Waste collection vehicles, commonly known as garbage trucks, retrieve and haul trash and recyclable materials. They are driven daily on regular routes and can be found on all Houston roadways, as well as in neighborhoods, apartment parking lots, and at every type of business. The role garbage trucks play is essential in keeping our communities clean, but they are also very dangerous. Vehicle occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians frequently encounter garbage trucks, and if an accident occurs, it is no minor event. Impact with a vehicle weighing 50,000-60,000 pounds can be fatal.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Houston garbage truck accident, you are likely suffering the consequences, in terms of injuries, medical expenses, and possibly even lost wages. Gibson Hill Personal Injury would like to help you seek compensation for your injuries. We have years of experience with garbage truck cases, and we know who to hold accountable for the accident.
When you reach out to us and schedule a free initial consultation, we can work together and determine the best way to move forward with your claim. Just call us at (713) 659-4000 or contact us online.
Advantages of Having a Gibson Hill Personal Injury Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer
When you are trying to recover after an incident with a garbage truck, you are likely suffering physical pain and emotional stress. People who have been injured in accidents typically have some form of compensation available, but the process to obtain may require a tremendous effort. Having legal representation from Gibson Hill Personal Injury will ease the burden because we do the work of going after the liable parties and defending your rights.
Our experienced lawyers will secure all the evidence needed to build a compelling personal injury case on your behalf. Using our skillful negotiation abilities, we will handle all of the communication with the insurance company. While you focus on recovering, we will focus on proving that you deserve a fair settlement, and you won’t be charged any fees unless and until we win your case.
Potential Victims of Garbage Truck Accidents
Anyone who is in the vicinity of a garbage truck can become an accident victim, and here is why:
Vehicle drivers and occupants: Garbage trucks are on their routes all day and constantly share the road with other vehicles. They also make frequent stops and starts and often block the paths of other drivers which catches them off guard.
Motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians: These people are difficult for garbage truck drivers to see because they are so much smaller and lower to the ground than a standard vehicle and can easily disappear in the truck’s blind spots.
Waste collection employees: Being around the trucks every day makes waste collection employees the most likely victims of garbage truck accidents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this group of workers had the fifth-highest fatal work injury rate of civilian occupations in 2018. Employees who have injuries from a garbage truck accident may be eligible for workers’ compensation and other potential third-party damages.
How Garbage Truck Accidents Can Happen
Because of the large size of a garbage truck, it doesn’t maneuver like a standard automobile, and its driver may have difficulty seeing other vehicles or people nearby. These trucks are equipped with mirrors, but the driver still has blind spots. This can contribute to the reason an accident happens, but there are other factors as well:
Route locations: Garbage trucks have to go everywhere to collect waste, including populated areas such as neighborhoods, apartment complexes, schools, shopping centers, and other commercial areas. The more vehicles and people the trucks come in contact with, the higher the risk is for accidents.
Frequent stops and starts: Having to stop and start at numerous locations throughout their routes can cause garbage trucks to be unpredictable to other vehicles. Rear-end collisions can occur when motorists are not expecting the truck to stop, or they can be hit while trying to pass a truck that starts before expected.
Driver distraction or negligence: Speeding, failing to use turn signals, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, running stop signs and traffic lights, and other irresponsible driving can cause accidents. Drivers who are fatigued or distracted by using their phones or other interferences are also at risk of provoking a collision.
Inclement weather: Trash pick-up is required even during hazardous weather when at all possible. Conditions such as heavy rain and snow can create slippery roads and reduce drivers’ visibility.
Inadequate maintenance: With all the miles garbage trucks drive, proper inspection and repairs are crucial for safety. If the waste management companies fail to maintain their trucks, or when design and manufacturing defects cause equipment to fail, accidents can happen.
Common Injuries from Garbage Truck Accidents
Accidents involving heavy vehicles, such as garbage trucks, can have a greater potential to cause serious or even fatal injuries to the human body than with other auto accidents. The many types of injuries incurred during garbage truck accidents include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Muscle and ligament damage
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Attaining Compensation for Garbage Truck Accident Injuries
Garbage collection services can be operated by a city government or by a private company. If your accident involved a city-owned garbage truck, legal action is different than against a private party. Government entities are typically protected from liability, but the Texas Tort Claims Act does allow agencies to be held responsible for personal injury when there is government employment negligence or defective government property. Suing any government entity has its challenges, so the help of an experienced attorney is essential for a successful outcome.
Both public organizations and private waste management companies have teams of insurance professionals and experts to defend against personal injury claims. You need legal representation to navigate the process and fight for your rights to be upheld, so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Liability for a garbage truck accident can also be placed on parties other than the owner of the truck. These may include:
Garbage truck driver: Sometimes the driver of the garbage truck is at fault if their actions while driving were negligent. This can also turn into holding the owner responsible for hiring a negligent driver.
Other drivers: If the carelessness of the driver of another vehicle caused your accident with a garbage truck, they would be the responsible party.
Maintenance and inspection contractors: A maintenance company can have a contract to handle the service and repairs of garbage trucks. They can be liable if they were careless about the required maintenance procedures.
Truck or parts manufacturers: If defective equipment or malfunction of the garbage truck caused the accident, the manufacturers may be at fault.
Once we identify all of the parties who are at fault for your accident, your Gibson Hill Personal Injury attorney will battle for the maximum compensation available. The damages you can be reimbursed for include:
- All related medical bills
- Lost current and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Relevant out-of-pocket expenses
This process is an uphill battle, so letting an experienced garbage truck accident attorney handle your case is the best way to ensure you recover everything owed to you.
Garbage Truck Accident Questions Answered
When you come in for your free consultation with one of our Houston garbage truck accident attorneys, we will be able to go over all of your questions and concerns. In the meantime, these are a few answers to common questions posed by our clients.
How long do I have to file a garbage truck injury claim?
In Texas, personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of the incident. A few exceptions to this deadline exist, but it is always better to start a claim as soon after the accident as possible. Most cities require you to provide notice of legal action against a governmental agency within 180 days, so there is even more reason to contact one of our Houston garbage truck accident attorneys promptly to learn about your options.
What can I do to make sure I get the maximum settlement I deserve?
Having documentation for all of your qualified expenses is an important step you can take. Be sure to keep the receipts for every bill and payment you make for charges related to your injuries. We want to ensure all your expenses are covered by your claim.
What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
There is no need to worry about paying for legal services up front. We collect our fees from the damages you are awarded and not directly from you. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay.
Turn to Gibson Hill Personal Injury for Help Today
If your life or the life of a loved one has been disrupted from an accident with a garbage truck, our compassionate Houston attorneys can protect your rights. Your chances of receiving the compensation you are entitled to increase when we’re working on your behalf. Let us start helping you get your life back on track today by calling (713) 659-4000 or completing our online form to schedule a free initial case evaluation.