Mintz Law Firm
You commonly see garbage trucks lumbering about, street by street, collecting waste from bins outside people's homes. They may seem mundane, but an accident with one of these trucks can cause immense damage. Garbage trucks are large vehicles loaded down with tons of heavy trash and waste, making them even more dangerous.
Garbage trucks are not a rare sight. They are a necessary part of keeping your neighborhood and community clean, so you're bound to cross paths with one. Because of this, garbage truck drivers should be experienced enough to operate their vehicles safely. Unfortunately, there are times when everything doesn't go according to plan, and drivers end up in an accident with a garbage truck. When that happens, it'll be helpful to seek legal counsel from an experienced garbage truck accident attorney.
What Causes Garbage Truck Accidents in Denver?
Accidents on the road occur for various reasons, but it usually comes down to a driver making an error or there being something wrong with the vehicle itself. Due to their trucks' large blind spots, garbage truck drivers need a lot of experience and training to maneuver such large vehicles through neighborhoods safely and effectively. They must make frequent stops and have the skill to navigate through the narrow streets of suburbia.
Regardless of how they are operated, garbage truck accidents typically occur due to several reasons:
Distracted or Inattentive Drivers
Garbage truck drivers must remain aware of their surroundings, looking out for other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Drivers who are not paying attention may miss people in their blind spots, resulting in a fatal outcome. Inattentive driving typically occurs when a driver uses their phone while behind the wheel, driving while fatigued, or otherwise not paying attention.
Inept Operation from Lack of Experience or Training
Garbage trucks are enormous, top-heavy vehicles requiring special training. A driver who has received inadequate or no training may operate the truck in a manner that is likely to cause an accident, or they may not be aware of the proper maneuvers to avoid an accident.
Reckless Driving Practices
It's not enough to have the necessary skills to operate a garbage truck. Drivers must also be careful and responsible to avoid an accident. Negligent drivers have reckless driving practices such as driving over the speed limit, while distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Debris Falling from the Truck
When a garbage truck's load is not secured correctly, debris can fall out and into traffic. A child, pedestrian, bicycle, or passenger struck by trash or debris may sustain devastating injuries from which they may never fully recover.
Defective Equipment and Poor Maintenance
Ultimately, garbage trucks are machines requiring regular proper maintenance to be operated safely. Garbage truck companies must regularly inspect, maintain, and repair their trucks. When they neglect doing so, the truck's brakes, tires, steering, or other parts could fail, resulting in a terrible accident.
What Injuries Could I Sustain in a Denver Garbage Truck Accident?
Garbage trucks frequently transport rocks, dirt, trash, and other material, and anyone struck by debris can sustain serious injury. They may be harmed or suffer an accident if anything impacts the windshield or enters the vehicle. If the driver swerves to avoid debris, they could roll over or swerve into something.
Accidents involving garbage trucks can result in severe and perhaps fatal injuries, such as traumatic brain damage or spinal cord injury.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Commonly known as concussions, mild traumatic brain injuries are typically temporary conditions where most sufferers fully recover after some rest.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries
Moderate traumatic brain injuries are also known as persistent post-concussion symptoms or post-concussion syndrome. Moderate TBIs require greater attention and a longer recovery time because symptoms can linger anywhere from a few months to more than a year after the initial head injury.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
The two types of severe TBIs are closed brain injury and penetrating brain injury. A closed brain injury occurs when the brain is harmed while moving around inside the skull. Piercing brain injuries are caused by foreign objects penetrating the skull and harming the brain tissue.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Due to garbage truck accidents, many people suffer from long-term spine problems. Spinal cord injuries are one of the more severe injuries resulting from a garbage truck accident.
Nearly half of all spinal cord injuries are complete, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. When a person has complete spinal cord damage, they lose all motor and sensory functions below the injury site on both sides of the body.
The other type of spinal cord injury is incomplete. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, the victim's spinal cord retains some ability to send and receive signals to and from the brain. Some sensation and movement are possible beneath the injured area. One side of the body may perform better than the other. The more serious spinal cord damage is, the less likely the victim will completely recover.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Collision with a Garbage Truck in Denver?
Garbage trucks can cause property damage and injuries in an accident. Whoever is deemed liable for the accident may be required to pay compensation to cover the damages, so it's essential to act quickly to protect yourself from being forced to take full responsibility for an accident that wasn't your fault. Following a garbage truck accident, you should do the following:
- Call emergency services, such as the police and paramedics.
- Even if your injuries appear minor, seek medical assistance and keep track of your medical records.
- Give the police your statement and obtain a copy of the official police report.
- Obtain witnesses’ statements and contact information.
- Take photos to document the accident and any injuries.
- Keep a record of your medical expenses, travel expenses, and any other losses related to your injuries and the accident.
It’s also helpful to contact a Denver garbage truck accident lawyer to organize all of this information for you and speak on your behalf.
Why Should I Hire a Denver Garbage Truck Accident Attorney?
Anyone who has been harmed in a garbage truck accident while driving, biking, or simply walking nearby may be able to file a suit to recover damages like medical costs, lost pay, and pain and suffering. As a victim of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation from multiple parties, including the trucking company, the truck driver, and the municipality.
The presence of multiple potentially liable parties can also complicate your case. Multiple parties may mean you have to deal with multiple lawyers and insurance companies. Because each case is unique, you should consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case before determining the best course of action. To figure out what caused your accident, who was at fault, and your best defense strategy, you'll need the advice of an expert truck accident attorney.
Contact an Experienced Denver Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer
Garbage trucks need many parties doing their job correctly to function safely. When one or more of those parties fails, garbage trucks become extremely dangerous. If you've been injured in a garbage truck accident, you've likely incurred numerous losses from medical bills and missing work. You should consult an experienced garbage truck attorney about the best way to pursue compensation and justice for your case.
The lawyers at Mintz Law Firm are available to represent you in your accident case. Our firm has represented many victims of garbage truck accidents in Denver and recovered large sums due to our aggressive representation. We provide our clients with attentive support and don't charge them fees unless they win. For a free consultation, call (303) 462-2999 or complete our contact form today.