Dallas Dump/Garbage Truck Accident Attorneys
Did you get into an accident with a dump truck or garbage truck? Did you suffer any injuries as a result? If so, you might be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault truck driver or trucking company with assistance from The Benton Law Firm.
Garbage trucks are essential for keeping communities sanitary, and dump trucks improve efficiency at construction sites. They’re both necessary vehicles to improve everyone’s quality of life.
Dump trucks and garbage trucks are large, heavy vehicles that sit high off the ground. Getting into an accident with a small car often results in severe vehicle damage and bodily harm. These types of vehicles can crumple up a car like a piece of paper. If the driver’s or their employer’s negligence caused the crash, injured victims could seek a monetary award.
Why Do Dump and Garbage Truck Accidents Happen?
As with passenger vehicles, there are numerous reasons why garbage and dump trucks can get involved in a collision; however, there are some factors that make these trucks particularly vulnerable to crashes, including:
There are blind spots around every type of vehicle. When you can’t see those areas, you have a hard time determining if there’s another car, motorcyclist, or bicyclist. You might change lanes or turn into someone you didn’t see was there.
Garbage trucks and dump trucks have blind spots that are bigger than those of small cars. The big containers on the back of the vehicles block the driver’s view. They can’t tell if any cars are in their blind spots because they’re much higher off the ground. Garbage trucks also have arms that lift garbage cans, which can also cause decreased visibility for the driver.
Center of Gravity
Dump and garbage trucks are typically top-heavy. They can easily roll onto the side if the driver takes a turn too quickly, or the back compartment wasn’t loaded properly. An overloaded vehicle can be challenging to maneuver, making a sudden stop or turn difficult for the driver.
Other common causes of dump and garbage truck crashes include:
- Driver error or inattention
- Loss of control due to cargo problems, hazardous road conditions, defective vehicle parts, etc.
- Impaired, drowsy, or reckless driving
- Failure to obey traffic laws, such as yield the right of way or stop at a stop sign
Load Securement Issues on Dump Trucks
A garbage truck has a rear compartment that seals shut so nothing can fall out onto the road. However, a dump truck has an open compartment on the back that carries construction materials, debris, and other items. They can easily become loose or airborne in certain conditions. If anything falls off the truck, it can create a dangerous situation for other drivers.
Dump truck drivers are supposed to follow regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for securing their loads correctly, including:
- All vehicles should be maintained and equipped to prevent loose materials from spilling or blowing out of the back.
- The vehicle bed must not contain any cracks, holes, or other openings that loose materials can get through. It should also have panels on the sides, front, and rear for complete enclosure of the load.
- The load must have a covering that’s secured firmly at the front and back.
- The vehicle’s tailgate should remain closed during transport, so nothing spills out.
Trucking Companies Might Play a Role in Dump and Garbage Truck Accidents
Trucking companies are responsible for performing routine maintenance on their vehicles to check for defects or malfunctioning. If there’s an issue, they must address it promptly by repairing the damage or replacing a defective part. If they don’t ensure their garbage trucks or dump trucks are running safely, a fatal accident could occur.
Employers are also supposed to ensure they hire qualified and experienced truck drivers. All drivers must carry a commercial driver’s license and have prior experience or education in operating a dump or garbage truck. Any trucking company that doesn’t perform a thorough background check or provide adequate training could be liable for the driver’s careless actions.
You can file an insurance claim with the trucking company’s liability insurance carrier. Businesses generally carry insurance policies with liability coverage for individuals injured because of negligent actions. If you file a claim, you could potentially receive financial compensation that pays for your medical treatment, missed time from work, pain and suffering, and psychological injuries.
How Do I Pursue Compensation from the Truck Driver?
If you discover that the garbage/dump truck driver caused the crash, you can file an insurance claim with their liability auto insurance. Whether commercial or recreational, Texas drivers must hold liability insurance with bodily injury and property damage limits. Since commercial vehicles tend to cause more severe harm, individuals that drive dump trucks and garbage trucks typically carry liability insurance with high coverage.
Texas is also a fault auto insurance state, which means the party responsible for the crash automatically becomes financially responsible for resulting damages through an insurance claim. So, if you have sufficient proof that the truck driver was to blame for your injuries, you can file a claim with their insurance policy and try to reach a settlement agreement.
The damages typically available through liability insurance include:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Out of pocket expenses
- Prescription medication costs
- Loss of income and lost future income
- Car repairs or replacement
- Rental vehicle
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of household services or companionship
What If the Truck Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Despite Texas laws requiring all motorists to hold liability insurance, some people drive without it. When that happens, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company. The coverages below aren’t a legal requirement; however, insurance carriers must offer them to their members. If you chose to purchase any of these coverages, you could seek a settlement for your medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle damage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
UM stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It can cover damages for victims of vehicle accidents when the at-fault driver doesn’t carry insurance, or their liability coverage isn’t high enough to cover all damages. You can use it to pay for expenses related to your property damage and treatment for physical injuries.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP, personal injury protection, can reimburse injured individuals, whether they’re the driver or a passenger. You might be able to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other necessary services. PIP works much like health insurance in that it provides upfront payment to medical providers for the necessary treatment of injuries.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the Dump/Garbage Truck Driver?
If you want to sue the truck driver for causing your injuries and damages, you can do so. However, we recommend you hire a Dallas dump/garbage truck accident personal injury attorney from The Benton Law Firm. Lawsuits are complicated and require you to adhere to strict deadlines. If you miss a filing deadline or submit incorrect or incomplete information, that could result in a dismissed case.
The statute of limitations in Texas is two years. That means you have two years from the date of the dump or garbage truck crash to sue the responsible driver. After two years, you’ll lose your right to seek a financial award for this matter.
When you hire us, we’ll investigate the cause of the accident and gather relevant evidence that proves the truck driver was to blame. We can handle the following:
- Request police reports
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Secure video surveillance
- Locate eyewitnesses and get their statements
- Request liability insurance policies
- Obtain your medical records, medical bills, lost wage reports, and car repair estimates
We’ll file the lawsuit with the civil court for you, so you don’t have to worry about handling the legal procedure yourself. Your involvement in the process will be minimal so you can focus on your recovery, but we will always provide you with frequent updates, so you’re aware of your case’s status. If we’re able to negotiate a full and fair settlement with the defense attorneys, we will. If not, we can take your case to trial and make our arguments in front of a judge and jury.
Speak to a Dallas Dump/Garbage Truck Accident Attorney
At The Benton Law Firm, we believe in achieving the best possible outcome in every case we take. When you hire us, you’ll work with an experienced and dedicated legal professional who will treat you with compassion and respect. We care about our clients and will show you the same courtesy and care we would show our own families.
We take cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about upfront legal fees. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. If we’re unable to win your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.
Our Dallas truck accident attorneys are available for a free initial consultation. There’s no risk to meet with us and discuss the details of your case. We’ll review all the information you have and let you know if it’s something we can pursue. We’ll be happy to provide legal advice and guide you in the right direction that fulfills your needs and goals.
If you were the victim of a dump truck or garbage truck accident in Dallas, contact us today at (214) 777-7777. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you have. We’ll schedule your free consultation to explain how we can help you.