Workers’ Compensation for Garbage Truck Drivers
Over 30 years of experience. Over $100 million recovered for clients.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Garbage Truck Drivers
Driving a garbage truck in New Jersey is a risky job. Garbage truck drivers are responsible for removing neighborhood trash from trash bins and moving the waste to another location. They may also take materials to and from construction sites while trying to watch out for their own safety when on the road.
Maneuvering a large, wide garbage truck can be challenging for new and experienced drivers. When a smaller vehicle and a garbage truck collide, the outcome can be serious. Getting into an accident while on the job can be stressful, and garbage truck, recycling truck, and dump truck drivers can all sustain life-debilitating injuries. However, New Jersey workers who work for a garbage truck, recycling truck, or dump truck company may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job.
According to Zippia, New Jersey is ranked number 37 in the nation for attracting dump truck drivers. The average salary for a dump truck driver in New Jersey is around $55,000. Although more truck drivers may come here, it’s up to all drivers on the road to remain safe and abide by local DMV rules. But accidents continue to happen. Recently in Camden County, a car and an Atco dump truck collided, which resulted in the car driver’s death. No person should have to receive a call about a loved one being hurt or killed in a severe truck crash.
Why Dump Truck Accidents Happen On New Jersey Roads
When a dump truck driver picks up a heavy load, several factors must be accounted for. The most common accidents that can involve many truck drivers and other vehicles include:
- Blind Spot Accidents – Although each car and truck is uniquely designed, each vehicle can have blind spots, causing poor visibility of other cars and objects. A garbage truck, dump truck or recycling truck’s blind spots are much larger than those on a small passenger vehicle, creating driving issues when attempting to merge lanes or backing out of a parking spot.
- Center of Gravity Issues – Commercial trucks, such as garbage trucks, have a high center of gravity and can roll over easily compared to other vehicles. This means a garbage truck driver must ensure that the backload of their truck is evenly distributed. Any imbalances in a vehicle’s weight can result in a rollover, the driver losing control when making a sharp turn, or making an evasive maneuver to avoid a crash can cause a serious accident. Drivers can be injured in situations like this and possibly qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
- DWI/DUI – Other drivers can cause a severe accident involving a garbage truck if driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Contact us today if you or someone you know was seriously injured in a car crash involving a garbage truck, dump truck or recycling truck. We will help you navigate the next steps in pursuing a personal injury claim, and craft the best recovery plan for your medical needs.
- Tailgating – Driving too closely behind another vehicle, such as a wide garbage truck, is dangerous. If the truck was to stop abruptly, the tailgating could lead to a crash and cause serious head injuries, back injuries, and neck injuries. In some cases, even crushed bones of the ribs, knees, legs, and feet can occur.
- Failure to yield the right of way to the garbage truck – All road rules must be obeyed by commercial and regular drivers to prevent accidents. If a passenger car fails to yield to a dump truck several tons larger than a motor vehicle, a severe collision or death of a loved one can occur.
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs – Although following New Jersey traffic signs and signals is mandatory for all drivers, people can still make mistakes and be involved in a serious car crash. Whether a garbage truck driver followed or did not follow the signage, they could still obtain workers’ compensation benefits. It’s best to discuss the details with an experienced New Jersey truck accident attorney.
- Speeding – Driving fast and impatiently is never wise, especially in bad weather with poor road conditions. Speeding can cause a motor vehicle to slide into a garbage truck and injure the workers. Following highway and route speed limits is required, but people choose to drive past the speed limits, causing serious injuries.
- Driving While Distracted or Fatigued – Driving while texting or using some other e-device is a recipe for disaster in the form of an accident. Also, far too many people drive while they are tired. This can result in drifting off to sleep while behind the wheel. It’s best to pull over to the side of the road to rest, but many people drive when they are extremely tired due to poor sleep schedules and exhaustion.
Common Injuries Sustained by New Jersey Garbage Truck Drivers
Should there be a collision or rollover accident involving a garbage truck caused by another driver’s negligence, there may be the following injuries, depending on the accident’s severity. They may include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones and bone fractures;
- Crush injuries;
- Damage to internal organs;
- Disfigurement or scarring;
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions;
- Paralysis of limbs;
- Back and Neck injuries, and
- Shoulder injuries
Garbage truck, dump truck and recycling truck workers can also get injured on the job while loading/unloading their vehicles, performing roadside repairs, or from slips, trips, and falls when leaving or climbing into their truck.
Each workers’ compensation case is different, as is every accident and every injury. Injuries can affect a worker’s overall quality of life too. For this reason, when considering to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to speak to a skilled NJ workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the New Jersey workers’ compensation system. At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we have decades of experience fighting for our clients’ right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Regulations Regarding Garbage Trucks and Other Cargo Loads
Not many people know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues standards for truck companies that drivers, including city garbage truck drivers, and companies must follow. Those who do not comply with those regulations can face severe penalties.
While these rules and regulations apply to the garbage truck and other cargo vehicles, they speak to keeping the drivers and other workers safe. It is also up to other cars to be alert and aware of traffic around them, including garbage trucks.
Examples of standard truck regulations include:
- A shift must not be longer than fourteen consecutive hours.
- A specialized container must be on the trucks that can hold recyclables, other discarded material(s), and trash.
- Inspections must be done regularly to check the integrity of the vehicles by searching for holes and other damages that may cause load loss or cracks.
- Workers loading garbage must adhere to all size and weight limits while loading.
- Rear-ending a garbage truck, trying to pass it, and throwing out hazardous materials disguised as something else can also create dangerous conditions for the workers.
A workers’ compensation claim is one way an injured worker can obtain compensation after a New Jersey workplace accident. The other way is through a third-party personal injury claim. These claims can be filed against a non-employer third party who was responsible for the worker’s injuries. Looking into third-party injury claims is important, as these can provide workers with additional damages, including those for their pain and suffering. For example, if you were injured due to defective equipment, the company that manufactured the machinery might be responsible. Another example would be when a worker, while on the job, is injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the fault of another. Your attorney can file a separate personal injury claim to pursue additional damages.
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we know exactly how to help you navigate both a worker’s compensation claim and/or a third party claim. We can walk you through your unique situation and inform you of your legal rights when you consult us during your free case assessment.
Contact the Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm Now!
If you were injured while driving a garbage truck, recycling truck, or dump truck in a workplace accident, this is undoubtedly a difficult time for you and your family. The workers’ compensation lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm understand the challenges you face and want to help protect your rights. We aggressively represent every client we serve, ensuring they recover the benefits they need to move on with their lives after a serious accident while on the job.
Whether it be through a workers’ comp claim and/or a third-party personal injury case, our worker’s compensation and personal injury lawyers will help you navigate the complexities of the process, so you can focus on your recovery. We have recovered over $100 million for our clients and can effectively negotiate on your behalf with even the largest insurance companies. We have successfully served thousands of clients throughout New Jersey. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a workers’ compensation claim, give us a call today at (973) 920-7900 to request a free and confidential consultation. You can also connect with us through our online form. There is never a fee unless we win. We have two conveniently located offices in Denville and Morristown, New Jersey.
A proven track record of success
Request a Free Consultation
Being injured or having a family member injured can have serious and lifelong consequences. We can try to ease the burden. Contact us today to learn more about how our team of experienced New Jersey accident attorneys can support you through these challenging times.