Did a Dump or Garbage Truck Injure You?

Did a Dump or Garbage Truck Injure You

Dump trucks are a regular presence in Morgantown. Major industrial development and upgrades to the infrastructure are not possible without them. The areas around Morgantown Industrial Park, the Star City wastewater treatment plant, and the airport are bustling with these large construction vehicles. Ranging from 15,000 pounds to almost 40,000 pounds fully loaded with loose materials such as sand and gravel, they are not easily maneuverable. They are prone to causing catastrophic damage in an accident.

Solid waste management is a high priority in West Virginia. Residential waste and recycling services are big business—and fleets of garbage trucks navigate travel through the city streets and suburbs daily. Accidents and injuries happen despite federal and state compliance regulations for these large commercial vehicles.

The Potential Dangers of Dump and Garbage Trucks

Children love these behemoths, and tragically they often become victims. Often they are too young to fully understand the dangers of riding a bike or playing around a garbage truck, so when a driver fails to see them, the accidents can have catastrophic results. There are many potential dangers associated with these large commercial and construction trucks:

Frequent stops

A garbage truck may stop 400 to 800 times every day, primarily on narrow and crowded streets in residential neighborhoods. At 32 tons, a garbage truck needs additional time and distance to stop. Some years ago, West Virginia passed Slow Down to Get Around legislation requiring drivers to slow down to 15 miles per hour when passing a stopped garbage truck.

Blind spots

Blind spots reduce a truck operator’s field of vision. Not all waste management vehicles have the latest technology such as{

  • Backup cameras and sensors
  • Safety accessories like driver fatigue warnings
  • Dash cameras

Garbage truck blind spots are in front of and behind the truck, the right side of the cab, and the rear of the driver’s side window; basically, everywhere. A dump truck’s blind spots can be deadly.

In a recent two-year span, 772 people died in construction and maintenance areas. The areas of concern are one travel lane on the left side of the dump truck and two lanes to the right. In addition, large blind spots (20 to 30 feet) in front of and behind the truck form dangerous no zones where truckers can’t see other vehicles.

A truck accident lawyer can help injured parties receive the maximum financial recovery.

Heavy loads and unstable cargo

A shifting cargo makes a large commercial truck unstable. The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine conducted a crash causation study focusing on rollover accidents.

The results showed almost half of the accidents were the combined result of:

  • Speed
  • The type of load
  • The brakes
  • The road surface

Another major cause of dump truck and garbage truck rollover crashes is the driver’s lack of attention. When it comes to distracted driving, innocent victims suffer the consequences of someone else’s mistakes.

Settling a Claim for a Dump Truck or Garbage Truck Requires Unique Skills

The many victims of a large truck accident may include children playing in the street, a dog-walker, workers in a construction zone, passengers in an automobile, and even the dump truck or garbage truck operator.

Because of the sheer size and weight of these trucks, the injuries are usually severe, financially devastating, and sometimes deadly. Somebody made an error in judgment—the driver, truck owner, the maintenance crew responsible for the upkeep and inspection of the vehicles. It could be all three.

There is much to consider when initiating a compensation claim. A truck accident attorney will take a deep dive into all possible mitigating circumstances.

Did the operator maintain their focus? Did the driver have the appropriate license? Was the driver impaired? Another important question, is who owns the truck? The driver may have leased it from a rental agency, a construction company, the city, county, or state may own it.

No matter who owns the truck involved in the incident, an insurance company stands ready to limit your financial compensation. Large insurance carriers employ both claims adjusters and in-house attorneys. Their prime focus is not paying out large amounts of money quickly. They will offer the least monetary compensation possible and take the most time to do so. Accident victims with an experienced truck accident lawyer advocating for them will stand a better chance of recovering fair and just compensation.

Consider Your Losses

Losing work for an extended period can leave a family both financially and emotionally drained. Many insurance companies hope your immediate financial needs will force you to accept a low-ball settlement offer. Accident victims have a lot to lose. Medical expenses mount up quickly, and when dealing with catastrophic injuries, can last indefinitely. Permanent disabilities can mean modifications to the home, a loss of future income from one’s chosen profession, possible job retraining, and changes in the family dynamic. A truck accident lawyer will take the time to evaluate everything a victim and their family may lose.

It Takes Time

Realistically, settling a dump truck or garbage truck claim can take anywhere from several months to several years. Everything hinges on the circumstances of each individual’s case, the expertise of the victim’s lawyer, and the family’s ability to withstand the test of time. Most cases do eventually settle out of court, but if the total cost of the damages is more than the limits of available insurance policies, a trial may well be the only recourse.

Protect your rights and your future. You have a two-year statute of limitations to initiate legal action following a truck accident. Proving fault and negligence is critical to the successful outcome of any personal injury case. The more time passes, the greater the chance valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed. Contact a truck accident lawyer for a free consultation.

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