Collisions with large commercial trucks can result in devastating injuries, especially for the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. The size and weight of garbage trucks, combined with the fact that they make frequent stops, can spell disaster for those involved in accidents with them. If you suffered injuries in a crash with one, an Arlington Heights garbage truck accident lawyer could help you recover compensation.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to learn more about your rights and options following a garbage truck accident. We can provide you with legal advice and representation in all types of personal injury and wrongful death claims, including those involving garbage trucks.
Frequency and Types of Garbage Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 107 garbage truck crashes in 2017 resulted in fatalities, while another 1,427 resulted in injuries. These statistics do not indicate whether those who suffered injuries were occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or other individuals.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) also reports the increased risk of accidents that the drivers and passengers in garbage trucks face every day. Their statistics show that accidents involving garbage trucks often involve injuries to the occupants of those trucks, some fatal.
Garbage trucks are large, bulky vehicles that carry heavy loads and make frequent and sudden stops, often with little or no warning. These trucks also have a high center of gravity and a load that varies in weight. As a result, these trucks can become involved in various types of accidents, which can turn hazardous. Some of the most common types of garbage truck accidents include:
- Rollover accidents
- Collisions with other vehicles
- Debris falling from garbage trucks
- Blind spot accidents
In many of these accidents, victims can hold garbage truck drivers liable for negligent behavior, such as distracted driving, going too fast for conditions, impaired driving, and simply failing to pay attention. Common traffic violations, such as speeding, failing to signal turns or lane changes, or failing to yield can also lead to garbage truck accidents.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in this type of accident, an Arlington Heights garbage truck accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation from the responsible parties. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
Negligence in Garbage Truck Accident Claims
Generally, victims can hold at-fault parties responsible for the resulting injuries. Personal injury claims generally rely on the legal theory of negligence, meaning that the responsible parties acted carelessly or recklessly. In legal terms, these parties acted in a way that fell below the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same or similar situation. Since all drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely to protect others, committing traffic violations or driving while distracted are types of negligence that might trigger liability in a personal injury claim.
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Liability for Garbage Truck Accidents
Garbage truck drivers typically are on the job while driving, whether picking up trash from customers, emptying their trucks at a landfill, or going to and from any of these places. Although drivers could have liability if they drive negligently and cause an accident resulting in injuries, a truck accident lawyer could help you determine if you have grounds to hold others accountable.
Under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, you can often hold employers responsible for their employees’ negligence. As a result, injured parties may have a claim against a garbage truck driver and the entity that owns the garbage truck and employs the driver.
Waste management companies, particularly in rural areas, typically are private companies. However, in urban areas, governmental entities, such as cities, operate their waste management services for residents. As a result, injury victims must determine whether the driver’s employer is a private company or a governmental entity. This distinction can be crucial, as 705 ILCS 505 (state) and 745 ILCS 10 (municipal) establish how you must file claims against government agencies.
If the accident resulted from mechanical failure due to faulty repair work, the mechanic or their repair shop could face liability for the injuries and other damages.
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Deadlines for Filing Garbage Truck Accident Claims
735 ILCS 5/13-202 sets the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Illinois at two years from the accident date. If you fail to file your claim before the deadline runs out, the court might dismiss your claim. Some exceptions to the deadline exist, and an Arlington Heights garbage truck accident lawyer can determine if one applies to your case and help you submit your case in time.
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Types of Compensation Available to You
You have several avenues of compensation available to you following a garbage truck accident caused by another person’s negligence. You could receive awards for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earning capacity
- Wrongful death
In many cases, you will deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company, which likely will offer you a settlement agreement to cover your accident-related expenses. Before accepting an initial offer, you might want to confer with a personal injury lawyer. They can review the offer, calculate the full value of your damages (both current and future), and negotiate on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.
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Find Out More Information About Your Potential Legal Claim
If you have questions about your legal rights after a garbage truck accident that caused your injuries, an Arlington Heights garbage truck accident lawyer could provide you with answers. They can determine whether you have sufficient grounds to pursue a legal claim arising from your crash.
The attorneys and staff at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm stand ready to assist you with your legal needs and provide advice about your situation. We can start handling your case without you paying any upfront fees. We only receive a payment if you recover an award. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 for your free case review with a team member.