On December 1, 2013, a husband and wife from Lakeland were riding the Harley-Davidson motorcycle when a garbage truck turned in front of them. According to Bay News 9 the garbage truck attempted to stop, but stopped several feet from the accident. The driver of the motorcycle attempted to avoid the garbage truck, but was unable to, causing the death of both him and his passenger.
Truck accidents such as this one are especially complex when there is a wrongful death case because of the complexity of determining fault along with determining who all of the liable parties are. In a case like this, a garbage truck is obviously a very slow moving vehicle, leading to the need for an investigation as to what the truck driver saw when he turned in front of the motorcycle. Equally complex is the nature of motorcycle accidents because motorcycles have low visibility and a higher risk of serious injury because of the absence of safety features that are present in a car. The combination of a garbage truck and a motorcycle leads to an especially dangerous situation.
Garbage trucks, like all trucks, need much more room to stop than a regular car and do not have the same maneuverability. Because of this, it is up to truck drivers to be sure that they give adequate room to avoid accidents. Because trucks are much heavier than passenger vehicles and motorcycles, even slow speed accidents can have catastrophic consequences, which is why truck drivers need special licenses and training.
Adding a level of complexity to any accident case involving a truck is determining who the responsible parties are. While the driver is responsible for his actions on the road, his employer and the owner of the truck are responsible for his negligent actions while he is acting within the scope of this employment. In a case like this, where the driver of the garbage truck was on the job, there could be additional parties to a wrongful death suit by the family of the couple that was killed. Even if the driver of the garbage truck was negligent for failing to see the motorcycle, his employer would be liable. There are some exceptions to the rule; such as if the driver was under the influence, but mostly the liability of an employer for a negligent act of their employee while on the job is absolute.
If you or a loved one has been involved with an accident with a truck, it is essential that you contact an attorney right away. The insurance company for a trucking company will most likely start an investigation right away to help support their side of any potential litigation. They may even have representatives at the accident scene. It is important that you get a legal team on your side to start your own investigation before evidence and witnesses vanish. Call the Brooks Law Group right away at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT to schedule your free consultation and protect your rights.