The Chicago Bureau of Sanitation collects residential garbage from 600,000 households in Chicago. Each day around 360 garbage collection trucks are sent into the city to collect more than a million tons of garbage and recyclables every year. This does not even account for the hundreds of other trucks dispersed across the state of Illinois who server similar roles in other communities, keeping things tidy and organized on our streets and in our neighborhoods.
Garbage trucks vary in size and design, typically weighing anywhere from 16,100 to 18,300 pounds. Thus it is no surprise that a car accident with a garbage truck can turn fatal. What is surprising however, is the frequency of garbage truck accidents.
When a collision occurs between a passenger vehicle and a garbage truck, the vehicle will suffer the brunt of the impact given its much smaller size. Many collisions result in the smaller vehicle being crushed completely. It is common for garbage trucks to be involved in rear-end collisions as they make frequent stops while working and may drive in unusual patterns compared to other motorists. Drivers who are distracted could fail to see a stopped truck and collide with it resulting in a serious and potentially deadly impact.
Garbage trucks’ large size and structure makes these vehicles very difficult to operate. Truck drivers have to work with very poor visibility and massive blind spots. Other vehicles on the road can be hidden easily in these large blind spots, which can result in disaster if a garbage truck attempts to merge while oblivious to the other vehicles in the area.
Collisions are also common when vehicles try to pass garbage trucks. Drivers who are in a hurry often try to quickly pass trucks because the drivers are annoyed with the trucks' frequent stops. However, garbage trucks have very poor visibility which makes it less likely that the truck driver will see the car attempting to pass the truck increasing the odds for a truck collision. If the truck begins to pull away from a routine stop before a passing car has completed its pass, the truck can side swipe the car and the impact may send the car spinning or even rolling into traffic.
Given garbage trucks' frequent proximity to sidewalks combined with their poor visibility, pedestrians are in danger as well. It is very easy for truck drivers to fail to see pedestrians or cyclists traveling near the curb of the street given their much smaller size compared to the garbage truck. Failing to notice a bicyclist or a pedestrian may lead the operator of a garbage truck to engage in conduct risky to the safety of that walker or rider, leading to an accident that may result in injuries to the victims involved.Who is Liable in a Chicago Garbage Truck Accident?
Determining who is liable following a garbage truck accident can be difficult. If the driver of the garbage truck is negligent, causing a collision, he or she can be held liable as can the driver's employer, company owning the vehicle, city, or even municipality depending on the facts of a crash. It is crucial that victims identify all avenues of possible recovery as damages are often very large following a garbage truck collision and some routes to recovery may not be viable.
In Illinois, the employees operating the truck may be municipal employees or they can be employees of a private contractor. Depending on who collects the refuse in an area, this difference may be important in determining a victim's options as well as how long a victim has to act to preserve her claim following a crash. It can be a complex analysis that leads to a determination of where liability rests following a collision and it is one reason that working with an experienced personal injury attorney is a good idea.Seeking Help with your Personal Injury Claim
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. helping the victims of truck accidents seek and obtain the monetary relief they deserve for their injuries and we are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you as well.
If you have been injured in an accident, or if your loved one has been injured or killed in a garbage truck accident call us today and let us help you understand your legal rights with no obligation on your part. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all injury victims who call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and if we take your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Our team only handles personal injury cases on behalf of victims and we never represent insurance companies because we believe in the fight for victims and their families. If you have questions, call us today or contact us online and let us help you understand your legal options and what rights you possess for relief.
If you were involved in a Chicago garbage truck accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us Online for a free case consultation today.