Houston Garbage Truck Accident Lawyers
Find Out How We Can Help You Reclaim Your Future
Specially designed to collect waste from residential and commercial properties and transport it to treatment facilities, garbage trucks are a common site throughout Houston. Sharing the road with these noisy, immense vehicles can be unnerving—to say the least. At times, it can be dangerous or even deadly.
A collision with a garbage truck is likely to leave occupants of the other vehicle or non-occupants (such as pedestrians or cyclists) with catastrophic injuries that forever change their lives. Some garbage truck accident victims lose their lives. When this happens, victims and their families need a law firm they can turn to for compassionate support and powerful legal counsel. That’s Arnold & Itkin.
We believe in fighting for people in all walks of life who have suffered harm through no fault of their own. To find out how we can help you, call (888) 493-1629.
Types of Garbage Trucks
The technical name for a garbage truck is a waste collection vehicle or a refuse collection vehicle (RCV). There are different types of trucks, depending on the type of waste they collect.
Our attorneys represent victims of Houston garbage truck accidents involving:
- Front, side, and rear loader garbage trucks
- Compost trucks
- Recycling trucks
- Hazardous waste trucks
- Grapple trucks
- Roll off garbage trucks
- Pneumatic collection (from underground holding areas)
These vehicles are enormous and difficult to maneuver. They have large blind spots and require experienced drivers to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. If a driver is negligent or careless, or a waste disposal company fails to properly maintain or inspect its trucks, other people may pay the ultimate price. Our firm is committed to helping these people get the guidance, care, and support they need. We handle garbage truck accident cases for clients in Houston and throughout the country—stopping at nothing to see justice served.
Houston Garbage Truck Accident FAQ
How much does a garbage truck weigh?
Depending on the type of truck and the weight of its load, a garbage truck may weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Your standard side loader trash truck can carry 30,000 pounds of waste, and a commercial roll off truck can carry about 20,000 pounds. A collision with a vehicle and load of this magnitude can easily spell disaster—most often for the occupants of other vehicles, not the driver of the garbage truck.
What should I do if I was injured in a Garbage Truck accident?
If you were driving, walking, or cycling in the Houston area and you were hit by a garbage truck, you should first seek medical attention. If you’re not taken to the emergency room right away, exchange information with the other driver and take pictures of the scene if you can. Then see your doctor or visit your local urgent care center or emergency room to get a medical evaluation and whatever treatment you need.
Once you’ve seen a doctor, take this opportunity to talk to an attorney about your rights. You may be facing thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost earnings. You may be dealing with significant emotional trauma. An attorney who has experience with Houston garbage truck accident cases can handle your claim and all communication with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
The right attorney can pursue the compensation you need to rebuild and move on with your life.
What causes garbage truck accidents?
Most garbage truck collisions can be traced to the negligent or illegal conduct of a driver. This may be the driver of the truck or another motorist and may include drunk driving, driving while distracted, speeding, or violating a traffic law. Other garbage truck accidents may be caused by fatigued or overworked truck drivers, negligently maintained trucks, defective truck or auto parts, or dangerous roads. Finding out what caused your collision can help our attorneys build a strong case that helps you recover the compensation you deserve.
Dump Truck Accidents on Construction Sites
Frequently, dump truck accidents involve construction workers. In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a 15-year period, more than 800 construction workers were killed in incidents involving dump trucks. Breaking down the data further, 343 of those fatalities were workers who were outside of the vehicles.
Some of the ways dump truck operators and workers can reduce these accidents include:
- All dump truck operators should wear seat belts;
- Dump trucks should not dump at riverbanks or embankments;
- Cameras and radar should be used to enforce stopping at railway crossings; and
- All dump trucks should have a backup alarm, spotter, or other method to warn about blind spots.
Unfortunately, these safety recommendations are not always followed—and the results can be catastrophic. Injured workers or individuals can often suffer serious medical obstacles long after the accident took place.
Commercial Licensing for Drivers of Dump & Garbage Trucks
Licensing requirements differ from state to state, but those who drive dump and garbage trucks are required to be specially trained to do so. Most states require some degree of a commercial driver's license (CDL). In cooperation with the Department of Transportation (DOT), a potential driver must pass an examination and may have to pass a drug test, as well.
The DOT requires that drivers wishing to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License must comply with these regulations:
- Must be at least 21 years old (although some states do not hold to this standard)
- Must never drive with a BAC above 0.04%
If a driver does not have the proper licensing and causes an accident, they and their employer may be held liable for any damages.
Garbage / Dump Trucks & Pedestrian Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has detailed information on how to decrease the amount of injuries caused by dump and garbage trucks. Up high on the list of accidents reported against the industry are "struck by" accidents, which involve pedestrians being struck by a moving garbage or dump truck.
According to statistics, nearly 30% of these types of accidents are due to:
- Backing up without adequate visibility
- Poor blind spot checking
- Failure to adhere to warning sounds
To help prevent these tragic accidents, garbage and dump trucks all come equipped with side mirrors and loud “beepers” that are intended to notify people when they are backing up. However, passenger vehicle drivers can often speed up or illegally try to pass dump trucks, often causing accidents due to lack of visibility beyond the truck. Even with the beepers and other safety features in place, garbage and dump trucks can still hit pedestrians, causing severe injuries.
Helping Victims of Garbage Truck Crashes in Houston
After a serious accident, it may seem as though no one is on your side. You may have trouble getting the insurance company to take your claim seriously, instead of facing delays or an unfairly low settlement offer that doesn’t cover all of your expenses. Do not lose hope.
There is a team of lawyers ready to fight in your corner—a team that has a proven record of winning in the most complex and difficult cases. At Arnold & Itkin, we’re here to alleviate the burden you’re experiencing. Our Houston garbage truck accident attorneys are here to protect your rights like no one else can, because we have the experience and resources to go against any opponent.
Call our firm now for a free consultation with our garbage truck accident lawyers. We're standing by to help at (888) 493-1629.