvers can jeopardize the safety of everyone on the road.
- Distractions: Garbage and dump truck drivers, like any other motorists, can become distracted by various factors. This might include using a phone, adjusting the radio, or even being preoccupied by thoughts. These distractions divert attention from the road, heightening the risk of accidents.
- Inadequate training: Insufficient training can be a significant factor in garbage and dump truck accidents. Drivers need to be well-versed in handling these specialized vehicles to navigate safely through various environments.
Both employers and drivers must be aware of these risk factors and take measures to mitigate them. This includes providing adequate training, promoting responsible work hours, and discouraging behaviors like distracted or impaired driving.
Trucking Company Accident Liability
Regarding accidents involving garbage and dump trucks, the responsibility isn’t solely on the drivers. Companies that own and manage these fleets also play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of their vehicles on the road. Here are some factors that may make these companies liable in the event of an accident:
Enforcement of Hours of Service Rules
Failing to enforce hours of service regulations can lead to driver fatigue, a significant factor in accidents. Companies must monitor and ensure that their drivers adhere to these rules to prevent dangerous levels of exhaustion.
Inadequate Employee Screening
Neglecting to conduct thorough background checks on potential hires can result in unqualified or unsafe individuals operating these large vehicles. Checking driving records is essential to verify a candidate’s competence and history behind the wheel.
Lack of Comprehensive Training
Proper training is paramount for truck drivers and operators. Companies should provide comprehensive instruction on vehicle operation, safety procedures, and emergency protocols to equip their employees with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Neglecting routine inspections and maintenance is a significant liability. Well-maintained trucks are less likely to experience mechanical failures or other issues that can lead to accidents on the road.
Opting for subpar or inadequate repairs can jeopardize the integrity and safety of the vehicle. Companies must prioritize quality repairs to ensure their trucks are in optimal working condition.
Monitoring and Addressing Defective Parts
Companies must promptly identify and rectify any defective or dangerous vehicle components. Failing to do so can lead to malfunctions that contribute to accidents. While they may not be responsible for faulty parts themselves, they are obligated to act accordingly if they are aware of them or their potential.
By addressing these crucial factors, companies can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents involving their garbage and dump trucks. Prioritizing safety measures protects their employees and other road users and safeguards their reputation and financial well-being.
Statute of Limitations for Garbage and Dump Truck Accidents
The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit after a personal injury accident, including those involving dump or garbage trucks. Each state sets its own statute of limitations; however, most are between one and four years after the date of the accident.
Keep in mind that claims against government entities can be much shorter. Since local or state governments operate some garbage and dump trucks, you should consult with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, as different requirements might apply.
If you fail to file your injury claim within your state’s statute of limitations, you forgo your right to pursue compensation for your injuries. As such, the statute of limitations is an extremely crucial deadline. Don’t wait to contact an attorney after suffering injuries in a dump or garbage truck accident.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Benefit Your Claim
The aftermath of a dump or garbage truck accident can be incredibly overwhelming, leaving you grappling with physical, financial, and emotional burdens. If you find yourself in this situation, seeking the assistance of an accomplished dump and garbage truck accident attorney can be a fundamental step toward obtaining the support you need.
Here’s how a dedicated attorney handling dump and garbage truck cases can benefit you:
- Thorough evidence collection: They will meticulously gather all applicable evidence for your claim, including conducting interviews with eyewitnesses to establish a comprehensive understanding of the incident. Without strong evidence in your case, you will unlikely receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.
- Engage expert witnesses: If necessary, they will identify and enlist expert witnesses who can provide invaluable insights supporting your case.
- Develop a robust claim: With a wealth of experience, they will construct a compelling claim that maximizes your chances of securing the rightful compensation you deserve.
- Effective communication with insurers: Your attorney will take charge of all interactions with the insurance company, protecting your rights and interests throughout the process. This way, you don’t have to deal with the insurance company yourself and run the risk of inadvertently doing or saying something detrimental to your claim.
- Skillful negotiation: They will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, striving for a settlement that reflects the optimal outcome for your claim.
- Empowering you through guidance: Your attorney will explain the claims process clearly, enabling you to make informed decisions that align with your best interests.
- Litigation support: If a lawsuit becomes necessary, your attorney will initiate the legal proceedings and represent you competently in court.
With an experienced dump and garbage truck accident attorney by your side, you greatly enhance your chances of attaining fair and just compensation. This compensation can be a crucial foundation for your comprehensive recovery and pursuit of a brighter future.
Were You Injured in a Garbage or Dump Truck Accident? A Seasoned Truck Accident Attorney is Ready to Help
Garbage trucks are essential in our communities by removing unsafe and unsanitary waste. Dump trucks make construction and other projects quicker and easier. There are immense benefits to both of these types of large vehicles. However, it does not give their operators or businesses a free pass to drive how they want to and endanger innocent people within the communities that they serve.
If you recently experienced an accident with a garbage truck, you will want a well-versed truck accident attorney to represent your interests. The companies and other parties involved make recovering compensation challenging, so you need the right representation to level the playing field. Seek your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney today.