If you were in an accident involving a garbage truck, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 for a free consultation with a Chicago garbage truck accident lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks garbage truck workers as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, with significant injuries and deaths occurring every year. Garbage trucks are commercial vehicles that are also known as trash trucks, waste collection vehicles, or refuse collection vehicles. Many garbage trucks utilize some form of a hydraulic lift or robotic arm. However, some garbage trucks still require workers to physically lift garbage cans and dump the waste into the garbage truck manually.
All drivers of large commercial vehicles and trucks, such as garbage trucks, must receive additional training, and pass additional exams to earn their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). These higher standards are legally required and attempt to ensure that those who operate a garbage truck meet higher standards and follow rigorous rules and codes beyond that of a standard passenger vehicle driver’s license.
If a driver of a garbage truck fails to adhere to these higher standards and laws, they may have acted negligently and could be liable for any injuries that occur.
For a free legal consultation with a Garbage Truck Accidents Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 223-5115
Garbage Truck Safety
Improvements to garbage trucks have occurred over recent years, including automated pickup features that minimize garbage truck workers’ exposure to hazardous conditions, but there are still significant dangers involved in working near or passing by garbage trucks.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), garbage truck workers should always use their protective, reflective gear and stand to the side of the garbage truck when compacting trash. Additionally, all trash truck equipment must shut down completely when entering the compacting area to ensure that a worker is not crushed. Garbage truck workers should create a pedestrian-free zone while their garbage truck operates, and all garbage truck operators should immediately stop the truck if any workers are not in their view.
If you were injured in a garbage truck accident where the workers did not follow these regulations, you could be eligible for compensation.
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Risk Factors for Garbage Truck Accidents
Some of the following are serious risk factors that can result in garbage truck accidents:
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Falling Trash and Debris
Garbage trucks have mechanisms and design features to keep trash and waste contained within the garbage truck. There are times, though, when trash or debris falls or flies out of the garbage truck. When debris hits a garbage truck worker, pedestrian, or another vehicle, there may be serious injuries or damages. Additionally, falling debris can create road obstructions leading to catastrophic accidents.
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Cities or states usually own the garbage trucks that operate within their boundaries, and these entities bear the responsibility for maintaining their vehicles to proper and safe standards. If poor maintenance causes or contributes to a garbage truck accident, we may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.
As with any other type of driving, garbage truck drivers can be negligent in the operation of their vehicles. Speeding, inattention, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failing to obey traffic rules are types of negligent behaviors that can easily result in serious accidents.
These are not the only risk factors associated with garbage truck accidents. Your Chicago garbage truck accident lawyer can help you determine any potentially liable parties associated with your injuries.
Types of Garbage Truck Accidents
There are many different types of accidents that can involve a garbage truck. Workers themselves may suffer injuries due to the inattention of a driver or due to falling debris. Collisions are also common with other vehicles as they try to pass garbage trucks. Pedestrians and bicyclists are also in danger as garbage trucks operate near sidewalks. Whether you were a worker, pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorist, if you were in an accident involving a garbage truck, you may have the right to receive compensation.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim
Attempting to determine liability in a garbage truck accident can be legally challenging. If the garbage truck driver was negligent in any way, and their misconduct directly caused your injuries, they may be liable. However, if the garbage truck driver was an employee of a company, then their employer may be liable as well under the legal theory of respondeat superior. Additionally, if the garbage truck had a mechanical failure, the liability may rest with the manufacturer of the defective part or component or the maintenance company.
Pursuing a Claim Against the Government
The Chicago Bureau of Sanitation collects waste from over 600,000 households, and approximately 360 garbage trucks collect more than a million tons of garbage in Chicago alone each year. If a city collects waste, and an injury occurs, a personal injury claim may be filed against the city. Pursuing a claim against a government entity is legally complex, and the statute of limitations is only one year. Additional restrictions and legal processes apply when filing a claim against a government entity.
Contact a Chicago Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you were in an accident involving a garbage truck, your injuries may be severe. Contact a Chicago garbage truck accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 for a free consultation to learn more about your rights.