Garbage trucks or trash trucks are a part of our everyday lives. Because of this, most of us are generally complacent and don’t pay too much to them. However, if you think about it, a trash truck is a large, heavy, dangerous piece of machinery. Any accident involving a garbage truck is considered a trash truck accident. The accident may include another vehicle or a pedestrian.
The anatomy of a garbage truck is bulky and awkward. Trash trucks are vast and powerful. At the same time, trash and recycling trucks are typically simple in technology and are not equipped with backup cameras, blind spot sensors, or auto-braking technology. Trash trucks are heavily dependent on human operation.
A trash truck accident claim can be serious and could involve severe injuries, hefty damages, and multiple defendants. These claims can get complicated fast and involve lengthy periods of discovery and litigation. If you or someone you love is the victim of a trash or recycling truck accident, call our injury attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.
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Trash Truck Accident Settlement Average
There is no “average” trash truck accident settlement. The reason for this is simply because every case is different. The particular circumstances of your case will dictate the damages you may seek. Typically, a trash truck accident settlement will involve compensation for:
- Medical expenses include ER bills, doctor visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and pharmaceuticals;
- Lost wages, including past, present, and future wages;
- Disfigurement and scarring;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Property damage.
In some cases, a plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of punishment for the defendant’s egregious or negligent behavior. Courts rarely award punitive damages, but your attorney can assess your case and let you know if you might be eligible for punitive damages.
It also takes an experienced attorney to determine whether it is in your best interest to accept a settlement or proceed to trial. Making this determination involves assessing the discovery, including police reports, eyewitness statements, video surveillance, and expert testimony. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we are no strangers to the negotiating table. We have negotiated highly favorable settlements on behalf of our clients and seen many cases through to a successful jury verdict. There are many variables involved, and we are happy to meet with you and discuss the specifics of your case.
Reasons for Trash Truck Accidents
There can be many reasons for a garbage truck accident, and sometimes more than one cause can be at play. Common reasons for trash truck accidents include:
- An uneducated, untrained, or under-trained driver;
- An overworked driver;
- A driver who has been assigned a large route and is speeding or forgoing sleep to make his destination on time;
- An unsafe truck (e.g., one that has improperly secured cargo that results in flying debris);
- A truck or part malfunction (e.g., brake failure);
- Blind spots;
- An improperly maintained trash truck; and
- Negligent hiring.
Depending on the circumstances, more than one of these might apply to your case. The reasons or cause of the accident will also indicate the potential defendants or responsible parties.
Who Is Liable?
Given the magnitude of a trash truck accident, multiple responsible parties can exist.
Depending on the circumstances, the liable party could be the garbage truck driver, a private waste management company, a municipality, an insurance company, or a combination of these. Sometimes the responsible party is abundantly clear, but figuring out who the at-fault party is isn’t always so simple.
Operators vs. Owners
There are generally two groups of potentially liable defendants in trash truck claims. Responsible parties can include the truck driver, the trucking company, and trash removal companies (if these companies are not the same entity).
Truck operators, especially drivers, have the same duty of care as any other motorist on the road. If the truck driver is negligent in their operation, they may be liable for the accident and injuries.
The second classification of defendants is the corporations or municipalities that own the trucking company. Generally, the corporate owner and employer are responsible for the proper maintenance of the trucks, appropriate training, and dutiful hiring. For instance, it would amount to negligent hiring if the company owner does not do adequate background checks on potential employees and hires someone with a troubling driving record.
The trucking company is also responsible for adequately maintaining the trucks. If they fail to routinely service or replace broken or failing equipment, they can be held liable for any injuries resulting from a related accident.
In some situations, municipalities own the trash trucks and employ the drivers and operators. In those cases, the city may also be a named defendant and ultimately responsible for your injuries and expenses.
Every situation is different, and consulting with a truck accident injury attorney is the best way to properly assess your case and determine who is liable.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
As you can probably tell by now, trash truck accident claims can be complex. They often involve multiple parties, some of which can be large corporations with deep pockets and lawyers on staff ready to defend them. Getting to the bottom of who may ultimately be liable can be costly and time-consuming. It is something unrepresented individuals are rarely successful at on their own.
We hope it is clear by now that there is no trash truck accident average settlement. Because settlement amounts vary so widely, naming an average is misleading at best. If you’re wondering how much your case is worth, don’t look at averages—look to an experienced attorney who can properly assess your case.
Obtaining a favorable trash truck settlement takes skill, knowledge of the law, and familiarity with the courts. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we have all three. Let us get started on your case today.
Garbage Truck Accident Settlement Attorneys
If you or someone you love was involved in a trash truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., our personal injury attorneys have successfully obtained seven-figure settlements for our truck accident clients. A trash truck accident claim can be convoluted and complicated, and they often require the precision and skill of experienced professional accident attorneys. Please don’t wait to seek the recovery you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We don’t get paid unless you do!