Garbage Truck Accidents in Ohio

December 17, 2012

Auto Accidents

Ohio Garbage Truck AccidentAs Ohio motorists travel throughout the area where they live and work most people probably give little thought to being involved in a collision with a garbage truck, but garbage truck accidents happen more frequently than one might imagine, often with a disastrous outcome.

In Ohio this year (2012), three woman were killed in separate garbage truck accidents.  Numerous other accidents have been recorded with this type of heavy vehicle including one in the capital city in May involving a garbage truck and a Columbus Transit Authority (COTA) bus. Nine occupants of the bus were injured.

In February, an 86-year-old Mayfield Heights woman was hit by a garbage truck as she crossed the street, but no one has been charged in that fatality.  In March, a 66-year-old Niles woman apparently fell beneath a garbage truck at Eastwood Mall in Cleveland and lost her life.  In July, a 57-year-old Mansfield woman died in a head-on crash with a garbage truck when her vehicle went left of center.

Even actress Katie Holmes, formerly married to Tom Cruise, was in a garbage truck accident in New York City this past July.  No one was hurt in that collision.

More than 100,000 persons per year are involved in a truck accident with a commercial truck and one of every nine traffic fatalities involves a truck.   According to truck accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks have a significant risk of being involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle and account for nearly one-fourth of the collisions tallied.

More pedestrians are killed in garbage truck accidents than in any other type of large truck accident.  Bicyclists and children are particularly in high risk categories for garbage truck accidents because of visibility issues and because children tend to ignore the movement of traffic when immersed in playing.

There are several safety issues and other types of concerns associated with garbage trucks also known as waste disposal vehicles, dump trucks and trash trucks.  Many are owned and operated by municipalities and may have immunity to prosecution in certain situations.  Others are owned by private companies and are liable for their negligence.  Of course, drivers of garbage trucks are not always the ones at fault in a garbage truck accident.

Smaller streets and high population densities in residential areas make it difficult to maneuver garbage trucks due to their weight and size and driver blind spots.  Braking ability is different than for other types of vehicles and shifting loads can add to instability of the vehicle.

The stop-and-go and backing-up frequency these trucks undergo as part of their daily operation can make the truck’s behavior unpredictable and hard for pedestrians and motorists to gauge.  Sometimes drivers are unqualified to drive such a large, heavy truck or they make risky moves such as driving in the wrong lane for ease of trash pick-up.

Some accidents are caused by defective equipment or poor truck maintenance which can cause equipment failure.  If this can be proven, the garbage truck driver will likely be found liable.   Extreme weather is another culprit in handling a garbage truck.

If a victim survives a garbage truck accident, they are likely to have serious, life-changing injuries such as traumatic brain injury, bone fractures, burns, disfigurement, lacerations and spinal injuries or loss of limbs.  Personal injury victims may be entitled to various types of damages.  If a loved one has lost their life in such a collision, you may want to consider filing a wrongful death claim.  It will never bring that person back, but it may enable them to continue providing for you in the manner they would have if they had survived the garbage truck accident.

The best approach to use legally is unique to each situation.  How severe is the injury involved?  How potentially long-term?  Has fault been assigned by the police or other party?

The specific issues involving garbage truck accident claims are different from other types of accidents.  At Slater & Zurz LLP,  we have Ohio attorneys who are effectively trained to represent victims of garbage truck accidents.  An experienced attorney is a valuable resource you will recognize as you begin to pursue a claim for yourself or for wrongful death.  Call us today at 1-888-534-4850 to discuss your case or fill out the FREE CASE REVIEW form in the upper right hand corner of our website at www.slaterzurz.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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