Garbage trucks weigh much more than traditional passenger vehicles, and any collision with these larger trucks could lead to significant injuries and property damage. Unfortunately, victims of garbage truck accidents in California often face a tough path when it comes to recovering compensation for their losses. Here, we want to talk about what you should do if a garbage truck hits your car.
If you are injured or sustained property damage due to your vehicle being struck by a garbage truck, your first priority is seeking medical care. Any person involved in a vehicle accident should seek prompt medical treatment for a few reasons. First, your health and well-being are paramount and take precedence over everything else. Sometimes, there are hidden injuries that are not obvious right away but could become obvious in the hours and even days following the incident. Let a medical professional perform an evaluation and help treat these injuries as they arise.
If it is possible, garbage truck accident victims should take steps to document the scene surrounding the incident. This can include using a phone to take pictures of property damage, debris, skid marks, possible causes of the crash, license plate numbers, and more. Crash victims should look around to see if they notice any cameras on nearby buildings or inside of the vehicles stopped at the scene. The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the garbage truck accident should be written down before anyone can leave the scene.
Law enforcement officials must come to the scene of the accident so they can conduct an investigation and fill out an accident report.
You need to reach out to a skilled truck accident attorney in Irvine who has experience handling complex claims. Accidents with garbage trucks typically involve either a municipal agency or a private third-party company. Regardless of who controls the garbage truck, an attorney needs to be the individual contacting other parties throughout the entirety of the case. A lawyer will have the resources needed to fully investigate the case and move forward with the claim in court. Your lawyer will be responsible for negotiating with the other parties on your behalf.
Determining liability for a garbage truck accident is crucial, particularly when it comes to determining who to file the claim against. If the company is not a government agency, then the injury victim will file a lawsuit against the company in civil court.
However, if the garbage truck is controlled by a municipal agency in California, then the claim must be filed through the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA). Under this law, an injury victim must file a claim with the entity or agency that employed the person responsible for causing the incident. So long as the employee was acting within the scope of their employment and carrying out official government functions, the agency can face a lawsuit.
The personal injury statute of limitations in California is two years from the date an injury occurs, which means injury victims must file a claim against the alleged negligent party within this time frame or they will not be able to move forward with a claim at all.
However, the time frames for filing a claim against government entities are different. We encourage you to reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney in Irvine who can walk you through this process and ensure your claim gets filed on time and with the appropriate court or entity.