Garbage truck accidents can result in serious damage to other vehicles on the road. Garbage trucks are at an increased risk of collision due to the fact that they are frequently starting and stopping, have large blind spots, and do not maneuver well due to their large size.
The resulting damage that sanitation vehicles cause is often severe. At the Morelli Law Firm, our Philadelphia garbage truck accident attorneys understand the severity. And we are experienced in getting the compensation necessary for our clients to get their lives back on track after an accident.
Determining Who Is Liable in a Garbage Truck Accident
Before you can file a lawsuit or an insurance claim, you must first determine who is liable for your damages. Some of the parties that most commonly hold a level of liability when it comes to garbage truck accidents are:
- The driver of the garbage truck
- Other trash collectors working on the vehicle at the time of the accident
- The garbage collection company
- The governmental body that owns the garbage truck
- Another driver on the road whose actions directly led to the garbage truck colliding with your vehicle
What a Philadelphia Garbage Truck Accident Attorney Does
After hiring a Philadelphia garbage truck accident attorney, they will immediately get to work investigating your accident. In addition to identifying the liable party or parties, they will also gather evidence to support your compensation claim. Common steps that your lawyer and their investigative team will likely take include:
- Visiting the accident scene and taking photographs
- Speaking with witnesses
- Consulting experts
- Obtaining a copy of the official accident report
- Reviewing your medical files as they relate to any injury you sustained as a result of the crash
Once your attorney has concluded their initial investigation, they will assess the total damages you have suffered and calculate the value of your claim. Next, they will prepare all the necessary paperwork and file your lawsuit with the court.
After that is done, your attorney will go through all the steps in the pre-trial process before finally representing you in a courtroom trial, if necessary.
As your attorney prepares for trial, they will also be in negotiations with the legal team for the other side, attempting to reach a fair settlement agreement. Your lawyer will remain in constant contact with you, keeping you up to date on the progress of your case and relaying any settlement offers they receive.
Philadelphia Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Legal Requirements for Garbage Truck Drivers
Typically, a garbage truck driver is required to obtain a Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to operate these vehicles. There are different CDL classifications and which classification is necessary depends upon the size of the garbage truck.
When a driver operates a garbage truck without the proper licensing, both the driver and the company they work for may be guilty of negligence. As a result, both could face additional penalties beyond the potential consequences of a civil lawsuit.
Damages a Garbage Truck Accident Victim May Be Able to Claim
After sustaining an injury in a garbage truck accident, you may be eligible to claim a wide variety of damages. Some of the most common types of damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lowered quality of life
- Wrongful death
All these damages can be split into two different groups: economic and non-economic damages. Your garbage truck accident lawyer in Philadelphia will help you sort them out.
Economic damages are easier to calculate. That’s because these are the damages that have a direct financial cost to the accident victim. Things like medical bills, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity are all forms of economic damages. They all cause an accident victim to lose money and aim to replace what is lost.
Non-economic damages can not replace what is lost because the loss is irreplaceable. The mental anguish that comes from losing a loved one and the pain and suffering that a person goes through after losing a limb can not be properly compensated.
Since the best option available to the court is to offer an accident victim money for these damages, you will find that in most cases, non-economic damages make up the bulk of a payout.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia?
When you are injured in a garbage truck accident, you are going to want experienced legal representation on your side. However, many people worry that they can not afford to hire a lawyer. Fortunately, when it comes to a personal injury, the cost of hiring an attorney should never be a factor.
That’s because any reputable personal injury lawyer works on a contingency fee basis. That means that they don’t get paid unless you get paid. During your initial case evaluation, your lawyer and you will discuss the percentage of your compensation payout that your lawyer will receive as their fee. You will never have to pay a cent out of pocket.
With this fee structure, you can feel confident that your Philadelphia garbage truck accident attorney will do everything within their power to ensure you get a large payout for your damages. On average, those who hire an attorney end up with a significantly greater payout than those who choose to represent themselves.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
According to 42 Pa. C.S. § 5524, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the accident. The amount of time can be less, though, under certain conditions. You should always get in touch with a garbage truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash to ensure that you don’t miss out on compensation.
Even if you do have the full two years, it is always best to get started early. Waiting to begin the process can result in evidence becoming lost or corrupted. You must also keep in mind that the memory of your witnesses will grow fainter over time, and the value of their testimony will drop accordingly.
Should You Take a Settlement Offer or Go to Court?
Deciding on whether to take a settlement offer or go to court can sometimes be tricky. However, in most situations, you will likely be better served by doing the former. A courtroom trial can be unpredictable. Even with a strong case, there is always the potential to be surprised. Going to court also takes time.
As long as your attorney is able to secure a fair settlement deal, you are probably going to want to take it. However, you should still always be willing and prepared to go to court. If the opposition refuses to agree to a fair deal, you don’t want to lose your court case because you expected to settle.
Hiring a Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA
When you are facing a growing stack of medical bills, you are going to want an experienced lawyer helping you to secure compensation. At the Morelli Law Firm, our legal team knows how devastating a garbage truck accident can be. We are ready to fight to get you the compensation you need to move on from an accident.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form. One of our Philadelphia garbage truck accident attorneys will evaluate your case and let you know about your options for securing fair compensation.