Dump trucks and garbage trucks are necessary for several reasons. They serve important purposes, so you’ll frequently find them on the road. Regardless of their usefulness, these trucks pose threats to many individuals, and an accident with a dump or garbage truck can result in devastating physical harm. In such unfortunate situations, seeking the assistance of a qualified truck accident lawyer becomes crucial to navigate the legal complexities and ensure fair compensation for the victims.
What are Dump and Garbage Trucks, and Why Are They so Dangerous?
Whether you notice them or not, dump and garbage trucks are always on the road. It’s helpful to understand their purpose and how they pose a danger to others.
A dump truck is a large truck used to transport materials, often for construction, like gravel, dirt, and demolition waste. These trucks are typically equipped with large, open beds with the mechanics to lift, allowing the materials to be “dumped” at the delivery site.
There are several different types of dump trucks, depending on what needs transporting. Some of the dump trucks most often used include standard dump trucks, transfer dump trucks, and super dump trucks.
Garbage trucks are seen on streets nearly every day. These trucks are specially designed to pick up solid waste and transport it to certain locations, including landfills and recycling facilities. These trucks either feature mechanical arms to pick up waste containers or require manual work from waste management workers.
Depending on their use, garbage trucks are either front loaders, rear loaders, or side loaders. They’re used to pick up garbage in both residential and commercial locations.
Dump and garbage trucks are large, heavy, and powerful. They require safe, proper operation to minimize risk to others. Unfortunately, when driven or operated negligently, they can cause accidents that result in serious injury to victims.
Understanding Dump and Garbage Truck Accidents
An accident with a dump or garbage truck can happen at any time, resulting in property damage, injuries, and financial burdens to victims.
Dump and garbage truck accidents can impact many individuals, depending on the specifics of the incident.
Some of the common victims of these accidents include:
- Other drivers and their passengers
- Garbage collectors
- Waste management employees
If you’re injured by a dump or garbage truck, whether in a vehicular collision or another type of unfortunate incident, you may have a valid claim for compensation. The first step is seeking legal advice from a qualified accident attorney.
Many things can contribute to a dump or garbage truck accident:
- Failure to follow traffic laws: Like other vehicles, dump and garbage truck drivers should respect and obey all traffic laws
- Distracted driving or operation: Truck drivers and workers should always maintain their attention on driving or the task at hand to help prevent avoidable accidents
- Driving under or over the speed limit: For dump and garbage trucks, both speeding as well as driving too slow can increase the chances of a collision
- Inclement weather: Certain weather conditions, like rain and snow, can make it dangerous for any vehicle, but especially large dump and garbage trucks
- Unsafe routes: Truck drivers may be required to travel through unsafe routes featuring narrow lanes, sharp corners, and steep hills, which can all contribute to collisions
- Lack of proper training and experience: Truck drivers and operators need licensing, training, and experience to safely maneuver complicated dump and garbage trucks
- Inspection or maintenance failures: Dump and garbage trucks must undergo regular inspections and maintenance to help ensure continued safety, but without these, the chances of malfunctions and accidents increase
- Frequent stopping: Part of a garbage truck’s purpose is to make frequent stops to pick up garbage along their route, but the frequent stopping, backing up, and turning can be hazardous for other drivers and individuals on the road
Dump and garbage truck accidents can happen almost anywhere, but in some areas, individuals are more susceptible to sustaining injuries.
- Construction sites
- Residential neighborhoods
- Areas with heavy traffic congestion
Determining the cause of your dump or garbage truck accident is the first step in your pursuit of compensation. Based on the cause of your collision, you’ll get a better idea of who can be liable for your injuries and other losses.
Establishing fault is often one of the more challenging parts of a truck collision case. It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for the incident, as you may not have all the answers right away. For this reason, your truck accident lawyer can investigate to figure out who’s liable to you for your injuries.
Many parties can play a role in your collision, including, but not limited to:
- The dump or garbage truck driver
- A waste management employee
- The driver’s employer
- The owner of the truck
- The waste management company
- The trucking company
- The party responsible for truck maintenance
Based on the cause of your collision, you may have the opportunity to hold one or more individuals or entities accountable for their wrongdoing. Liability is a key component in your claim, allowing you to recover monetarily from the at-fault party.
Evaluating Your Damages: How Much is Your Dump or Garbage Truck Collision Claim Worth?
Determining the value of your case is critical to the success of your claim. To obtain the fairest possible settlement, you must assess and calculate your damages.
Damages compensate for all of the physical harm and monetary and non-monetary losses you experience during and after your dump or garbage truck accident.
In your claim, you may have the chance to request compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Income loss
- Impacted earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Partial or total disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Some cases may qualify for punitive damages if a defendant’s actions go beyond mere negligence and instead cross over to malicious, intentional, reckless action. When courts award these damages, they punish defendants and deter potential future actors.
To accurately calculate your damages, your attorney must analyze factors with a strong impact on the value of your claim, including:
- The type of injuries you sustained
- The severity of your injuries
- The total cost of your medical treatment
- Whether you’ll require additional medical care for your accident injuries in the future
- How much time you took off from work after your collision
- How your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a living
- Whether the incident has affected your mental and emotional well-being
- Any other tangible and intangible loss you suffered as a result of your collision
Every kind of loss associated with your accident has a monetary value. Your accident attorney can calculate your losses to get the fair compensation you deserve.
Taking Action to Pursue Compensation for Your Losses
If you’ve never had to file a compensation claim, you may not know where to begin. The path toward financial recovery is not always linear and may take several twists and turns depending on the complexity of your case.
When the at-fault party is insured, you may seek compensation from their insurance company. Filing a claim gets the process going. The insurance company can investigate and decide whether they want to accept or deny your claim. If they fail to settle, you may proceed with filing a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit allows you to continue your pursuit of favorable monetary recovery. During your lawsuit, both sides can obtain evidence and build their cases. At any time during your case, you can settle to resolve your claim. Filing a lawsuit is often a necessary step to make sure you get the settlement you deserve.
When waste management and trucking company employees suffer injuries in an accident, they can file a claim under workers’ compensation insurance to get compensation and benefits.
Figuring out the most appropriate way to pursue compensation for your accident can be tricky. Fortunately, an accident lawyer can review the specifics of your case, offer guidance, and create a plan for your case.
What to Do After a Dump or Garbage Truck Accident to Protect Your Rights
What you do after your accident, both immediately and in the days following, can have a significant impact on your future case.
The following are some of the best steps to take to protect your rights to compensation.
Contact Law Enforcement
While it may be surprising, you’re not legally required to report every accident to law enforcement. However, because dump and garbage truck accidents are usually serious, you should always call 911 and ask for police assistance.
Law enforcement officers can provide welcomed support and reassurance right after the incident. Additionally, they can create an accident report that serves a great purpose in collision claims. Police reports can help clarify certain crash details and even strengthen your case.
Get Medical Treatment
If you’ve suffered injuries, getting prompt medical care can aid in your recovery, helping you avoid the potential consequences of your injuries. You may get emergency medical attention at the scene of the accident, but even so, you should always get follow-up care with your physician.
Even if you feel fine after your accident, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider very shortly after your collision. Some accident injuries don’t begin to exhibit symptoms for several days or even weeks, and by the time you finally discover the injury, it may have already taken a toll on your physical health.
Collect Your Evidence
After a dump truck or garbage truck accident, you should always aim to collect your own evidence. The liable party and their insurance company will investigate to get their own, so it’s important to have documentation and evidence to strengthen your claims.
Evidence can include everything from photos and videos to driver information and witness statements. Additionally, jot down any detail you think may be relevant to your case, as memories become fuzzy and fade over time.
Consult with a Skilled Lawyer
Call a lawyer immediately after your accident to ease your worries and get information from a knowledgeable source.
Don’t Wait – Seek Legal Guidance After a Dump or Garbage Truck Accident
Dump and garbage truck accident cases are particularly tough to navigate, but fortunately, you don’t have to. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can put you in the best possible position to reach a fair case result and get the compensation you need to cover your losses.
After a dump truck or garbage truck accident, time is limited to take action. Seek legal representation right away.