Garbage trucks are heavy commercial vehicles typically weighing tens of thousands of pounds—often up to 60,000 when fully loaded—which collect trash in our residential neighborhoods of Southwest Florida, as well as from business dumpsters in our communities. These waste disposal trucks—and the similarly large recycling trucks—require careful operation because of their size, weight, and challenging maneuverability.
Garbage Trucks and Recycling Trucks are Difficult to Drive
There are several types of garbage trucks, and each presents challenges for the driver.
- Front loaders—Primarily servicing commercial and industrial businesses using dumpsters, this type of garbage truck is equipped with automated forks on the front which the driver carefully aligns with sleeves on the waste container. The dumpster is then lifted over the truck. Once it gets to the top the container is then flipped upside down and the waste or recyclable material is emptied into the vehicle’s hopper.
- Rear loaders—Most commonly seen in residential communities, rear loaders have an opening at the rear that a worker can throw trash bags or empty the contents of trash bins into. A hydraulic compactor uses a metal plate or shovel to scoop the waste out from the loading hopper and compress it against a moving wall.
- Side loaders—Recycling trucks in our SW Fla. region are usually loaded from the side with a robotic arm and claw which lifts and tip wheeled recycling bins into the truck’s hopper.
Each of these trucks is very large, with an extended wheel-base and enormous amount of weight—some trucks weighing up to 40 tons—and every waste truck is difficult to drive. These vehicles require great effort to make sharp turns and have poor clearance ability in making any tight maneuvers.
Garbage Truck Collisions Caused by Negligence
As a result of the size, weight, and difficulty to operate, when a garbage truck or recycling truck is involved in a crash, the consequences are often deadly or catastrophic for the victims. Brain damage, paralysis, broken bones, amputation, and similar life-threatening injuries are common, and death often results.
Very often, the garbage truck driver is found at fault for failing to yield, careless driving, operating he vehicle in an unsafe manner, speeding, failing to keep a proper lookout, or otherwise failing to follow the rules of the road. The owner of the garbage truck, or waste disposal company, may have failed to properly train the driver, failed to perform the required driver background safety check, failed to comply with regulations, and also be found at fault.
Commercial trucks are required to follow numerous laws and regulations overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and State of Florida. These unique laws and regulations often help prove that you are not at fault for the tuck accident. Not only are garbage truck accidents and recycling truck collisions often more serious than smaller vehicle collisions, but garbage truck crashes almost always involve multiple parties, including: truck drivers, trucking companies, waste disposal companies, truck owners, and insurance companies.
Compensation for Catastrophic Injury or Death in Garbage Truck Accident
Severe personal injury, wrongful death, and similar tragic harms and losses consume victims and families. The struggle to overcome the depth of loss can last a lifetime for survivors. Medical treatment, surgery, therapy, and recovery from severe injury caused by a garbage truck accident or recycling truck collision can become a routine over years, and the costs are staggering. Limited insurance often only pays for a fraction of the treatment, and then the truck accident victim is left to fend for himself or herself.
Neither you nor your family have to try to move forward without help. Trying to do so may make this time of confusion and pain even worse.
Catastrophic harms and losses caused by careless driving or negligence by waste disposal company call for justice. Call Fort Myers accident attorney David Harris to discuss your harms, losses, pain and suffering, and needs during a free consultation. If David takes your case, then he will fight to recover maximum compensation quickly, with drive and compassion for you and your family.
David values clients. Your questions are answered, your opinions matter, your phone calls are answered, and the process is open. You may be facing the biggest hurdles and challenges in your life. David is determined to help you obtain justice. The consultation is free, so call today.