The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration reported that there were 7,300 crashes across the country involving garbage trucks and dump trucks in a recent year in which someone was injured. That same year, the FMCSA said, there were 507 fatal crashes involving garbage trucks and dump trucks.
If you have been injured in an accident with a garbage truck or dump truck, the experienced Chicago truck accident lawyers at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. are ready to fight on your behalf. With decades of combined legal experience and more than $1.5 billion in compensation collected on behalf of our clients, we are known throughout Illinois for our tenacity and commitment to justice. We have the knowledge and dedication to handle even the toughest, most complex cases.
The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we can help you. Call one of our offices today or visit our contact page for a free initial consultation.
Most Common Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
Because garbage trucks are large, heavy vehicles with significant blind spots, a collision could easily occur if the dump truck driver is not exercising adequate care or caution. Some of the most common causes of garbage truck accidents include:
- Not seeing other vehicles in their blind spots
- Difficulty maneuvering the truck
- Not watching out for other vehicles when they pull back in traffic
- Unpredictable stops
- Driving the wrong way down a street
- Garbage falling out of the truck
There are several reasons why garbage truck accidents might occur, including:
- Driver fatigue – Garbage truck drivers usually work in the early mornings or at other odd hours. If drivers do not get enough rest before getting behind the wheel, their reaction times are slowed, and their judgment may be impaired, which makes an accident much more likely.
- Not monitoring blind spots – Similar to semi-trucks and other large vehicles, garbage trucks have significant blind spots in their rear-left and rear-right areas, as well as directly behind them. If drivers are not careful, they may collide with another vehicle while making a turn or by stopping too quickly.
- Malfunctioning brakes or loader arms – Mechanical failures are especially dangerous when it comes to large commercial vehicles like garbage trucks. Damaged brakes make it harder for garbage trucks to stop in time or avoid sudden hazards. A broken loader arm increases the chance that a garbage bin may fall on someone nearby while trash is being loaded.
- Backup warning system failure – Like school buses, semi-trucks, and other vehicles, garbage trucks have backup warning systems as a safety feature. If this system malfunctions, cars, pedestrians, or cyclists may not notice or hear the garbage truck in time to avoid being struck.
- Distracted driving – Garbage truck drivers need to be extra careful on the roads because of the increased size and weight of their vehicles. If a driver is distracted, they may not see another car or other hazard in their path until it is too late.
- Failure to yield – Some truck drivers think that just because they are the biggest vehicle on the road, everyone needs to get out of their way. In fact, garbage trucks are required to yield to other vehicles or pedestrians in certain situations. When they do not follow the rules of the road, it is very easy for a garbage truck to collide with a car or pedestrian in their path.
Who Is Liable in a Chicago Garbage Truck Accident?
One reason garbage truck accident cases are more complicated than other kinds of car accidents is because more than one party may be liable for your injuries. Some potentially liable parties in a garbage truck accident include:
- The garbage truck driver
- The waste disposal company
- The manufacturer of the garbage truck if there is some kind of mechanical failure
- A government entity, if the garbage trucks are city-owned
Why You Need a Garbage Truck Accident Attorney
Given the serious injuries involved in many garbage truck accidents and the complexity of these claims, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
If the garbage trucks are city-run and owned, then you would need to go up against a government entity to recover compensation. Local municipalities enjoy governmental immunity, which helps to protect them from lawsuits, but they can still be held responsible for negligence. You need to follow specific procedures to file a government injury claim. Additionally, you typically have a much shorter deadline to file a lawsuit than you would with a non-governmental claim.
Whether we file a claim against the government or a private organization, we’ll guide you through the entire legal process. We will:
- Find the medical help you need to help you recover
- File your injury claim
- Thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident to prove fault
- Work with accident reconstruction specialists to rebuild the accident scene
- Take statements from eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Gather evidence such as medical records and testimony from medical experts to build a case for compensation
- Investigate the driving and training history of the truck driver
- Negotiate aggressively with insurance companies on your behalf to secure maximum compensation
- Prepare your case to go to trial, if necessary
To get the financial compensation you need and deserve, you need an experienced and aggressive attorney who can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. That is what we provide at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Contact Our Garbage Truck Accident Attorneys for Help with Your Claim
Illinois’ statute of limitations on personal injury claims gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Don’t wait until it is too late to get the answers and justice that you deserve.
An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. will be ready to listen to your story and fight for the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. We represent clients on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you won’t pay us anything until we win your case. Call our office, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live to get started on your case today.