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Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer

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Sanitation workers are essential to our community. Garbage trucks haul away waste from our homes and businesses every week. Most of the time, they complete this job efficiently and safely. However, like any large vehicle, California garbage trucks can cause severe injuries to workers, pedestrians, and other vehicle drivers when they are involved in collisions. When a sanitation vehicle crash results in traumatic injuries, a skilled truck accident lawyer with experience in such cases can help the injured party with obtaining monetary damages. 

If you have been seriously injured in an accident involving a garbage truck, please call our Sacramento injury attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for a free consultation. Our legal team will be happy to provide free, friendly advice.

Statistics on Fatal Garbage Truck Collisions

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) keeps records of fatalities involving garbage trucks. In addition to tracking deaths among sanitation workers, the agency also keeps records of instances when a general public member is killed in an accident involving a waste collection vehicle. 

In 2020, 76 public citizens within the United States and Canada lost their lives in crashes that involved a garbage truck. This number represents a slight decrease from 2019, which saw 80 deaths, and 2018 when there were 101 fatalities. California had the second-highest number of garbage truck accident fatalities in 2020, with twelve. 

Common Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents

There are several reasons why garbage trucks may be prone to collisions. Some of those potential reasons are:

  • They begin operating in the early morning hours when it is still dark, and the trucks make frequent stops and starts.
  • Garbage truck drivers often block roads or stop unexpectedly, obstructing other motorists.

Additionally, there have been some studies that show that private waste collection companies have worse safety records than those that are run by governmental or municipal agencies. This may be due to the drivers of the private companies being overworked. 

Other factors that may lead to garbage truck crashes include:

  • Driver negligence
  • Defective equipment
  • Falling objects or unsecured loads
  • Poor truck maintenance

Also of note is the sad reality that there has been an increase in the number of people that sleep outside in California. This puts them at risk of being injured by motor vehicles. In November 2021, in Redding, California, a woman was sleeping on the street in an alleyway when she was run over and killed by a garbage truck

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below, posted by Inside Edition, shows garbage trucks being driven erratically.

Avoiding Garbage Truck Crashes

The best way to avoid a crash with a garbage truck is to employ the same tactics that a safe driver uses to reduce their risk for any type of collision. That is by practicing defensive driving and doing the following:

  • Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the large truck.
  • Drive at a safe speed.
  • Do not attempt to pass a garbage truck unless the driver sees you and motions for you to pass.
  • If you are driving behind a garbage truck, be aware that it may make unexpected stops.
  • Garbage truck operators and companies should do their part by completing daily vehicle inspections and providing ongoing training for drivers.

In addition to the above, the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) provides excellent publications on avoiding injury and death from moving sanitation vehicles.

Common Injuries in Garbage Truck Accidents

Given the sheer size and weight of a garbage or recycling truck, the forces of impact involved in a collision with such a vehicle can be extremely violent. The injuries caused by such a tremendous impact can be catastrophic. Below are some common injuries that are often seen after garbage truck accidents:

How a Skilled Garbage Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

A truck accident attorney can assist injured sanitation workers or other individuals that have been injured in an incident involving a garbage truck. One of the most important reasons to promptly hire an experienced injury attorney following a serious garbage truck collision is to protect your legal rights. 

Evidence that may be crucial to your case needs to be gathered as soon as possible after the incident. Another essential reason to talk with a legal representative is to maximize the monetary value of your injury claim. Garbage truck accidents often cause severe, permanent injuries. A good lawyer will ensure that your past and future losses are recovered. 

Sacramento Garbage Truck Accident Lawyers

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a sanitation vehicle, our law firm can help. Call our garbage truck accident lawyers serving Sacramento, CA, for free, friendly case advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. More can be learned about our firm by visiting our Settlements and Verdicts page.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.25.22]

Photo by Sam LaRussa via Unsplash

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