We are Experienced Garbage Truck Accident Attorneys
We see these trucks on the roads and in our neighborhoods regularly. Sanitation trucks perform a necessary service and help keep our communities clean. However, if a garbage truck is involved in an accident with a car, motorcycle, or someone on foot, the consequences can be very serious and even fatal. The garbage truck accident and injury attorneys of Munley Law have more than 60 years of experience dealing with waste collectors and their insurance companies on behalf of truck accident victims across Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to Scranton, and all over the United States.
Garbage truck crashes can be complicated, and may involve government entities as well as private companies and their insurers. Rest assured that a truck accident lawyer at Munley Law will know exactly how to pursue a case such as this and protect your interests every step of the way. Call or click for a free consultation today.
When it Comes to Truck Accidents, Munley Law Stands Alone
Munley Law is the only law firm in the U.S. with two lawyers who have served as chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. Both Daniel Munley and Marion Munley have led this elite group of truck accident lawyers; Marion was the first woman in the group’s history to hold the title. We have devoted decades of practice to trucking cases and have won cases involving garbage trucks, including a $6.5 million settlement for the driver of a car involved in an accident with a garbage truck. Our truck accident lawyers have won millions of dollars in settlements and trial verdicts, including numerous multi-million-dollar cases. For a list of some of our trucking accident settlement and verdicts, please visit the main Trucking Law page of our website.
We Are Ready to Help You with Your Garbage Truck Accident Case Today
Whether you were struck by a waste collection vehicle or were hurt on the job as the driver or passenger in a garbage truck or recycling truck, the truck accident team at Munley Law can help you.
Our staff includes our highly credentialed and award winning lawyers, paralegals and other professionals who are specially trained to assist in the investigation, development, negotiation and trials of garbage truck accident cases. Our law firm works as a team and so you will have the benefit of having many of our lawyers work on and evaluate your case. We have worked hard for our clients and are considered among the Best Lawyers in America. We have developed a unique specialty in trucking law and in garbage truck cases.
We can help you figure out how to pay your medical bills and recover your lost wages, pain and suffering, wrongful death and other damages. We know the best experts, to help us work on your cases and bring you the justice you deserve. Our case evaluations are FREE and we do not collect a fee unless we win your case.
Why Do Garbage Trucks Crash?
There are many reasons garbage trucks crash into other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and even homes and buildings. However, the following factors are common causes of these accidents:
Inclement Weather: Garbage collectors are expected to pick up trash and recycling in rain, snow, sleet, wind, and hail. However, these conditions can greatly reduce drivers’ visibility, blow trees and hazardous materials into the streets, and create slippery road conditions. If a garbage truck driver does not take extreme caution, or is driving too fast for the road conditions, the consequences can be serious.
Early Morning Routes: Garbage collectors often begin their routes in the early morning hours when visibility is low, and other motorists are not at their most alert.
Overloaded Trucks: If a garbage truck is overloaded, this can pose a serious hazard. Overloaded trucks are more difficult to control, are at increased risk for rollover crashes, and may send uncontrolled debris into the roadway endangering other drivers.
Frequent Stopping: By its nature, waste management requires trash collectors to stop at every home and business. Rear-end collisions can occur when garbage truck drivers stop suddenly or when other motor vehicle operators are tailgating or not expecting the truck to stop. Frequent stopping can also excessively wear out the truck’s brakes and make it more difficult to quickly stop in an emergency.
Route Locations: Unlike other large trucks like 18-wheelers and tanker trucks, sanitation vehicles move through narrow streets in residential areas or busy city neighborhoods. Garbage trucks go wherever the garbage is, and that means that waste collection routes include residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, malls, and other commercial areas. This puts them in dangerously close proximity to pedestrians and other motorists. Because the trucks are so large and loud, and because drivers sit up high in the cab, it is sometimes difficult for them to see children, pedestrians, bicyclists, and even other motor vehicles. If garbage truck drivers are not extremely careful, the results can be tragic.
Failure to Inspect and Maintain Equipment: Design and manufacturing defects can produce faulty truck equipment. Garbage trucks drive thousands of miles on their collection routes each week, so when waste management companies fail to properly inspect and repair these problems, accidents occur.
Driver Negligence: When garbage truck collectors drive negligently, they put the lives of their coworkers, pedestrians, and other drivers of cars, SUVs, trucks, buses, and bicycles at risk. Speeding, disobeying stop signs and traffic lights, failure to use turn signals, and other driving violations can result in serious harm. Drivers who text, talk on the phone, eat or drink, or are otherwise distracted also cause collisions. If driver negligence played a part in an accident resulting in injury, you need an experienced truck accident injury lawyer to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Who Are the Victims of Garbage Truck Accidents?
Waste Management Employees: Waste management and garbage collecting can be a dangerous job. Because they are around trucks and hazardous materials every day, trash collectors are among the most likely victims of garbage truck accidents. In fact, there are 25 work-related deaths for every 100,000 full time waste management employees, making trash collection one of the deadliest jobs in the United States. If you are a garbage collector, waste management worker, or DPW employee who suffered serious injury in a garbage truck accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation and potential third-party damages. A lawyer can review your situation and explain what options are available to you.
Other Drivers: Garbage trucks also frequently collide with other vehicles along their routes. Cars, SUVs, buses, and trucks may crash with WCVs due to poor road conditions, unexpected stopping, and tailgating.
Bicyclists and Pedestrians: Because bicyclists and pedestrians are smaller and lower to the ground than motor-vehicles, they may be hit by garbage truck drivers who do not see them. This is especially a problem when bikers and pedestrians are standing directly behind a garbage truck in its blind spots. There have also been many incidents in Pennsylvania wherein a garbage truck collided with a home or commercial building, injuring people in the vicinity.
Sanitation Workers Injured in Garbage Truck Accidents
Sanitation and waste collection is a very dangerous job. If you were injured on the job as a driver or passenger in a garbage truck crash, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Report the injury to your employer right away. If your employer or their workers’ compensation insurer denies your claim, contact a lawyer at Munley Law. Denials are not uncommon, and we can help you take the necessary steps to obtain the compensation you are due.
We may also be able to help you pursue a third party claim for your injuries. If your accident was caused by another driver, or by a malfunctioning piece of sanitation equipment, you may have a third party case.
Sharing the Road with Garbage Trucks
While garbage truck drivers and their employers bear an enormous responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, the driving public must do their part to safely share the road with these large trucks.
Keep a Safe Distance
As with all large trucks, the Munley motto is to “Respect the Rig,” and give them plenty of space. Garbage trucks make frequent stops and cannot maneuver as smoothly or easily as other vehicles, so it’s important for drivers to maintain a distance of at least three car lengths when traveling behind a sanitation vehicle.
Use Caution When Passing
Only pass a garbage truck if you can safely and legally do so. Many accidents happen when frustrated motorists attempt to get around a slow-moving garbage truck and end up hitting an oncoming vehicle, a sanitation worker, or the garbage truck itself. Pennsylvania’s “Slow Down to Go Around” law requires drivers to slow down when approaching a garbage or recycling vehicle, and move over one lane if possible.
Avoid the Blind Spots
Like other large trucks, garbage trucks have large blind spots or “no zones” directly in front, directly behind, and on either side of the truck slightly behind the cab. Always remember that garbage truck drivers may not be able to see you.
What Should I Do if I Am in an Accident with a Garbage Truck?
Immediately after a garbage truck accident, you need to do the following:
- Seek Medical Attention: It is important that you seek medical attention, even if your injuries seem minor. Because a car accident or truck accident will often cause a rush of adrenaline in your body, it may be days before you begin to feel pain. Furthermore, serious brain injuries can be notoriously difficult to diagnose – you may not realize the effects of brain trauma immediately, so it’s important to get checked by your doctor.
- Make an official report: Call the police to the scene of the accident, and make sure a police report is created. This report will contain important information you will need later on if you need to file a claim. Likewise, if you were hurt while on the job, be sure to report the accident to your employer right away. Failure to report an accident or injury can damage your ability to claim compensation.
- Obtain Witnesses’ and First Responders’ Contact Information: If you are physically able, get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved at the scene of the accident, including any witnesses. Get the names and badge numbers of any police officers who report to the scene as well.
- Take Photos: Take photos and/or video of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any physical injuries you can document.
- Report the Accident to YOUR Insurance Company: Call your insurance company and tell them what happened as soon as possible. Do not give a statement to the other party’s insurance company until you have consulted with a lawyer. The other party’s insurance representative may reach out to you, but you are not obligated to speak with them.
- Call an Experienced Attorney: Even if you are unsure whether you have a case, call a garbage truck accident lawyer. The consultation is free, and can help alleviate many of your concerns and questions during this difficult time. If you do wish to pursue a case, it is important to act quickly, so the earlier you make the initial contact, the better. A garbage truck crash is not like a regular auto accident, and should only be handled by a law firm with experience winning cases like these. At Munley Law, we have developed a unique specialty in trucking law and in garbage truck cases. Our truck accident lawyers work together, so you will have an entire team of experienced attorneys on your side. We can help you figure out how to pay your medical bills and recover for your lost wages, pain and suffering, wrongful death and other damages. We work with a vast network of experts and investigators to build your case and bring you the justice you deserve.
- Get the Police Report: You should obtain and preserve a copy of the police report and make sure to give a copy to your attorney as well.
- Keep Expense Records: Maintain a complete record of all expenses incurred, including lost wages, time off from work, medical expenses, travel expenses, and all other costs related to your injuries and the accident.
- Keep Medical Records: You will likely receive a lot of initial hospital paperwork and additional records as you continue to receive medical treatment. Make sure you keep each of these forms and maintain a detailed record of your doctor visits and all procedures, medications, and treatments.
Call our Garbage Truck Lawsuit Experts Today
If you have been involved in an accident with a Garbage truck, please call us today. We are ready to help you and put our years of experience to work for you. Call us at (570) 338-4494 or use on online contact form or click on our Chat Now button to chat with a representative immediately to discuss your garbage truck accident case. Remember, the garbage trucking companies work fast, and so should you. Call now so we can help preserve evidence and give you the best chance of getting the recovery you deserve.
When choosing a truck crash lawyer to protect you and your family, consider the following tractor trailer accident settlements and verdicts:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Garbage Truck Accidents
Q: If I am hit by a garbage truck, can I sue?
A: If you have been injured by a garbage truck while driving your car, riding your bike, or while walking, you may be able to sue for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The laws will be different depending on whether the truck was owned and operated by a government body or a private company. In Pennsylvania, the law limits the circumstances under which you may sue a government entity such as a municipality. However, this does not mean you are out of options. A garbage truck lawyer will review your case and pursue all possible avenues to justice on your behalf.
The at-fault party in your case may include the truck driver, the driver’s employer, the truck company, or an insurance company. Because every case is different, it is best to speak with an attorney about the specific details of your situation in order to decide the best course of action. We understand that this is difficult, which is why we offer free consultations. So, you risk nothing by coming to speak with one of our car and truck accident lawyers who will answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a garbage truck accident?
A: In Pennsylvania, and in most states, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. However, the sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can get to work. It is always to your benefit to speak with an attorney at our office as soon as you are able to. There will be crucial evidence, witness statements, and information at the scene of the accident that can be lost or destroyed with time. The garbage truck company and their insurance carrier will have conduct their own investigation following the accident, so it is important that you have someone on your side who will do the same.
Q: How much will it cost to hire an attorney after a garbage truck accident?
A: At Munley Law, we are well aware of the financial toll caused by a car accident, truck accident, or pedestrian accident involving a garbage truck. That is why we do not collect any fees unless we win your case. Instead, we simply take a fraction of the final settlement or verdict amount. This is known as a “contingent fee agreement.” The contingent fee agreement protects you from financial risk in pursuing justice against a negligent person or company. As your lawyers, we pay the upfront costs to build your case, and if we don’t win you compensation, you owe us nothing.