Because garbage trucks are driven mostly in residential neighborhoods, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists are frequently injured in accidents. Depending on the circumstances, garbage trucks are not required to follow certain rules of the road, which makes garbage truck accident claims complicated. Nonetheless, garbage truck drivers must exercise reasonable care not to injure others. If you or a loved one has been injured in a garbage truck accident, speak with one of our truck accident attorneys because you may be entitled to significant compensation.
At J&Y Law, we have extensive experience handling personal injury claims arising from garbage truck accidents. Well-versed in the applicable negligence and insurance laws, we have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes inside and outside of the courtroom. While proving liability in a garbage truck accident claim is complicated, we know how to hold the responsible parties accountable. When you consult us, we will handle all the details of your garbage truck accident claim so that you can focus on recovering.
Liability for Garbage Truck Accidents
Generally, garbage trucks are exempt from certain rules of the road that typically apply to passenger vehicles, provided that they are collecting trash. Garbage truck drivers are not required to drive on the right side of the road or avoid blocking bicycle lanes. These exemptions do not apply if the truck was not being used to collect trash or the driver was traveling to or from work.
Under the California Vehicle Code, however, garbage trucks must be equipped with (1) front turn signal lamps on both sides that flash simultaneously when trash is being collected and (2) an alarm at the rear of the vehicle that sounds while the truck is in reverse. These rules are necessary to protect the public since garbage trucks make frequent stops and starts, which increases the risk of a collision.
Garbage trucks also have several blind spots, which can severely limit the operator’s visibility. While occupants of smaller vehicles and pedestrians are at a high risk of injury if the garbage truck driver is distracted, establishing negligence can be more difficult if the garbage truck driver is stopped and collecting trash.
In any event, you must be able to demonstrate the garbage truck operator’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident that resulted in your injuries. Some of the common causes of garbage truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving (using a cell phone, texting, eating while driving)
- Driving under the influence
- Improper driver training/supervision
- Improper maintenance
- Falling waste and trash
- Sideswipes in narrow streets/alleys
If the garbage truck accident occurred while the driver was working, the trucking company may be held responsible under the theory of vicarious liability, which holds employers liable for certain employee conduct. The trucking company may also be held liable for failing to conduct adequate pre-screening of the driver or failing to properly maintain the garbage truck.
Common Garbage Truck Accident Injuries
Given the size and weight of a typical garbage truck, a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian can result is all types of injuries, such as:
- Lacerations, cuts
- Back injuries
- Joint and ligament damage
- Neck injuries (e.g Whiplash)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Nerve damage
- Paralysis (quadriplegia, paraplegia)
- Wrongful death
If you have been injured in a waste truck accident, J&Y Law will fight to help you recover meaningful compensation. If a loved one has been killed in a garbage truck accident, we will determine if there is a legal basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. Although no amount of money can replace a life, you deserve to be compensated.
Damages You Can Recover in a Garbage Truck Accident
Although each case is unique and depends on factors such as the nature of your injuries and the extent of your liability for the accident, you may be awarded damages that include:
- Lost Wages — You are entitled to any income you lost as a result of the garbage truck accident
- Medical expenses — Covers all medical bills and costs (e.g. emergency room, hospital visits, doctor visits, radiologists, chiropractors) and assistive devices (e.g. crutches, braces)
- Loss of earning capacity — In addition to current lost wages, garbage truck accident victims are eligible to receive compensation for future lost wages
- Pain and suffering — Covers intangible losses associated with physical pain and mental anguish (e.g. fright, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief or feelings of distress)
Contact Our Los Angeles Garbage Truck Accident Attorneys
After a garbage truck accident, it takes a skilled personal injury attorney to help you recover every dollar you deserve. At J&Y Law, we have a proven history of helping our clients win significant compensation. While we believe it is often best to reach negotiated settlements in garbage truck accident claims, we have the skills and resources to litigate the matter. Above all, we will stand by you every step of the way and never stop fighting for you. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case. You will not pay any attorneys’ fees to us until we recover for you.