The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks garbage truck work as one of the most dangerous types of employment in the United States. Serious injuries and deaths result from accidents involving garbage trucks every year. If you suffered injuries or losses due to an accident with a garbage truck, learn how a Los Angeles garbage truck lawyer can help you with your legal rights. Contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 for a free consultation.
Garbage Truck Regulations
According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, any driver of a commercial truck must obtain additional certifications to receive a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in the state of California. Due to the fact that a garbage truck is much more difficult to operate and maneuver, any person attempting to drive this type of vehicle must have specialized training in order to ensure their safety, other workers’ safety, and the safety of the other motorists on the roadway.
Along with regulations regarding the operation of the garbage truck, are regulations on the other garbage truck workers. Specifically, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that workers must always wear reflective and protective gear. Additionally, if a worker is compacting trash, they must always stand to the side of the garbage truck to prevent injury.
Also, any equipment must remain off while in the compacting area to guarantee that no workers suffer any crushing injuries. The safety standards for all garbage truck workers is very high to attempt to prevent any types of injuries to both the workers and other motorists or pedestrians on the roadways.
Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
While every accident involving a garbage truck is different, there are some different types of factors that may cause injuries and losses due to a garbage truck accident.
Many garbage trucks have specific mechanisms that keep trash contained. However, if debris falls out of the garbage truck due to the negligence of a driver or other worker, it can hit a passing pedestrian or another vehicle on the roadway. In other cases, falling debris from a garbage truck can create hazards in the roadway, which can lead to vehicle collisions and multiple car pileups.
In many cases, some negligent act of the garbage truck driver, another worker, or the garbage truck company causes an accident resulting in serious harm or injury. Some of the following are examples of how negligence can result in an accident involving a garbage truck.
- Failure to monitor surroundings as the garbage truck driver backs up or moves the truck to a different location
- Failure of the trucking company to hire an experienced garbage truck driver, and/or provide a garbage truck driver with appropriate training
- Reckless driving including speeding or failure to obey traffic signals and signs.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, including texting and driving or attempting to find a location on a GPS
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to ensure that garbage and debris remain secured within the garbage truck
- Failure to properly maintain the garbage truck according to established maintenance schedules
For a free legal consultation with a garbage truck accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Types of Garbage Truck Accidents
Any accident involving a garbage truck can easily result in serious injuries. Some of the types of accidents that can occur with a garbage truck include the following:
- Rollover (when a garbage truck driver is speeding or there are poor road conditions causing the driver to lose control of the garbage truck)
- Sideswiping (when the garbage truck driver does not properly check blind spots and surroundings)
- Rear-end accidents (when the garbage truck follows the car in front of them too closely as is unable to stop in time to avoid a collision)
- Head-on collisions (when a garbage truck driver operates the vehicle with such negligence that they drive into oncoming traffic or onto a highway ramp in the wrong direction)
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents (when the garbage truck driver does not pay attention to his or her surroundings)
Los Angeles Garbage Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Determining liability in a garbage truck accident differs from that of a typical passenger accident. In most cases, the garbage truck driver will operate the garbage truck as part of their functions of employment. Therefore, the trucking company will also remain liable and responsible for any injuries suffered due to the negligence of its employees. This legal concept is respondeat superior. Additionally, if the trucking company failed to ensure that the garbage trucks received maintenance according to proper maintenance schedules, which resulted in an accident due to a steering wheel failure or brake failure, the trucking company is liable for any resulting injuries or losses. Also, if an investigation into the garbage truck accident determined that any manufactured part of the garbage truck was in some way defective or flawed which caused the accident, a victim may file a claim also against the manufacturer of the defective part or component.
Pursuing a Claim Against the Government
Many garbage truck companies are privately owned and operated. However, the city of Los Angeles does have some entities that work directly with garbage collection and disposal. For example, city-owned Central Los Angeles Refuse Transfer Station (CLARTS) manages and transports garbage for areas within Los Angeles. If any of their vehicles or workers causes an accident, the victim may have a claim directly against the city. Filing a legal claim against a government entity for injuries and losses is a much different process than that of filing a claim in civil court. There are very different statutes of limitations (deadlines) and procedures that a victim takes to attempt to receive compensation from a city or state government for injuries they suffered or losses they incurred. Failing to file any of the required documentation and paperwork could lead to the inability to file a claim and the loss of the right to receive compensation for injuries suffered.
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Consider a Los Angeles Garbage Truck Lawyer
If you were in an accident involving a garbage truck, you may have serious injuries and suffered substantial losses as a result. Consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and how a Los Angeles garbage truck lawyer can help you determine your next steps.