For almost 100 years, Rumpke garbage trucks have provided both residential and commercial trash and recycling services through Ohio as well as Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia. While garbage trucks have become a keystone of modern life, a potential Rumpke garbage truck accident also represents a substantial safety hazard. All Ohio motorists and passengers should understand what makes garbage truck accidents so dangerous.
THE DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH RUMPKE GARBAGE TRUCKS
Just like other large commercial vehicles, garbage trucks have several characteristics including large blind spots and difficulty maneuvering that make accidents involving them more likely. While a motorist might be able to correct a small error while driving and remain safe, even the tiniest errors while navigating a garbage truck through a tight space can lead to deadly accidents.
Garbage trucks are constantly backing up, stopping, and turning, which significantly increases the chances of accidents. Consequently, Rumpke and other garbage truck drivers must exercise the highest degree of caution when performing their jobs.
When garbage truck accidents do occur, the resulting injuries are almost always severe. Some of the most common injuries faced by garbage truck accident victims include:
Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2017 there were 107 fatalities as the result of garbage and refuse truck accidents. Approximately 25% of the people who were killed in these accidents were sanitation workers.
COMMON CAUSES OF OHIO GARBAGE TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Some unique dangers are created by garbage trucks, but a few of the most common ways in which garbage truck accidents occur include:
Falling debris. Garbage trucks are designed to securely contain trash, but they do not always do so. When heavy debris escapes the truck, the debris can collide with nearby vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists and result in deadly accidents.
Equipment failure. Sanitation trucks require workers to receive special training before operating the complicated equipment included in the vehicle. If truck equipment fails to operate properly, the operator can quickly become unable to control the vehicle. This can greatly endanger the lives of motorists.
Inattentive drivers. Many garbage truck accidents occur while the driver is in reverse or otherwise fails to pay attention to the surroundings.
Negligent driving. Due to their substantial size and weight, special precautions should be taken when operating a garbage truck. When drivers fail to cautiously operate garbage trucks, they can find themselves in life-changing accidents.
RUMPKE TRUCK DRIVERS MUST FOLLOW SAFETY STANDARDS
The United States Department of Labor lists garbage truck operation as a dangerous profession. In fact, if you look up the ten most dangerous jobs in America, refuse truck drivers are always on the list, sometimes as high as number 3, thanks to a fatal injury rate of 24 deaths per 100,000. Only farm workers, steel workers, and powerline installers have a higher job fatality rate. Whether it is a Rumpke truck or another type of garbage truck, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends that drivers follow several important safety standards, including:
Workers must wear reflect and protective gear while on the job
Workers must help the side of the garbage truck while the compactor is on
Garbage truck equipment must be turned off when operations are not occurring
Trucks are only permitted to operate once workers have made a clear path for pedestrians
Failure to adhere to these safety standards can greatly endanger the lives of workers and others. Evidence of failure to conform with any of these requirements can also be used in a court of law to show that a garbage truck operator was acting negligently.
Although liability for an accident with an Ohio Rumpke garbage truck accident will depend on the facts and circumstances of your accident, negligence must be a factor in your accident in order for you to be entitled to compensation. Liable parties could include:
The Rumpke garbage truck driver could be liable for the accident if the driver was distracted, fatigued, impaired, careless, or reckless. Distracted driving behaviors can include texting while driving, talking on the phone, talking to a passenger, eating, or fiddling with controls on the garbage truck. The Rumpke garbage truck accident could have been caused when the driver failed to check blind spots, failed to properly dump waste, causing it to hit another vehicle, failed to follow traffic rules or signals, failed to yield, or failed to brake on time, causing a rear-end collision.
The Rumpke Truck Company could be liable for the accident if it failed to properly maintain the vehicle, failed to perform a proper background check on the driver, or failed to ensure the driver was adequately trained prior to allowing them to go to work.
If a defective garbage truck or truck part caused the accident, then the manufacturer may be held liable for the resulting accident.
EXAMPLES OF RUMPKE TRUCK ACCIDENTS
There are many cases involving Rumpke truck accidents. For example, consider the following stories:
In March 2023 in Colerain Township, a fatal crash involving a Rumpke truck occurred on Eastbound Interstate 275. The Rumpke garbage truck was on its way back to the landfill at the time the accident occurred. One person in the passenger vehicle that collided with the garbage truck was killed in the accident.
On February 28, 2023, a collision involving a semi-truck and a Rumpke garbage truck occurred, blocking lanes on southbound I-75, near the Union Centre Blvd. exit.
On August 10, 2022, one person was killed in a collision involving a Rumpke garbage truck. The crash occurred on Little Richmond Road near Diamond Mill Road.
On May 13, 2022, a three-vehicle crash involving a Rumpke garbage truck injured three people in Clark County. The crash occurred in the 1400 block of West County Line Road in German Township.
In February 2020, a woman was killed after she collided with a Rumpke garbage truck in Butler County.
In January 2020, a sanitation worker was pinned between a Rumpke garbage truck and a sports utility vehicle in a collision. It took responders approximately 30 minutes to extract the victim from the wreckage.
In October 2019, two people were rushed to the hospital after their vehicle collided with the rear end of a Rumpke garbage truck. At the time of the accident, the Rumpke worker was operating the back part of the vehicle.
In May 2016, four family members died in a Vinton County accident after the vehicle’s driver failed to yield at a stop sign and collided with a Rumpke truck.
What Should You Do if You Are Involved in an Ohio Rumpke Garbage Truck Accident?
If you are involved in an Ohio Rumpke garbage truck accident, there are certain steps you should take to ensure your rights are properly protected in the future. These steps include:
The first thing you should always do is obtain medical attention for your injuries and the injuries of others involved in the accident. When you are involved in an auto accident, adrenaline floods your body, often masking injury symptoms. If you refuse medical attention, and then later realize you are seriously injured, you may have difficulty getting a settlement from the liable party. In addition to obtaining medical attention, you also need to be sure to follow any instructions given to you by your medical provider.
Call 911 to ensure you will have a police report that could potentially identify the liable driver.
If you are physically able, following your Rumpke garbage truck accident, take photographs at the scene of the accident.
If there are witnesses to the accident, obtain contact information for them. This information could be invaluable for your attorney.
Exchange information with the truck driver, including contact information and insurance information.
Once you have seen a doctor and are home, take the time to write down anything you can remember about the accident. The smallest detail could potentially be important when filing a claim for damages.
Contact your own insurance company to let them know about the accident.
Contact an experienced Ohio Rumpke garbage truck accident attorney from Kruger & Hodges. Your attorney will ensure your rights and your future are properly protected.
Some of the emergency services numbers that could be helpful in the event of a crash with an Ohio Rumpke garbage truck accident include:
How To Choose the Best Truck Accident Lawyer for Your Claim
Choosing the best attorney is a critical decision after a Rumpke truck accident. Your choice holds substantial significance, as strong legal representation is highly valued by insurance companies.
When searching for the optimal personal injury lawyer for your Rumpke truck accident claim, factor in the following considerations:
Expertise: Opt for a lawyer with a track record of handling cases involving commercial truck accidents.
Feedback & Reputation: Research online reviews and seek recommendations from reliable sources.
Communication: Choose an attorney who prioritizes keeping you informed and is easily reachable for discussions.
Resources: Verify that the lawyer has the necessary tools to handle the complexities of your case.
Accessibility: Assess the lawyer’s responsiveness and availability for your needs.
Fee Structure: Inquire about the attorney’s fee arrangement and any potential additional costs.
Following a consultation with a lawyer from Kruger & Hodges, your decision will become clear. Our dedicated attorneys are committed to upholding your rights as you navigate the aftermath of a Rumpke truck accident.
Our attorneys will always go the extra mile for you. We always answer the phone at Kruger & Hodges—you are never left to wonder what is going on with your case, or waiting for a phone call that never comes. When life doesn’t go as planned, and the worst-case scenario becomes a reality, Kruger & Hodges is standing by to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
SPEAK WITH OUR ATTORNEYS, EXPERIENCED IN GARBAGE TRUCK ACCIDENTS
If you or a loved one was injured in a garbage truck accident, remember that you have the right to pursue compensation. At Kruger & Hodges, we have helped many accident victims, and we remain committed to fighting for the results you deserve. Contact us today.