Garbage trucks are a normal sight wherever you happen to live. When you see them on the roads, you do not think much about them, but these large trucks are often responsible for deadly accidents. A waste disposal truck owned by Texas Disposal Systems hit a bridge in Sealy and caused an accident killing a 12-year-old in July. A trash truck collision in Arlington left one dead and another injured in June. Accidents between garbage, waste, or dump trucks and the average car can lead to significant property damage, injuries, and death. If you were hit by a garbage truck, call the experienced San Braunfels truck accident attorneys of The Bettersworth Law Firm.
Common Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
As experienced drivers know, there is an almost endless list of potential causes for truck and car accidents. But certain factors may lead to garbage truck accidents more than others, including:
- Driver fatigue: Some waste pick-up runs start early in the morning. Drivers who do not get enough sleep may get back the wheel of a truck while they are too drowsy to safely drive;
- Distracted driving: Garbage truck drivers are automatically asked to multitask. They must concentrate on maneuvering the roads and alleys to pick up trash, but also have to watch out for stray trash containers, pedestrians, animals, and other vehicles a bit more than other vehicles on the road because they must suddenly stop and start throughout their routes. Distractions like food and coffee can also be a problem;
- Failure to obey traffic laws: Garbage truck drivers may ignore some rules of the road to make their job more convenient or get through their routes faster;
- Unsecured or falling garbage: It is possible for garbage to not be secured in the truck. Debris falling from the vehicle can lead to accidents if other vehicles on the road cannot avoid it;
- Blind spots: Garbage trucks can have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles. If there are vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians in these blind spots, trucks may pull into a lane causing an accident or pushing someone off the road; and
- Frequent and unforeseeable stops: Because of the nature of their work, garbage trucks must stop a lot. If the truck does not have working lights and gives no other notice of stopping, vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians, may not be able to avoid rear-ending the truck.
Factors That Affect Your Rights and Recovery
In addition to investigating the actual cause of the accident that led to your injuries, an experienced attorney will dig deeper into the garbage truck driver’s and employer’s backgrounds. Responsibility may go beyond the driver’s actions. The employer’s negligence may ultimately be at fault for your injuries. Certain factors can demonstrate a company’s liability or negligence at the time of the accident, including:
- Ownership of the truck: Garbage trucks can be owned by the city, county, or a private company. The owner can affect your potential insurance coverage or right to recovery in court;
- Correct permits: Your lawyer will research the waste disposal company to ensure it has the correct permits; and
- Driver’s license: A person needs a special commercial driver’s license to operate a garbage truck. Your attorney will research the necessary requirements and investigate whether the garbage truck driver had the proper license and endorsements to operate that specific vehicle.
If you were involved in a truck accident, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney at The Bettersworth Law Firm. Call 830-443-9193 to schedule a free consultation today. We are prepared to help you secure the compensation you deserve.