Reports | July 5, 2023 | Personal Injury
Dump and garbage truck accidents can occur because of mechanical failures, driver negligence, and more. Collisions with these massive, heavy vehicles can leave victims with severe injuries and significant losses, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and even death.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one, always hire a truck accident lawyer to help you navigate the legal process. Trucking companies can put up a fight in accident claims, so you need an advocate while you focus on your physical recovery.
Seek a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
These Truck are Necessary
We need dump trucks and garbage trucks in our society for:
- Waste management – Garbage trucks collect and transport household and commercial waste, ensuring proper disposal and maintaining cleanliness in communities.
- Construction and infrastructure – Dump trucks are key in construction projects, hauling and unloading materials like soil, rocks, sand, and gravel. They help transport heavy loads efficiently, enabling the construction and maintenance of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure.
- Environmental protection – Proper waste management is necessary for environmental sustainability. Dump trucks and garbage trucks keep our surroundings clean and reduce pollution by safely transporting and disposing of waste materials.
- Public health – Effective waste collection and disposal prevent the spread of diseases, pests, and contamination. Garbage trucks maintain public health by removing waste from residential and commercial areas.
- Efficient transportation – Dump trucks and garbage trucks handle heavy loads efficiently. They have specialized features such as large carrying capacities, hydraulic mechanisms, and sturdy construction that enable them to transport materials and waste safely and efficiently.
Dump trucks and garbage trucks benefit our society in many ways. However, when they drive alongside smaller vehicles, they pose the risk of serious accidents and injuries.
These Trucks Are Dangerous
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that workers regularly suffer injuries related to dump and garbage trucks. However, this doesn’t account for the thousands of non-workers who suffer injuries as victims, bystanders, cyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shared that in a recent year, more than 5,400 people suffered injuries from dump truck accidents.
While any vehicle can be in a collision, large commercial vehicles pose a greater danger in a crash. A dump truck with a full-capacity load can weigh 13 tons or more. A loaded garbage truck can weigh around 26 tons. Imagine the damage possible when these trucks crash into a smaller vehicle weighing one to three tons.
Common Injuries from Dump and Garbage Truck Accidents
Collisions involving large trucks regularly result in devastating injuries or death.
Some of the more common injuries from these accidents include:
- Spinal injury and paralysis
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Neck, back, and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amputation of limbs
- Crush injuries
These injuries require medical attention, including a possible ambulance ride for severely injured victims. You should always seek medical attention if you have injuries or feel pain, disorientation, stiffness, or other symptoms.
Getting a prompt diagnosis and beginning treatment can help your overall prognosis. It also creates an immediate record of your injuries and connects them to your truck crash. Seeking medical help immediately benefits your physical health and a future legal claim.
Common Causes of Dump and Garbage Truck Accidents
Dump and garbage truck accidents can have severe consequences due to their size and weight.
Several common causes contribute to these accidents:
- Driver error – Driver negligence is a significant factor in all types of truck accidents. Driver’s Fatigue, distraction, speeding, reckless driving, and impaired driving can all lead to dump and garbage truck accidents.
- Improper loading – Overloading or unevenly distributing the load can cause the truck to become unstable, leading to tipping or rollover accidents. Inadequate securing of the load can also result in debris falling onto the road, posing a hazard to other vehicles.
- Blind spots – Dump and garbage trucks have large blind spots due to their size and design. Not checking blind spots properly can result in collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Inadequate maintenance – Lack of proper vehicle maintenance can contribute to accidents. Malfunctioning brakes, worn tires, faulty steering systems, or other mechanical failures can lead to loss of control and accidents.
- Poor training – Insufficient training of dump and garbage truck drivers can lead to unsafe practices, inadequate understanding of vehicle capabilities, or failure to follow proper procedures.
- Road conditions – Poorly maintained roads, uneven surfaces, construction zones, or debris on the road can pose hazards for dump and garbage trucks. These conditions may increase the risk of accidents, especially if drivers fail to adjust their driving behavior accordingly.
- Weather – Adverse weather like rain, snow, or fog can reduce visibility and affect the truck’s handling. Drivers might fail to adapt their driving to the weather conditions and exercise sufficient caution.
When a truck driver or company is responsible for causing your truck crash, they should also be responsible for covering your losses. Getting compensation is more challenging than it should be, however. You are already dealing with serious injuries, so you should never try to navigate the injury claim process alone.
Always immediately put your case in an experienced truck accident lawyer’s hands. An attorney can gather evidence to support liability for your crash and seek compensation from the appropriate insurance companies.
Proving Liability for Your Dump or Garbage Truck Accident
Proving fault in dump and garbage truck accident claims requires compelling evidence to establish negligence or liability. You may know someone else caused the accident, but your word is insufficient in the personal injury process. Your truck accident lawyer can investigate what happened and gather evidence to prove who should be liable for your losses.
Here are some pieces of evidence that might help support your case:
- The accident scene – Photographs or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, skid marks, road conditions, and any relevant signage, can provide valuable information about how the accident occurred.
- Eyewitness testimonies – Statements from witnesses who observed the accident can provide critical insights into the events leading up to the collision. Their accounts can help establish fault and corroborate your version of events.
- Police reports – Obtaining a copy of the official police report is essential. It typically contains information about the accident, including the officer’s assessment of fault, citations issued, and any observations made at the scene.
- Truck maintenance records – Maintenance and inspection records of the truck involved can reveal any potential mechanical issues that might have contributed to the accident. This includes records of routine inspections, repairs, and service history.
- Driver records – Your lawyer can review the truck driver’s records. This includes their driving history, qualifications, training, and compliance with federal regulations such as hours-of-service requirements. It can be important evidence for your claim if they have a record of dangerous driving.
- Black box data – Many commercial trucks have event data recorders, commonly known as “black boxes.” These devices capture data such as speed, braking, and other operational parameters before and during the accident. Retrieving and analyzing this data can provide critical evidence regarding the truck’s actions and the driver’s behavior.a
- Dashcam footage – Many commercial trucks now have dash cams that either face the driver or the road in front of the truck. This footage can help determine what happened leading up to the collision.
- Expert analysis – Consulting accident reconstruction specialists, engineers, or trucking industry experts can provide professional opinions and analyses of the accident. Their expertise can help interpret complex evidence, reconstruct the accident, and determine liability.
Challenges Regarding Truck Accident Evidence
Truck accidents present unique challenges when obtaining evidence to support your injury claim.
Once trucking companies learn of a crash, they will likely send representatives to the scene. They can also thoroughly inspect the truck once it returns to the company lot. This gives the trucking company the immediate opportunity to gather any evidence of how the crash happened and whether the truck driver was responsible. Accident victims do not have this opportunity.
Trucking companies want to avoid liability for accidents and injuries, so do not expect them to be forthcoming with adverse evidence against them. They might even try to conceal or destroy evidence of liability, including erasing black box data or dashcam footage. You need a lawyer to try to stop this right away.
Once you hire a truck accident attorney, they can send a letter to the trucking company demanding the preservation of any potential evidence. This demand letter provides notice of possible legal action, and there will be penalties if the company fails to preserve evidence. You must accomplish this as soon as possible following a crash.
Another challenge is the technical nature of truck accident evidence. Do you know how to read and interpret a black box report? Can you identify whether a dump truck was overloaded? Of course, most people do not have the experience and tools to do so. Your attorney should have a network of experts who can evaluate complex data and evidence to determine and prove liability for your crash.
Possible Liable Parties
Identifying liable parties for dump and garbage truck accidents can also be complicated. Even if the driver caused the crash, others might share liability for your injuries and losses.
- Some liable parties can include:
Truck drivers – If driver negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, or impaired driving, contributed to the accident, the driver may be responsible.
Trucking, construction, or waste companies – Employers can be liable for their employee’s actions, especially if they failed to provide proper training, enforce safety regulations, or maintain their vehicles. Your lawyer can determine what company employed the driver, which might be the trucking company or another services company.
Truck manufacturers – If a defect in the dump or garbage truck’s design or manufacturing contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may be liable.
Maintenance companies – If improper vehicle maintenance, such as neglected repairs or faulty inspections, contributed to the accident, the maintenance company may bear responsibility.
Government entities – If the accident occurred due to hazardous road conditions or poor road maintenance, you can hold the government entities responsible for road upkeep liable.
Determining liability in dump and garbage truck accidents requires a thorough investigation and analysis of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. Your knowledgeable truck accident attorney will identify the potentially liable parties and build a strong case for seeking compensation for your damages. When a corporation shares liability, it can increase the insurance coverage and compensation available.
Common Injury-Related Losses
One mistake injury victims make is underestimating their losses. This might lead them to accept an insurance settlement far less than they deserve. Your truck accident lawyer will identify and calculate all your losses, so you can demand the appropriate amount from insurance companies.
Losses may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
In addition, dump truck and garbage truck accidents can be terrifying, and you may experience mental trauma and PTSD. Your attorney will consider all your losses, now and for the rest of your life, if you have permanent injuries. They will provide proof of your losses to insurance companies and skillfully negotiate for a settlement that covers everything.
Find the Help You Need With a Dump and Garbage Truck Accident Attorney
Dump and garbage truck accidents can create lasting injuries and losses. You may experience pain and suffering along with a stack of medical bills. Working with a trusted and highly experienced personal injury attorney improves your chances of full financial recovery from various insurance companies, which can help you move forward from your devastating accident.
Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in Gainesville as soon as possible about your case every minute counts. Case evaluations are free, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out today.