Las Vegas Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer
Garbage trucks provide a necessary service to the community by hauling away and disposing of refuse. Similar to large trucks on the roadways, when you are involved in an accident with a large vehicle it can cause serious injuries such as burn injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or worse, a wrongful death.
Garbage trucks bring a special risk on residential streets. They can be deceiving; their slow, lumbering appearance and frequent stops set pedestrians and drivers at ease, but that can’t be further from the truth because trash trucks stop and go frequently, their behavior can be unpredictable, leading to accidents.
Unlike most large trucks, garbage trucks travel through residential neighborhoods, exposing them to far more pedestrians and cyclists — especially children — than other trucks. In many cases, these accidents result in serious or fatal injuries since cars, passenger trucks and motorcycles are no match for the size and weight of a garbage truck. A pedestrian has no defense against a motor vehicle and certainly not against a massive garbage truck. And if a truck is poorly maintained by a local government or private contractor, even an otherwise safe maneuver can be dangerous.
Garbage trucks, fully loaded, are almost equivalent in weight to a World War II M4 Sherman tank and can do a similar amount of damage on impact. When 60,000 pounds (30 short tons) is moving quickly, inertia is on the side of the garbage truck, leaving those in its path potential victims of devastating, life threatening accidents.
The garbage truck has size, weight and awkward dimensions to deal with, making them even more dangerous on Las Vegas Valley roadways. Accidents involving garbage, recycling or any type of waste collection vehicle can be catastrophic, just from the sheer force of impact. Accidents involving garbage trucks have one of the highest incidence rates of serious injuries and fatalities.
What Causes a Garbage Truck Accident?
Human error plays a large role in a garbage truck related accidents because garbage truck drivers can be negligent and not adequately checking their surroundings, they could be speeding, driving under the influence or engaging in some form of reckless driving, such as making illegal turns. Garbage truck drivers are just as prone to distracted driving due to mobile phone usage as anyone else on the roadways. Children have been crushed under garbage trucks, losing limbs and in the most tragic circumstances, losing their lives, because a negligent driver was using his phone instead of watching the road.
Garbage trucks make frequent stops; each time they stop, it creates an opportunity for a crash.
Tired drivers working overtime is also a large factor. The model of the garbage truck is also a consideration as the driver may not have adequate experience behind the wheel of a certain type of garbage disposal vehicle, which can lead to careless errors and property damage.
Poorly Maintained Waste Removal Trucks
Under Nevada product liability law, a garbage truck manufacturer may be legally responsible for an accident if they supplied equipment which was either defective or unreasonably dangerous.
All components of the garbage truck must be properly maintained by the waste disposal company. For example, if the garbage truck accident was caused by brake failure, the garbage truck company may be responsible.
Improperly secured objects which fall from the garbage truck can create a serious road hazard for other drivers.
Investigating, identifying and proving there was an issue with a defective part, switch or faulty part on the garbage truck accident of this nature takes a team of attorneys fighting for your best interests to make sure a proper investigation is conducted. A proper investigation provides proof that your case is valid and can be settled for the maximum amount.
Garbage Trucks Lacking Back-Up Cameras
Most garbage trucks are not equipped with back-up cameras so they present a special hazard to pedestrians and bicyclists in their path. Without back-up cameras, it means that the garbage truck driver has only limited vision for cars and pedestrians that are behind them. Back-up accidents are one of the largest hazards we face when confronted with a garbage truck in the vicinity of our vehicle or our person.
If the garbage truck backs up without a back-up camera, it could cause injuries, hitting and sandwiching in between the traffic behind it, and in the on-coming traffic. This can cause a fatality since it presented no chance to evacuate the occupants. Often, trucks are not aware there is a car behind them at all.
Children are often the pedestrians that suffer the worst injuries and fatalities in garbage truck accidents. They often don’t realize the dangers involved with a massive garbage truck, not thinking that the truck will back up over the sidewalk, or that the driver is aware of them at a crosswalk or intersection. Often children on their bicycles do not hear the trucks behind them, the truck drivers not seeing the child until it was too late. Often, drivers are not properly trained to handle a vehicle of a garbage truck’s magnitude which often results in tragedy. Saddest part of all is that there are cases like this all the time.
Las Vegas Sanitation Workers at Risk
The lurching stop-and-go nature of garbage trucks poses sizeable risks for sanitation workers who cling to the back of the truck while it travels down residential streets. Drivers, who should be commercially licensed professionals, have very poor visibility due to a limited rear view because they are forced to rely on side-view mirrors that don’t show them entirely what is happening around the truck at any given moment. What’s worse is that the drivers don’t always wait for a signal from their co-workers on the back of the truck before starting. This can lead to jerky or unexpected movements that throw workers off the truck and into traffic or dangerous machinery, causing very serious personal injury and potentially fatal accidents.
Garbage Truck Accident Attorney in Las Vegas
A garbage truck accident attorney knows the Nevada laws and knows what to look for in an accident report and accident investigation to find signs of negligence and fault. The attorneys of Bighorn Law will help you understand your position in the event of an accident and will help you to file a claim and represent you in court and settlement hearings. We fight hard to ensure you receive a just compensation for damage to your property and injuries to your person.
Garbage trucks, like all commercially owned vehicles, are operated by companies with considerable financial backing and legal resources. Waste management companies are some of the hardest to go up against in the corporate world because most garbage trucks are operated by corporations or state funded or bonded agencies. After an accident with a garbage truck, it can be an extremely complicated matter just to navigate the paperwork involved in an insurance claim. It is important to have an experienced garbage truck accident attorney on your side. Corporations like to hide behind lawyers and quick and easy settlements. You need help to present your case and help them understand the full extent of your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a garbage truck accident in Las Vegas, Bighorn Law will fight for you and help get you the compensation you deserve.