44 year-old Fort Lauderdale driver hit by garbage truck’s mechanical arm

A 44-year-old Fort Lauderdale man was sitting in his vehicle in front of his home when a garbage truck drove by collecting trash. The heavy mechanical arm of the garbage truck was negligently engaged and extended outward as the truck drove past the man’s vehicle. The heavy arm of the garbage truck struck the rear of the vehicle, which caused the vehicle to move several feet from its parked position. The impact caused heavy damage to the parked vehicle. Our client, who was sitting inside of his vehicle at the time of impact, was unexpectedly thrown about the inside of his vehicle, causing injury to his neck.

Fort Lauderdale man dazed and confused by accident

Baffled and confused by what just happened, the man got out of his vehicle to try and make sense of the situation. Prior to the accident, he heard the garbage truck driving nearby. When he looked up to see the truck driving by, it did not appear as if the truck itself had struck his vehicle. The truck appeared to be driving within its lane and did not appear to veer off the road. He noticed, however, that a large, metal mechanical arm appeared to be extended directly off the side of the truck. It appeared that the sanitation employees were using this arm in an effort to grab trash cans and dump their contents into the truck. It became obvious to the man that it was this mechanical arm that struck his vehicle, causing damage and injury. The garbage truck never stopped and continued to travel down the street, away from the accident and eventually left the neighborhood.

Fort Lauderdale driver reports garbage truck accident to police

By the time the man had gotten the opportunity to use his phone, the garbage truck was long gone. The police were called and the incident was reported but the police were initially not able to determine which sanitation company caused this accident. There were several sanitation companies working the area at that time and an investigation would be conducted as to which company ultimately caused this accident. Luckily, our client’s description of the truck left little doubt which company was responsible for the accident. After an investigation, the police created a report that documented the incident. After reporting the accident to the police, the man brought himself to the hospital complaining of pain in his neck and lower back. X-rays and a CT scan were taken at the hospital and the man was diagnosed with a neck and lower back strain. He was instructed to seek follow-up care with an orthopedist.

Garbage truck accident victim seeks the help of Attorneys Dell and Schaefer

Several days later, the man’s painful symptoms were not getting any better. He decided to reach out to the accident attorneys at the Law Office of Dell and Schaefer so that he could seek help regarding his injury claim. Our injury lawyers were able to receive a copy of the incident report that the police created. We notified the sanitation company that our client was injured in the incident and that we would be making a claim on his behalf. Initially, the sanitation company denied any involvement whatsoever. They claimed that their trucks were not in the area on the date of the incident and that their employees did not report any incidents. It became obvious that more extensive investigation would be necessary to prove this incident occurred. Our investigators conducted surveillance on the scene of the incident to determine which garbage trucks were in the area on any particular day. They captured footage of the defendant’s truck in the area on the same day of the week that our client was injured. The description of the defendant’s truck matched the description given by our client to the police. With this footage, we were able to show the defendant’s insurance company that their truck was indeed the one involved in the accident.

Fort Lauderdale accident victim requires cervical spine injection

Our client continued to complain to his orthopedist that his neck pain was getting progressively worse. The orthopedist ordered an MRI of his cervical spine (neck) so we could rule out serious injury. The MRI revealed that our client suffered a herniation of the cervical spine. This injury was certainly the cause of our client’s painful symptoms. The orthopedist recommended an epidural injection of the cervical spine which would help alleviate pain. Reluctant to receive any injections, our client agreed to the epidural injection because he could not bear the pain any longer. The orthopedist administered the epidural injection successfully and our client reported a great reduction in his level of pain within the following two days. Knowing the pain relief achieved from the injection would not last forever, the orthopedist was of the opinion that our client would require a more serious spinal surgery some time into the future.

Dell and Schaefer demand compensation

Even after having proof that their garbage truck was involved in the accident, the defendant continued to deny causing any injury. They argued that there was no way that a mechanical arm caused severe injury to a passenger of a vehicle. They argued that because the main portion of the truck hadn’t struck any portion of our client’s vehicle, technically there was no accident. These arguments were lacking in logic. We were able to show that the mechanical arm itself weighed in excess of several hundred pounds, which was heavy enough to cause a great deal of damage. Certainly, if this heavy mechanical arm which was being driven by a multi-ton, large industrial garbage truck, made contact with a smaller vehicle, it could certainly cause a great deal of damage. The insurance company refused to budge from their position.

Dell and Schaefer settle the case

After many months of negotiation, our lawyers became distraught about the course of this potential settlement. The insurance company was making low settlement offers and our client’s pain was not getting any better. We decided it would be best to file suit against the sanitation company and bring this case to trial so we can ask a jury for compensation. Several days before filing a lawsuit, the insurance company decided that they would prefer to resolve this matter rather than be subjected to a jury trial. They made a final offer to our client that enabled our client to pay any and all medical bills in full. The settlement would also enable our client to be compensated for any potential future medical bills as well as past and future pain and suffering. Our client was pleased with his settlement as he was not looking forward to the prospects of a jury trial. He reported a great relief knowing that the matter was fully behind him and that he could move on with his life.

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