If you were injured in an accident involving a garbage truck, you might be entitled to compensation. The driver and their employer should take the necessary precautions to avoid harming others. Their negligent actions could be the reason the crash occurred. At Loewy Law Firm, we have experience representing clients in accident claims and recovering the compensation they deserve.
We need garbage trucks to keep our communities clean. Truck drivers pick up trash and other waste from homes and businesses daily. Sometimes, these vehicles are used on construction sites to remove dirt, debris, and other materials. Although useful in many scenarios, they can also cause severe injuries and death in collisions with passenger cars.
The Austin personal injury attorneys of Loewy Law Firm understand how much you have suffered since the crash. You might face a painful recovery and expensive medical bills. The economic burden of being unable to afford your expenses can be overwhelming. You should not be forced to pay for all of these costs yourself if another person’s actions contributed to your injury. Call us today at (512) 280-0800 for a free consultation with an Austin garbage truck accident lawyer and learn about how our team can help you.
Types and Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
A range of scenarios can arise that result in a collision between a garbage truck and smaller cars. The most common types of garbage truck accidents include:
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Multi-vehicle crashes
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Underride accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone collisions
A significant challenge for garbage truck drivers is their large blind spots. Unlike passenger vehicles that have only two blind spots (one on either side), garbage trucks have four. It’s harder for the driver to see small cars traveling in front, behind, or next to them. Changing lanes and merging onto the highway requires the truck driver to observe the areas around the truck carefully before maneuvering.
Garbage trucks are also top-heavy. Trucks with a high center of gravity can roll over easily during a collision with other vehicles, after hitting a curb, or from the driver swerving or braking suddenly. If they’re transporting flammable or hazardous materials, a fire or explosion could occur, injuring anyone in the vicinity.
Since garbage trucks are large and heavy, bringing one to a complete stop requires preparation. The driver should begin braking far ahead of a red light, stop sign, or stopped traffic. If the driver slams on the brakes, they could lose control of the vehicle.
Human error is a common cause of garbage truck accidents. The truck driver is supposed to focus on driving and carefully maneuvering their vehicle around cars, road hazards, and other obstacles. A mistake or reckless behavior could lead to a devastating crash. These factors can contribute to a crash:
- Overloading waste and other items in the vehicle
- Driver distractions
- Failure to check blind spots
- Inadequate inspections, maintenance, and repairs on the truck
- Sudden or improper braking
- Approaching a turn too fast
- Driving beyond the maximum allowed hours
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
The waste management company has some responsibility to prevent accidents as well. They could be liable for injuries if they knowingly hired an inexperienced driver or didn’t provide adequate training. They might also be at fault for a crash if they didn’t replace defective parts on the truck or retained an employee that failed a drug test.
Who Is Liable?
Multiple parties can be held liable for an accident involving a garbage truck. Most people are quick to blame the truck driver. After all, they were behind the wheel when the crash happened. However, other individuals and companies could be at fault for the negligent actions that caused the crash.
The parties often involved in garbage truck accident cases are:
- Truck driver
- Waste management company
- Manufacturer of the truck or parts
- Governmental entity if the accident resulted from defective roadways or a government employee was driving the truck
- Maintenance and repair companies
- Owner of the vehicle
- Another driver
Determining liability in a garbage truck accident case can be a challenge. It requires a thorough investigation and review of all available evidence. It is a stressful and time-consuming undertaking when you’re in pain and trying to heal your injury. An experienced lawyer can take over the case, so these legal responsibilities do not burden you.
Losses are common after accidents involving garbage trucks. The violent impact can cause traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and other serious injuries. If you need to seek emergency medical care and ongoing treatment, there are considerable expenses to pay.
Companies typically purchase liability insurance coverage for garbage truck drivers in their employ. You could file a claim with the insurance company and seek compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Loss of household services
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
If the insurance company denies your claim or offers an inadequate settlement, you could file a lawsuit. You must adhere to a statute of limitations if you want to sue the truck driver, waste management company, or some other party for causing your injury. Texas enforces a two-year statute of limitations. This strict timeframe begins on the date of the crash and ends after two years. If you don’t file your lawsuit within that period, you could lose your right to pursue compensation in court.
You might be allowed to seek exemplary damages during a lawsuit. Instead of compensating you for your losses, an award of this type punishes the defendant for their misconduct and aims to deter similar future behavior. You could recover this financial award if you show clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence, malice, or fraud.
How Loewy Law Could Help
We have successfully represented accident victims since 2005. Our proven track record shows the level of experience and knowledge we bring to every case we take. We genuinely care about our clients and will prioritize your needs. Our goal is to achieve a favorable outcome so you can recover from your injury and get your life back on track.
You will have a dedicated Austin garbage truck accident lawyer in your corner throughout the entire process. We take a personalized approach and provide one-on-one attention to every client. We understand how traumatic this experience has been. You can depend on us to deliver the services, guidance, and support you deserve.
If you suffered injuries in a garbage truck accident in Austin, contact Loewy Law Firm today for a free consultation by calling (512) 280-0800.