Garbage trucks are essential vehicles in neighborhoods. They pick up trash at each residence and then deliver it to local dumps. However, these trucks are large, which can make it hard to see hazards in the road.
This can lead to serious truck accidents. Unfortunately, this was recently the case in Miami. A bicyclist was recently killed by a garbage truck. The fatal crash happened on the morning of May 31.
A bicycle and garbage truck collided at the intersection of West Flagler Street and Eighth Avenue. The bicyclist, an adult male, died at the accident scene. Portions of Flagler Street were shut down after the crash.
The owner of the garbage truck, Coastal Waste and Recycling, is cooperating with law enforcement. They are working to determine the cause of the accident. No other details were released.
Why Truck Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents
When a garbage truck or other large truck gets involved in a crash, it’s different from being in a regular car accident. They are a whole different caliber of vehicle, and because of this, there are different elements involved.
Trucks are Much Larger
When compared to a passenger vehicle, a semi truck is much larger. The difference can be more than 20 times the size, with a fully loaded tractor trailer weighing as much as 80,000 pounds. Because of their immense size, commercial trucks can cause a huge impact in the event of a crash. The damage and injuries are much more severe.
Injuries are More Severe
Speaking of injuries, a truck accident is more likely to cause serious harm due to its size. Also, truck accidents often happen on freeways, where vehicles are traveling at high speeds. This means there is a greater impact involved. The most serious injuries involve the spinal cord, neck, back, brain, and internal organs. Burns, amputation, and organ damage may also occur — and that’s if you’re lucky enough to survive the crash. Many do not, unfortunately. The chance of fatality is very high.
Semi Trucks Can Be Dangerous
Semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other trucks are long and thin with a high center of gravity. This makes them vulnerable to rollovers. Rollovers can occur when:
- The driver is going too fast and hits an object or tries to stop too quickly.
- The driver is allowing one side of the vehicle to rise or fall quickly.
- Cargo is loaded improperly.
- The driver makes a turn too sharply, especially when going too fast.
There Is Different Cargo Involved
Large trucks carry various types of cargo, which may include fuel, radioactive material, pesticides, and toxic substances. Garbage trucks may also carry various types of cargo, depending on the type of garbage they pick up. While household trash should not include flammable substances, sometimes it does. When a crash involves chemicals and fuel, it can be catastrophic, causing fires and explosions.
Liability is Harder to Determine
Liability is not cut and dry in a truck accident. It’s not like in a passenger car accident, where one of the drivers is usually at fault. Sometimes the trucking company is at fault, particularly if they hired incompetent drivers. Anyone who inspected or maintained the truck could also be liable. If the accident was caused by a defect, then the manufacturer of the truck or part might be at fault.
Also, keep in mind that trucking companies will often take drastic measures to avoid liability. They may hide evidence, such as surveillance video and black boxes. They may deny any kind of negligence and even blame the other driver for the crash. There are many possibilities when it comes to liability, so it’s best to discuss your case with a competent lawyer who knows the process for uncovering evidence.
Contact Us Today
Large vehicles such as garbage trucks can cause a lot of damage in a crash, especially to bicycles and other small vehicles. Unfortunately, the impact often causes fatalities, as seen in this case.
Truck accidents are complex. If you have been involved in one, you need to act quickly. Liability is often difficult to determine, so time is of the essence. The Miami truck accident lawyers from Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein have the skill, experience, and resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. Call (786) 420-4785 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation with our office.