Garbage Truck Accidents
Garbage trucks can be a menace to motorists, motorcyclists and bicyclists. They stop, they start, they park in travel lanes. They can be unpredictable and erratic in their operation. As a result, thousands of drivers and bicyclists a year are seriously injured by garbage trucks each year.
Some reports suggest that waste management experiences some of the highest rates of injuries and accidents in the United States. As these drivers rush from place to place to collect garbage throughout the day and meet their quotas, they often forgo safe driving. This places other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists at serious risk of injuries or even death. Garbage trucks are massive vehicles that can cause catastrophic injuries in even the simplest types of accidents. They often move erratically down the street, stopping and starting without signals or proper precautions. Many private waste management companies operate under extreme time pressures which encourage unsafe practices in the name of profits. If you, or a loved one has been injured by the dangerous operation of a garbage truck, the experienced Boston truck accident attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck are prepared to help you obtain fair and full compensation following a garbage truck accident.Asserting Your Right to Compensation
After a garbage truck accident, you may have a personal injury claim against the driver of the garbage truck involved in the crash and the company that employed the driver. This is due to a doctrine known as vicarious liability. According to Massachusetts law, employers will be held liable for the negligent acts that their employees commit during the course and scope of employment. Therefore, if a garbage truck driver was texting while driving the garbage truck during their shift, and they rear-ended another vehicle, the employer would be liable for the victim’s injuries. This is why it is often a good idea to name not only the driver but also their employer in the lawsuit.
Once you have filed your action, you will need to show that the defendant(s) acted negligently. This is a legal term of art used to refer to the level of care and attention that we must all use in our daily lives. In general, we are required to use the same care and skill that a prudent and reasonable person would use when faced with a similar context. Applied to a garbage truck operation, this encompasses many factors. Generally, a prudent garbage truck driver would operate their vehicle safely, abide by all traffic laws, and refrain from distracted driving activities while driving.
Garbage trucks have many blind spots and make frequent stops and turns. This means that drivers must be vigilant for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles. When it comes to garbage truck companies, the standard of care requires them to be prudent when hiring drivers. They need to check for good driving records and proper certifications. These companies must also perform routine maintenance on their vehicles to keep them in good working condition.
After showing that the garbage truck driver or company acted negligently, you must prove that there is a causal link between this inadequate conduct and the injuries that you suffered. There are many reasons why garbage truck accidents happen. Poor truck maintenance, equipment malfunctions, and overweight loads are common causes and usually attributable to the company that owns the truck. Other causes include driver fatigue, distracted driving, or reckless driving. If the defendant can show that some other factor was the cause of your injuries, you will be barred from recovering damages. In Massachusetts, if a defendant can show that you were 51% or more at fault for your injuries, you will be barred from recovering any compensation. This is known as the comparative negligence doctrine. For example, if the defendant can prove that you were texting at the time of the garbage truck accident and that this was the predominant cause of your injuries, you will be unable to obtain compensation. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you determine which factors may have contributed to your injuries.
The last step in the lawsuit will involve determining the amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive. There might be several types of damages that you can claim. For example, multiple types of damages fall within the category of medical expenses. These include emergency medical services as well as ongoing future medical care needs like physical therapy, surgeries, or medications. You can also claim any lost income as a result of missing work due to your injuries, in addition to pain and suffering damages.Seek Guidance from a Resourceful Truck Accident Lawyer in Boston
If you have been involved in a garbage truck accident, it is important to understand whether you are entitled to compensation from the driver, the trucking company, or both. Knowing the ways to protect your rights and how to navigate the Massachusetts legal system can be stressful. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our experienced trucking accident lawyers are standing by to help you in this difficult time. We have represented victims in cities such as Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. Call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online to obtain a free consultation.