I Was Hit by a Garbage Truck – What Should I Do?
Being hit by any type of large vehicle is highly likely to cause serious injuries, whether you are on a motorcycle, in a car, hit while riding your bicycle, or walking. It is very important to protect your rights if you are injured by a garbage truck or any other large vehicle, as these cases can become very complicated. Despite the high probability of being injured in an accident like this, it may actually be more difficult to collect compensation for your injuries than when you are injured in an accident involving smaller vehicles. This is because a dump truck accident often involves either a privately-owned company or a public agency rather than just a single driver. If you were injured in a garbage truck accident, contact our truck accident lawyers in Sacramento to get help today.
Large Truck Accident Statistics: Grim Facts
According to the Department of Transportation, large truck accidents account for a disproportionate number of fatalities and injuries when compared to other types of vehicles. Although large trucks, defined as those with an empty gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds, make up only four percent of the vehicles on the road, they account for eight percent of all fatal accidents and three percent of all injury crashes.
Additionally, large trucks are more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle accidents than passenger cars. According to the DOT, 81 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks also involve more than one vehicle, while only 58 percent of fatal crashes involving passenger cars involved more than one vehicle. Large trucks are also rear-ended more than three times as often as passenger cars, possibly because drivers are not aware that large trucks cannot start or stop quickly.
Garbage Truck Accidents: Public and Private
Dump trucks are a special classification of large trucks because they have particular safety issues as well as because they may be owned publicly or privately. All of these factors influence how easy or difficult it may be to collect damages from a Sacramento truck accident.
Dump trucks may be owned by private companies, in which case those companies may have liability for an accident that occurs as well as the driver. They may be owned by a public entity such as a city, county or even state agency, which means that the process of collecting damages may be different than for that of a private company. Depending on who owns the dump truck, the liability may shift from the driver to the company or agency, although both could theoretically be liable for the accident. The insurance company that covers the dump truck could also vary depending on who owns the vehicle, causing a difference in the amount of money available for settlement of the claim.
Dump Truck Accidents: Safety Issues
Garbage truck accidents often involve collisions with other vehicles or objects. If a dump truck driver is inattentive and hits another vehicle or a pedestrian, the accident may result in serious injuries. However, dump trucks may also be involved in an accident when the dumping mechanism injures a bystander or a worker, even if the truck is not moving.
Dump trucks often operate through large hydraulic mechanisms that exert tremendous force. Anyone caught in the operation of a garbage truck’s dumping mechanism is likely to have serious injuries. On the other hand, anyone who is standing behind a dump truck could also be injured if the load falls on that person.
Because dump trucks can be so dangerous, drivers and operators are required to undergo rigorous safety training in the operation of these vehicles. However, the operator may neglect safety procedures, in which case the driver and company could be liable for damages. The truck could also be defective due to poor design, manufacturer or maintenance. In the case of a design flaw, the manufacturer might be liable; in the case of poor maintenance, the company might bear the responsibility for the accident. It is important that the victim understand the true cause of the accident in order to recover damages.
There are many ways you could be injured in a garbage truck accident. Contact a personal injury attorney if you are the victim of such an accident to protect your rights and understand how you may be able to recover payments for your injuries and expenses.
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.