You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent injury victims in seeking full compensation against negligent drivers and their employers.
How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Garbage Truck Accident Case
When you are left with serious injuries after a garbage truck accident, you may be unsure of where to turn for help. You are left making a claim against your own insurance policy, but now your insurer is fighting to limit your claim and minimize your injuries. You may have a claim against the at-fault driver, but this requires building a strong case to overcome Florida’s no-fault limitations.
An experienced New Port Richey personal injury lawyer can be invaluable in helping you recover the full compensation you deserve. Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is an AV-rated law firm with two Board Certified Civil Trial attorneys. We have represented accident victims against major corporations and well-funded insurance companies since 1996. We have earned national recognition and recovered over $100 million for our clients.
We put our experience, resources, and expertise to work for you to:
- Answer any questions you have during your case
- Perform an in-depth investigation into your accident
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Fight attempts by the insurance company to minimize your injuries or blame you for your accident
- Work with accident reconstruction and medical experts
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Represent you in court if a fair settlement offer can’t be reached
You do not need to fight the insurance company alone. Call our law office today for a free consultation with a garbage truck accident lawyer in New Port Richey and put Tampa Bay’s Top Trial Lawyers to work for you.
What Causes Garbage Truck Accidents in New Port Richey, FL?
There are two types of garbage trucks on Florida roads: garbage trucks used to pick up residential trash and larger trucks used to transport materials long distances, usually on highways. Standard garbage trucks you see on trash day drive slowly but may swerve into the street or stop unexpectedly or park in blind corners.
Larger trucks may cause accidents when drivers do not check blind spots or the truck is not loaded properly.
Most garbage truck accidents are caused by negligence such as:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Striking a curb
- Turning too fast
Because garbage trucks have large blind spots, a driver may make a turn or lane change and inadvertently cause an accident. Garbage truck drivers are responsible for exercising sufficient caution and clearing their blind spots before making a turn or changing lanes.
However, sometimes factors outside the driver’s control cause an accident. A garbage truck accident may be caused by negligence on the part of truck manufacturers, tire manufacturers, or a government agency responsible for maintaining the trucks.
Common Injuries in New Port Richey Garbage Truck Accidents
An accident involving a commercial vehicle often leads to serious injuries, especially compared to typical car accidents.
Garbage trucks and other commercial vehicles typically have a high center of gravity.
This makes them prone to rolling over in a collision. Rollover accidents have a high fatality rate among occupants, particularly occupants who are not wearing a seatbelt.
Garbage truck accidents can also involve sideswipe accidents, particularly on residential roads when a garbage truck swings into the street unexpectedly.
While sideswipe accidents are usually more minor than other crashes, this is not the case when a heavy commercial vehicle is involved.
Garbage trucks also have a great deal of mass. The average garbage truck weighs 64,000 pounds or 32 short tons compared to 4,000 pounds for the typical passenger car. Occupants in passenger vehicles are at a high risk of serious injury in a crash.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent clients facing serious garbage truck accident injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Chest injuries
- Eye injuries
- Wrongful death
Have you suffered traumatic injuries in a garbage truck accident? Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate New Port Richey personal injury lawyer who can help.
Who Is Liable for a Garbage Truck Accident in Florida?
If you have been seriously hurt in a garbage truck accident, it’s important to understand who may be liable for your injuries. This will depend on who caused the accident, but there may be multiple parties who share liability.
Garbage truck drivers or even other drivers may be liable for an accident if they were negligent. This may be the case if the driver did not check blind spots, swerved into the street, was driving too fast, or was otherwise reckless.
When the garbage truck driver is at fault, you may also have a claim against their employer. When the accident involves a private garbage collection company, they may be held accountable for the full damages you suffered. These claims can be more complicated if the garbage truck was owned and operated by a government entity like the city.
To recover compensation from a garbage collection company, you must show that the at-fault driver was operating within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. If they violated company policy or they were driving outside of their route, the company may try to avoid liability for your injuries. This is why it is crucial to work with an experienced garbage truck accident lawyer in New Port Richey to build the strongest case possible.
It is not just the truck driver and garbage collection company that may be held liable, however. Truck manufacturers and truck parts manufacturers may also face liability if a defective part or vehicle caused your accident. Defective tires or brakes, for example, may be the primary cause for your crash in which case you may have a claim against the manufacturer.
Damages Available in a Garbage Truck Accident Claim in New Port Richey
Even a moderately severe accident can result in astronomical medical expenses, not to mention the cost of your time off work and other damages.
When your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek financial compensation for the damages you have sustained.
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical bills related to your accident
- Lost wages
- Disability or reduced future earning capacity
- Property damage
You may also be entitled to non-economic damages. These damages do not have a clear value, but they may exceed the value of your economic damages. Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
The value of your non-economic damages will depend on the severity of your injuries, how long it takes you to recover, whether you have a permanent impairment, how your injuries affect your life, and other factors. These damages are usually calculated by multiplying your economic damages by a factor of 1 to 5.
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state which means that, in an accident, you turn to your own car insurance policy to make a claim, no matter who is liable. You are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP), but this has restrictions and only pays up to your policy limits. If your injuries are serious enough to meet the “injury threshold” and exceed your coverage, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Under Florida Statutes §627.737, the no-fault limitations do not apply when you meet a qualifying injury threshold:
- Significant or permanent loss of a bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of probability outside of disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement
Unfortunately, this threshold is unique to every person, and proving an injury is serious usually requires expert medical testimony.
Statute of Limitations to File a Garbage Truck Accident Case in Florida
There is a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time to file your personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida Statutes §95.11, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your accident. If you do not file your claim before this deadline expires, you will lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
It’s important to note that the statute of limitations for Florida accident cases was historically four years. However, the law was revised on March 24, 2023. If your garbage truck accident occurred after that date, you have two years to file a claim.
If your claim is against a garbage truck driver who is an employee of a municipality or other government entity, a different statute of limitations applies. You will have just three years from the date of the crash to file a claim and you must give the government entity proper notice.
Contact a Truck Accident Law Firm in New Port Richey
A crash with a garbage truck can change your life forever. Even if you are able to recover from your injuries, you may face significant costs, ongoing pain and psychological harm, and invasive medical treatments. The garbage truck accident injury lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with a New Port Richey garbage truck accident lawyer. We will help you explore your legal options, protect your rights, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.