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Street Sweeper Accidents

Accidents involving publicly or privately owned street sweeper vehicles are rare, but can be especially devastating and traumatic when they do happen. There are a number of laws and regulations  regarding street sweepers that are designed to protect pedestrians and other motorists from harm.

If you or a loved one is suffering after being injured in an accident caused by a street sweeper or other commercial vehicle, it is likely in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney. Our team of lawyers has extensive experience in serious accident cases and will review your case free of charge to determine your legal rights and options. 

What Is The Cause Of Street Sweeper Accidents?

deadly bellevue street sweeper accidentStreet sweeping machine accidents are relatively common. A simple news archive search will show dozens of street sweeping accidents across the country over the past few years — many resulting in serious injuries and death. The driver of the street sweeping machine is often found to be at-fault.  Related: Street Sweeper Accident Epidemic?

  • Lack of Training. According to safety professionals, street sweepers are only as safe as their operator. Drivers that are distracted or not properly trained can be a major safety hazard. 
  • Distracted Drivers. Operating a street sweeping machine requires a great deal of multitasking. Street sweeping vehicles are high off the ground; have two steering wheels (one for right shoulder, the other for the left); two radio systems; and two motors (one to drive the vehicle and one to power the cleaning system).
  • High Noise Level.  Not only should the operator be properly trained, but they must remain alert of their surroundings at all times. Street sweepers are very loud.  Drivers often wear earplugs which can be very dangerous.  In addition, audible back-up alarms that are supposed to alert others are often difficult to hear over the loud noice created by the sweepers brushes and vacuums.  
  • Lack Of Rear-View Camera. Safety advocates say that it is important to have an operational rear-view camera that is cleaned regularly to ensure the field of view is not obstructed. 

In a 2016 Everett Herald article, Greg Heyer with Schwarze Industries was quoted as saying, “Sweeper operators have an incredible amount of things going on that need constant observation, and because a sweeper has no natural rear viewing capability, a rearview camera is a must…an on-board camera system also allows the operator to see equipment such as the brooms and other equipment without looking away from the windshield. These cameras can include audible object detection and zone warning as well. This allows the operator to look immediately at the camera when warned. For pedestrian protection, a backup alarm is a must. With all the things a sweeper operator needs to keep watching, pedestrians need to be warned when in the proximity of the sweeper.” See source article.

In an article entitled 'Safety Tips and Risk Management for Power Sweeping,' John Meola, CSP, ARM, Director of Safety at Pillar Operations & Maintenance Advisor said, “…whenever possible, a spotter should guide the [sweeper] driver when backing. However, if possible, position your rig to avoid the need to back. Then, put out a cone when parked.” See source article.

How Hiring A Lawyer Can Help

Accidents involving street sweepers and other commercial vehicles are much more complex than regular car accident cases. The insurance companies responsible for insuring commercial vehicles are much more likely to fight tooth and nail with accident victims who pursue a claim. You need an experienced attorney on your side to fight on your behalf.

Being seriously injured in an accident typically means the victims are dealing with costly medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and extensive future medical care. This can add up quickly and put victims and their families in financial jeopardy.

Failing to act quickly can put you at a disadvantage against the high-priced legal teams that represent these insurance companies. Their entire goal is to get an accident victims to agree to settle this for far less than they’re worth and allow the victims to suffer financially for an accident they are not responsible for.

Hiring The Right Lawyer

When considering hiring an attorney for a serious accident case, it is important to consider an attorneys experience with similar cases to your own. It is a common misconception that any attorney can handle any case.

A general practice attorney, for example is unlikely to understand the nuances of commercial vehicle keys, while in attorney who is handling these types of cases house will likely have a better grasp on the complexities associated with that type.

Free Consultation & No-Fee Guarantee

Many people are understandably concerned about the costs associated with higher a lawyer after an accident. Fortunately, our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means there are no upfront costs and we only charge attorneys fees if we successfully resolve your case and recover compensation on your behalf.

If you are concerned about your legal rights after an accidentwith a street sweeper, contact our attorneys today at 206-727-4000 today for a free case review.