Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer in San Francisco
Injured in a Trash Truck Accident?
A report, researched and written by Right of Way, an organization that promotes pedestrian rights, was based on figures from the Police Department’s crash records, from 1994 to 1997. It showed that on average, garbage trucks killed 24 pedestrians, cyclists or “people not in automobiles” per 100 million miles driven, far more than any other vehicle on the road. The report said that garbage haulers killed eight people a year.
Since large garbage trucks roam the residential streets weekly, they pose a huge risk in residential areas because they are more likely to encounter pedestrians and cyclists. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a garbage truck in the neighborhood, speak with an attorney at the Scarlett Law Group to learn more about your options.
How Garbage Truck Accidents Can Occur
- Blind spots & lack of backup cameras: Large trucks have many blind spots in the front, rear, and to the right. The lack of backup cameras can also add to the dangers because a driver cannot see if a person is behind the truck while reversing.
- Driver fatigue or distraction: When a driver is fatigued or distracted, they often fail to see children playing nearby, pedestrians or cyclists that may be riding alongside their vehicle.
- Falling debris: Garbage trucks often carry heavy objects that are not secured to the truck. When heavy debris falls out, this can cause injuries to those nearby.
- Defective parts of poor maintenance: Garbage trucks must perform routine maintenance and repairs on their tires, brakes, and other parts. Failure to do so can make the vehicle difficult to operate safely.
Who Is Liable When a Trash Truck Injures Someone?
Determining liability in a garbage truck accident can vary depending on which party or parties are found to be negligent.
Liability can fall on:
- The driver
- Waste management company
- Government entity
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck maintenance
If more than one party is responsible for your accident, you may be able to pursue claims against multiple parties. Talk to an attorney for more information on investigating liability, your rights, and how to pursue a claim.
How Can Garbage Truck Accidents Be Prevented?
- Drivers should:
- Find all workers, either directly or in mirrors, before moving in any direction. Stop backing immediately if you can’t see all workers.
- Avoid sudden starts or stops that could cause riders to be thrown from riding steps.
- Wait for step riders to signal before putting the truck in motion.
- Other crew members should:
- Ride in the cab or a separate vehicle when not on the collection route.
- Use riding steps only when the truck is moving forward for short distances (<0.2 mi.) at slow speeds (<10 mph).
- Ride facing the side of the truck with both hands on the handholds.
- Step (do not jump) off steps only after the truck has completely stopped.
- Wear slip-resistant footwear and avoid narrow cleats or spikes.
- Be aware of the driver’s blind spot. If you can’t see the driver in the mirror, he can’t see you.
The Scarlett Law Group has represented numerous clients in claims involving various truck accidents. If you need a strong advocate on your side to protect your rights, call us today.