Garbage trucks or waste collection vehicles play a major role in keeping the country clean. Unfortunately, driver error or a defective truck part can cause an accident leading to severe injuries and other losses. According to a Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) 2020 report, large commercial trucks were involved in more than 27,000 motor vehicle accidents in Florida, causing injuries and fatalities.
If you were recently in an accident with a garbage truck, you may be entitled to compensation. A Gainesville garbage truck accident lawyer with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can investigate your case, determine liability, and hold those responsible via an insurance claim or lawsuit.
How a Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer in Gainesville Can Help
Navigating truck accident claims can be challenging. Typically, they involve several liable parties and rules and regulations governing truckers and trucking companies.
This is why it can be beneficial to work with a lawyer familiar with these types of cases. Your attorney will do the following:
- Investigate your case
- Gather evidence (e.g., the police report, your medical records, photos and/or surveillance video from the accident scene, the truck driver’s records, etc.)
- Work with experts such as an accident reconstruction specialist to establish what caused the accident
- Name all liable parties
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Handle all communications with the at-fault party’s side
- Take your case to trial, if necessary
Your lawyer will advise you on protecting your claim and help you recover the full value of your damages.
Our Law Firm Works on a Contingency-Fee Basis
Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket for a lawyer to work on your case. Your attorney’s fee will come out of the settlement or court award they win for you. You can get the justice you deserve and only pay for your lawyer’s services after winning the case.
Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
Accidents involving garbage trucks can occur for various reasons. Sometimes these crashes occur due to negligence. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Defective equipment
- Unsecured loads or falling objects
- Driver negligence
- Poor truck maintenance
- Fatigue due to overworking
- Driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Inaccurate warning or road signs
Garbage trucks generally begin operating very early when it’s still dark. The lack of visibility can cause an accident. The trucks also make frequent starts and stops and can unexpectedly block roads and obstruct other road users. Additionally, they may ignore some traffic rules, such as stopping without adequate warning, leading to serious crashes.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a garbage truck accident, a personal injury lawyer can protect your legal rights and go over your options. Your lawyer will investigate the case, establish the cause of the accident, determine the responsible party, and file a claim with their insurance company.
What You Should Do After a Garbage Truck Accident
As with any other accident, what you do after a garbage truck collision can affect the validity of your claim or how much you can claim for your damages. Therefore, immediately after the accident, you should:
- Report the accident to police
- Obtain witness information and statements
- Get the truck driver’s information
- Take photos of the scene and your injuries
- Seek medical attention
- Report the accident to your insurer
- Call a garbage truck accident lawyer
The information you collect at the accident scene, police reports, medical records, pictures, and more are vital to your case. If the accident is severe and you cannot collect any evidence at the time of the crash, you should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you are able. Your lawyer will collect and protect crucial evidence that will determine the outcome of your claim.
Remember, regardless of the accident’s severity, it is best to seek medical attention. Some injuries don’t manifest right away. For example, whiplash may take a few days to begin affecting you. Seeking proper medical attention can help diagnose any accident-related injuries and document them if you file a claim. During your treatment, ensure you keep all receipts, bills, and details of other expenses you incur due to the accident.
Common Injuries from Garbage Truck Accidents
Garbage trucks can weigh more than 33,000 pounds when empty and even more full. This weight makes them challenging to handle, and a slight distraction can cause a catastrophic accident.
Garbage trucks also include 18-wheelers, which can carry up to 80,000 pounds of trash to dumps from metropolitan areas. A collision involving one of these large commercial vehicles can cause life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Limb amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Broken bones
- Severe burns
- Soft tissue injuries
- Disfigurement and disability
Apart from the injuries, you may be dealing with the emotional effects of the accident. Your lawyer will use your medical records and other information to prove your damages and value your claim.
Florida Statute of Limitations
Every state has different laws that govern how long you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Per Florida Statutes § 95.11, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the accident was fatal, surviving family members have two years from the date of their passing to file a wrongful death suit.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within the given deadline, you could lose your right to seek compensation from the liable party. If you want to protect your legal rights for compensation after a garbage truck accident in Gainesville, reach out to a lawyer to learn about the laws and regulations that apply to your case.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to Learn More
If you are a victim of a garbage truck accident or have lost a loved one due to a crash in Gainesville, you might have a right to claim compensation from the at-fault party. A garbage truck accident lawyer can explain your legal rights and options.
We Can Help.