Any truck driver has a responsibility to operate the large vehicle in a way that maintains the safety of others on the roadways. The large size and weight of a truck make it a potentially dangerous weapon if it collides with a typical passenger car.
Along those same lines, a garbage truck driver needs to act in a responsible manner when out on the road. If the driver behaved in a negligent way, he or she may bear liability for your injuries and medical bills. You may have done nothing wrong but face potentially long recovery times or even permanent disability.
Consider contacting a Rockford garbage truck accident lawyer if you believe the actions of the driver of the truck led to your injuries. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we do not shy away from taking on the toughest cases. We take pride in defending the rights of victims of negligence. Call us at (800) 794-0444 as soon as possible for a free consultation.
How Do I Know Who Bears Liability for the Accident?
After the crash with the garbage truck, you may not know if you qualify to receive an award. Determining negligence on the part of another party plays a key role in figuring out whether you have a case and who bears liability.
Negligence does not have to involve a purposeful act on the part of the garbage truck driver or owner. Instead, negligence involves determining whether the driver or the truck owner could have taken a different action to prevent the accident.
Negligence of the Driver
If the driver behaves in a negligent manner, leading to the crash, police officers investigating the accident may issue a traffic ticket. This ticket shows a violation of traffic laws, which may serve as evidence in determining negligence. Some of the reasons for which a garbage truck driver could receive a traffic ticket include:
- Failure to signal a turn
- Failure to maintain a lane
- DUI, which includes both alcohol and drug consumption in Illinois
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Driving too fast for weather conditions
- Driving too aggressively
- Reckless driving
These actions violate regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Sometimes, the driver may make an error in operating the trash collection truck that does not rise to the level of violating a traffic law. Your attorney may help you prove that the error does constitute negligence.
Negligence of the Truck Owner
When operating a garbage truck in Illinois, the driver needs to have a CDL license. This license shows that the driver has achieved the necessary training and testing to earn the right to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
If the truck’s owner does not ensure that the hired driver has the proper CDL license and endorsements, the owner could bear liability after a crash.
Additionally, the company that owns the truck may prove liable if it does not maintain the truck in a safe manner, including:
- Failing to check brakes
- Failing to check the condition of the tires
- Disconnecting safety systems
- Failing to replace broken or defective headlights, safety lights, running lights, or brake lights
- Failing to replace a broken windshield
- Failing to maintain windshield wiper quality
Multiple parties may also bear liability for an accident, depending on what investigators find.
Receiving a Fair Settlement
A Rockford garbage truck accident lawyer may help you determine just who acted in a negligent manner, leading to the crash in which you suffered an injury. We may study police reports and speak with eyewitnesses, determining the level of negligence. This information helps us figure out how to achieve the fairest settlement in your case.
Dangers of Driving a Garbage Truck
Some employees operating garbage trucks must work around the truck, sometimes while it is moving. The truck could run over them, they could fall from the truck, or they could suffer a crush injury.
Those who share the roadways with garbage trucks also take the risks of colliding with these large trucks. Some of these potentially dangerous instances include:
- Early morning hours reducing visibility: Garbage haulers often operate in the pre-dawn hours, which could lead to a garbage truck driver failing to see pedestrians or drivers entering or exiting a vehicle.
- An oddly parked truck: A garbage truck parks in an odd location while picking up trash and may not have the proper safety lighting on the truck in the dark, leading to an accident.
- A driver running late: A sanitation company may give a driver an unrealistic deadline for completing his or her route, causing the driver to rush while on the road, which could lead to a driving mistake that causes a serious crash.
Regardless of the reason, you may have suffered due to some form of negligence leading to an avoidable accident.
For a free legal consultation with a garbage truck accidents lawyer serving Rockford, call (800) 794-0444
Let a Rockford Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer Negotiate with the Insurer on Your Behalf
After an injury accident with a garbage truck, you likely will have to spend quite a bit of time recovering. You may have financial concerns alongside your health concerns, or you may be caring for loved ones who also suffered injuries in the crash.
Do not feel like you need to handle additional items like negotiating with the insurer when you already have so much on your plate. A Rockford garbage truck accident lawyer on the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may represent your interests in negotiations with the insurance adjuster, working to help you receive the fairest possible settlement.
Call us at (800) 794-0444 today. We do not take any fees up front. Instead, we work on a contingency fee basis.