Who Is liable in a Garbage Truck Accident?

Garbage Truck And Sanitation Worker

When you think of a large commercial truck, most people immediately picture the 16-wheeler tractor-trailers that we see transporting cargo across the country. While these trucks pose the risk of accidents and injuries on the highways, other commercial vehicles can create dangers on smaller residential or urban roadways, as well. One type of commercial truck that is often involved in accidents in our neighborhoods is the garbage truck.

Garbage trucks help perform an extremely important service for our homes and businesses by picking up and transporting waste and recyclables to the correct location so we do not have to figure out how to do so ourselves. Unfortunately, this job also requires that garbage truck drivers maneuver through small residential street and busy urban centers that have many turns, traffic signals, pedestrians, bicyclists, and more. As you can imagine, the potential for collisions and injuries is high every time a garbage truck takes to the streets.

If you or your child has suffered injury in any type of accident involving a garbage truck, there will likely be complex questions of liability. You need an attorney handling your case who understands the relevant legal issues and how to help you obtain the recovery you deserve.

Determining who was at fault for the garbage truck accident

Many different parties may be at fault for a garbage truck accident. Some examples of negligence that can lead to garbage truck accidents include the following:

– Driver error – Garbage truck drivers are held to the same standard as any other type of commercial driver and must abide by the regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).1 Drivers can act negligently in many ways to cause accidents, including distracted driving, impaired driving, violating traffic laws, not checking blind spots, and much more.

– Defective truck parts – If a manufacturer sells truck parts that are defective and a subsequent malfunction leads to an accident, that manufacturer should be held responsible for negligently selling the part under products liability law.2 Examples of truck parts that routinely cause accidents include the brakes, wheels, tires, steering columns, and more.

– Dangerous roads – If a government entity does not take proper care of its roadways, garbage trucks can easily be involved in collisions. Potholes, dangerous curves, poor road design, improperly timed traffic signals, inadequate warning signs, and more can all lead to a garbage truck driver losing control or causing an accident.

Who is liable for the negligence?

Once you determine what type of negligent act caused the accident, you still have to determine who can be held liable in a truck accident case. This will depend on several different factors. The following are some possible liable parties in garbage truck accidents:

– Truck driver

– Private waste management company (if the company employed the driver or owned the truck involved)

– Government entity (if the accident occurred due to road conditions OR if the garbage truck driver was a government employee)

– Truck manufacturer

– Truck maintenance crew

– Third party driver

These are only some possibilities of parties that may be held liable. In some cases, injured garbage truck accident victims may be able to file a legal claim for their personal injury against more than one party. It is imperative to identify all possibly negligent3 parties to make sure that you are able to fully recover for all of your accident-related losses including medical bills, lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.

Call the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater to discuss your case with an experienced truck accident lawyer

Filing a case against a waste management corporation, a manufacturer, a government entity, or another type of sophisticated party requires significant legal knowledge and resources. At the Dolman Law Group, we have the resources to thoroughly investigate your garbage truck accident case and to bring a successful claim against the appropriate parties. We understand that the legal process may seem daunting—especially when you are dealing with a serious injury—and so we always work to handle your case as efficiently as possible. Call our office in Clearwater, Florida for a free, no-obligation consultation today at 727-451-6900 for help. 

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756