Garbage trucks are a necessary part of our society. However, these oversized vehicles can be a hazard on the roadways. And when they collide with a passenger vehicle, the damage to the smaller vehicle is often catastrophic.
Recovering compensation from the liable party after an accident involving a garbage truck can be essential when faced with expensive medical bills, property damage, and lost income.
At the Buzbee Law Firm, our team of Dallas garbage truck accident attorneys knows how devastating these accidents can be. We are committed to getting victims the money they need to rebuild their lives after a crash.
Who Is Liable in a Garbage Truck Accident?
Determining liability is an essential step in recovering compensation after an accident. When involved in an accident with a garbage truck, there are many potentially liable parties, including:
- The garbage truck driver
- The company that operates the garbage truck
- Other trash collectors working on the garbage truck at the time of the accident
- The city or municipality to whom the truck belongs
- A third-party driver whose actions caused the crash to occur
For a free legal consultation with a garbage truck accidents lawyer serving Dallas, call 844-349-9196
Licensing for a Garbage Truck Driver
A standard driver’s license does not qualify a person to drive a garbage truck. Generally, an individual must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to legally operate a garbage truck. There are different classifications of CDLs, and the specifications of the garbage truck will determine which classification is required.
Sanitation companies are responsible for ensuring that all their drivers are fully licensed and receive proper training. If the garbage truck driver does not meet all the requirements for operating the vehicle, both they and the sanitation company could face punitive damages and possibly even criminal charges.
Dallas Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 844-349-9196
Recoverable Damages After a Garbage Truck Accident
After getting injured in a garbage truck accident, you will likely be eligible to recover several different types of damages. These damages can all be sorted into three overarching categories that your Dallas garbage truck accident attorney can review with you.
Economic damages are all the financial losses you suffer. Some common economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses
The rest of your losses fall into the category of non-economic damages. Non-economic damages vary significantly, but one thing they all have in common is that they are profound losses that can not easily be replaced.
Because of this, the amount awarded as compensation for these losses is often significant. Common non-economic damages include:
- Permanent disability
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
In a small percentage of garbage truck accident cases, you may also be able to collect punitive damages. Unlike the compensatory damages already mentioned, punitive damages are not awarded to replace a loss suffered by the accident victim.
Instead, punitive damages are meant as a punishment for the at-fault party. Punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases where the liable party was criminally negligent.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer?
Garbage truck accident attorneys in Dallas and other personal injury lawyers typically charge their clients based on the outcome of their case. While other lawyers charge their clients an hourly rate, these attorneys charge a single fee that is directly tied to the compensation paid out by the liable party.
When you hire a garbage truck accident attorney, you will agree to pay them a fixed percentage of the money you recover. Since this is the only money your attorney will get paid for their services, it means that if they fail to get you compensation, they won’t get paid for the work they did on your case.
This is a strong motivator that can leave you confident that your lawyer will do everything they can to get you as much money as possible. After all, their payday is going to be bigger the more money you get.
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Statute of Limitations for a Garbage Truck Accident Lawsuit
When filing a lawsuit after getting injured in a garbage truck accident, Texas generally gives victims two years from the date of the crash under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a). If you don’t file before the statute of limitations runs out, you likely won’t be able to collect compensation for your damages.
However, it is essential that you are aware that special circumstances can alter the amount of time you have to file. You may still be able to file after the two-year mark has passed, or you may have far less time to file your lawsuit if you are dealing with a municipal entity.
Hiring an experienced garbage truck accident lawyer shortly after your collision is the best way to ensure all deadlines are met.
Taking a Settlement vs. Going to Court
While the potential to get a larger payout may make going to trial tempting, it is likely going to be in your best interest to reach a settlement agreement. If your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement deal, you can get the money you need much faster and avoid the unpredictability of a trial.
At the same time, you should always be prepared to settle things in the courtroom. The defendant may be unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement deal, forcing a trial. Additionally, if opposing counsel knows you are reluctant to go to court, they are unlikely to offer you nearly as much in a settlement as they might if it were clear you were ready for a fight.
Talk to a Garbage Truck Accident Attorney Today
Attempting to represent yourself in a garbage truck accident lawsuit is unlikely to result in a favorable outcome. You will be far better off with an experienced Dallas garbage truck accident lawyer by your side.
At the Buzbee Law Firm, our team of garbage truck accident lawyers can help you level the playing field and get the money you deserve after an accident. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today to get started with a free consultation.