An accident involving a dump truck or garbage truck can leave you with serious injuries. Whether you are in a car, walking, bicycling, or riding a motorcycle, the injuries you suffer can result in massive medical costs and other damages.
If the truck driver, their employer, or both acted negligently, you may want to contact a South Carolina personal injury lawyer for help with your case.
Examples of Dump Truck and Garbage Truck Accidents Involving Negligence
Due to their size, and weight, dump trucks and garbage trucks present unique dangers above and beyond those that may exist with regular vehicles. n. Additionally, moving parts and shifting loads can contribute to additional harm during an accident.
Of the many factors that may play a role in an accident involving a dump truck or a garbage truck, two key factors are driver error and poor truck maintenance.
#1. Driver Error
Dump trucks are multi-axle vehicles that typically carry debris from construction sites. Boards, nails, and other loose materials make for heavy and generally unsecured loads. A dump truck driver who engages in reckless behavior behind the wheel, or even a driver who is not familiar with how to handle a larger vehicle carrying a shifting load, can cause their load to spill during an accident. In addition, many accidents may be caused when a driver or other individual fails to secure the load, causing debris to fly into the roadway.
Garbage trucks make frequent stops along busy South Carolina streets. The stop-and-go action combined with the loose nature of some of the material collected requires that drivers, and other personnel properly and safely secure the materials, and also keep watch of their surroundings to avoid other drivers.
Beyond those damages that may be unique to dump trucks or garbage trucks, drivers of both types of vehicles may also pose the same dangers as other South Carolina drivers:
- Drunk driving: driver is under the influence of alcohol
- Distracted driving: driver removes their attention from the road
- Drowsy driving: driver risks getting behind the wheel despite feeling tired
- Aggressive driving: driver engages in aggressive behavior that causes harm
Where South Carolina dump and garbage truck drivers must hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), this license sets strict requirements for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels at 0.04 percent – lower than the 0.08 percent level for other drivers. Many companies who employ these drivers, however, may instate a zero tolerance policy. Regardless, these companies may be held responsible for the actions of their employees or agents, either for violating the law, or internal company policies governing conduct.
#2. Poor Truck Maintenance
Common areas where a poorly maintained truck fleet may result in injuries include accidents caused by:
- Worn tires
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Cracked windshields or mirrors
- Malfunctioning lights or safety features
While not a complete list, these issues are commonly found in poorly maintained trucks. Your lawyer can investigate to determine if the company or the driver knew of much-needed repairs and failed to take action.
No matter what form of negligence resulted in your serious injuries, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you. The harm you suffered is worthy of a fight for fair compensation and not just what an insurance company initially offers to pay.
Your Dump Truck or Garbage Truck Accident Injuries
The average garbage truck weighs 64,000 pounds. This amount of weight can cause devastating injuries when the driver loses control of their truck.
Common types of injuries in a dump or garbage truck accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a TBI is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI can require extensive therapy, medication, and other related services, resulting in significant medical expenses.
- Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury can cost millions throughout a patient’s lifetime. Examples of necessary accommodations include costly home and vehicle modifications, as well as extensive and sometimes permanent medical and therapeutic care.
- Internal injuries: It is sometimes the injuries you cannot see that can cause the most harm. Internal injuries require a diagnosis by a medical professional using hospital equipment. If left untreated, an internal injury, such as hemorrhage, can result in death.
- Neck and back injuries: A serious injury to the neck or back can require a long recovery, resulting in time missed from work.
- Broken bones: Multiple broken bones can require surgery and physical therapy. Patients may need assistance with such personal care as bathing and dressing.
- Burns: If a crash is so severe that a fire erupts, an accident victim may suffer burns. This type of injury generally requires special care at a specialized burn center.
These are only a few examples of the types of injuries that can potentially arise from a dump or garbage truck accident. A dump or garbage truck’s sheer size and weight can cause you to suffer more than one serious injury.
If you or a loved one suffered a severe injury due to a careless truck driver, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you fight for compensation.
Types of Compensation Possible in a Dump Truck or Garbage Truck Accident
The lawyer you hire will be your first line of defense against an insurance company adjuster who may be more interested in paying very little or denying your claim. As such, you should hire someone you feel will fight on your behalf for compensation for:
- Medical bills: from the moment of transport from the accident scene to your hospital and doctors’ fees
- Ongoing medical costs: bills relating to continuous care, therapy, prescription medications, and other ongoing expenses related to your injuries
- Lost income: wages possible had you not missed time from work recovering from your injuries
- Potential future earnings: the earnings possible if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job
- Pain and suffering: the mental and physical anguish relating to the accident and its impact on your quality of life
Your lawyer cannot promise you compensation. The outcome of a similar case does not guarantee success in your case. Your lawyer will fight for the best results possible.
How Insurance Companies Typically Operate
A dump or garbage truck company generally has an insurance company that wants to protect its client, and itself.. This may mean looking out for everyone but you—the accident victim.
An insurance company may attempt to settle with you before you hire an attorney. If the insurance company can convince an accident victim to accept an initial settlement offer, it generally closes the claim quickly and for the least amount possible.
Right after an accident, you may not know what you will need in the weeks, months, and years to come related to your injuries. The time following a traumatic accident can leave you feeling confused.
The amount offered to you may seem like a large sum. However, most accident victims do not realize that by accepting it, they cannot pursue compensation later. The settlement settles your claim; in other words, the case is closed.
Insurance companies deal with accident claims daily. Adjusters may use a variety of tactics designed to get your signature on a settlement form. Therefore, if you feel strongly about your claim, speak with a lawyer before signing any document.
Negotiating with an insurance company on your own is risky. If you suffered serious injuries due to a reckless dump truck or garbage truck accident, consider contacting a South Carolina accident attorney today.
Deadly Dump Truck and Garbage Truck Accidents
A fatal dump truck or garbage truck accident is devastating for those who suffer such a loss. If you have lost a close loved one in a dump truck or garbage truck accident, you may qualify for a wrongful death claim and lawsuit.
The process of navigating a wrongful death claim can be complicated. A South Carolina wrongful death attorney can review your case and help you navigate your options.
Money cannot replace your loved one; however, it can help ease your financial stress during this difficult time. If the decedent contributed to your finances, your lawyer can fight for lost wages, along with the loss of companionship.
Other types of possible compensation include funeral costs and final medical expenses for your loved one. A wrongful death attorney will treat you with care and compassion. Having someone on your side during this challenging time can afford you much-needed peace of mind.
You Must Take Quick Action and Contact a South Carolina Attorney Now
The statute of limitations is a set of deadlines relating to civil cases, and may vary depending on the type of vehicle involved in the accident. s.
If you fail to file your lawsuit promptly and miss the deadline, there is no second chance. Hiring an attorney familiar with the South Carolina court system can prevent this from happening to you.
You can help your lawyer with your case by providing:
- The names of medical providers
- Status updates about your treatment
- Accident scene photographs
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- Police reports
- Proof of lost income from your employer
Any information you may possess relating to your dump truck or garbage truck accident can help your case. Sharing this information with your lawyer as soon as possible helps them to build your case faster.
Fighting for compensation is easier with an experienced South Carolina lawyer by your side.
Your South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer
A free case evaluation soon after your accident can provide you with helpful information. While you may feel overwhelmed by your medical costs and inability to work, contacting a lawyer can alleviate some of your stress.
Learning more about your legal options can remove the burden of your case from your shoulders to a qualified lawyer. South Carolina truck accident attorneys understand how insurance companies operate. Protecting your best interests is your lawyer’s top priority as your case moves forward.
Your life may never return to the way it was before the accident. Holding the liable party accountable for their careless actions is where a South Carolina lawyer can help you.
No one goes for a walk, a bicycle ride, or a car trip to the store expecting to suffer serious harm. However, everyone must remain focused on the road and maintain control of their vehicle. When a dump truck or garbage truck driver takes unnecessary risks or fails to maintain a safe truck, they should be liable for any harm that results.
A South Carolina personal injury or wrongful death attorney is standing by to help you pursue compensation and justice. While the outcome of your case is impossible to predict, your lawyer will work hard and fight for what you deserve.
Taking swift action soon after your accident can free more time for you to concentrate on your rest and healing. Communication is key and something your lawyer provides as your case develops. For clients with questions, your lawyer’s firm is always a phone call away.