In November 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article about how much auto accidents involving trash trucks are costing taxpayers every year, and the numbers are shocking. 

Philadelphia Sanitation Workers Involved In Accidents Daily 

Disturbing statistics show that since 2015, Philadelphia sanitation workers have been involved in more than 2,000 truck accidents. This breaks down to an average of 440 accidents per year, meaning that an accident occurs nearly every single day. This does not include accidents caused by drivers who work for private trash companies.

Of the reported accidents, more than two-thirds were determined to be the fault of the sanitation worker driving the truck. What’s even more upsetting is the fact that drivers with multiple accidents aren’t being removed from behind the wheel. 

Why Isn’t The Philadelphia Streets Department Dismissing Workers Who Cause Accidents? 

In 1970, the Philadelphia Streets Department create a rule regarding the drivers of garbage trucks. If a driver has 2 preventable accidents in a month or four within a year, that driver is to be demoted to dismissed entirely. 

the back of a trash truckToday, the rule is clearly not being followed. For example, one specific driver has had 19 accidents over four years. In 2016, he had five accidents that were his fault, two of which were in the same month. Yet he hasn’t been demoted or dismissed. 

According to the Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams stated that drivers who have been involved in accidents are sent for additional training or suspended for a few days. 

It’s easy to believe that these accidents are occurring in large numbers because of the size and population of the city of Philadelphia, however, when comparing accident statistics with New York City, it becomes clear that this isn’t the result of high population density. In fact, the numbers show that the average Philadelphia driver gets into an accident every 3,800 miles. In New York City, that number is every 6,300 miles, despite the fact that New York City is six times the size of Philadelphia. 

How Much Are Taxpayers Paying For Garbage Truck Accidents? 

Over the past four years, garbage truck accidents have cost taxpayers nearly $5 million dollars. The only reason the number is this low is that in Philadelphia if you are injured by a garbage truck, the maximum compensation that can be recovered is $500,000. 

This cap does not apply in situations where the driver works for a private company, only city sanitation employees. 

Compensation isn’t immediately granted to those who have been hurt in an accident. Victims have to fight for what they deserve. 

Schuster Law: Auto Accident Attorneys 

At Schuster Law, our attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping those who have been injured in truck accidents. Every case is treated as though it were our own and we aggressively fight for the maximum amount possible for each client. 

What Can Be Expected From The Legal Process? 

A civil lawsuit has the following steps: 

  1. The Pleadings: This is essentially the time during which the initial lawsuit paperwork is filed. The plaintiff files the lawsuit which details the allegations being made against the defendant. The defendant is then given an opportunity to file a response to the claim. 
  2. Discovery: During discovery, both parties are given the opportunity to obtain information that will strengthen their legal argument. 
  3. Settlement: Prior to trial the involved parties may attempt to reach a settlement agreement. If a settlement can be reached, the case will not go to trial. 
  4. Trial: If a settlement can’t be reached, the case will go to court and both sides will have the chance to present their arguments. 

Navigating the legal process is extremely difficult without an experienced attorney by your side. 

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a trash truck, contact our local law firm for a free consultation. We will review your case and explain all available legal options. Don’t wait – there are strict time limits that apply in civil cases.