Garbage Truck Accident Lawsuit

Where You Need a Lawyer:

(This may not be the same place you live)

At No Cost! 

 What Are Garbage Truck Accidents?

Garbage truck accidents, or trash truck accidents, are accidents that involve trucks that pick up curbside trash in residential neighborhoods. Due to the size of these types of vehicles and the unusual way in which they are operated on the roads, garbage truck accidents can be serious.

Also, they drive closer to the sidewalks and near driveways more frequently than typical vehicles, which increases the likelihood of an accident near a home. Garbage truck accidents can involve:

  • Collisions with other vehicles, both moving and parked;
  • Collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists;
  • Property damage related to accidents as well as personal injury;
  • Accidents that inflict injury on the employees of the government trash collection agency or the private company that employs them.

In particular, cars backing out of driveways and small children playing near sidewalks can be put at risk of accidents by garbage trucks. Garbage trucks also make frequent stops in the middle of the road; the trash collectors may jump off the truck to grab trash cans. This can mean that vehicles must abruptly stop, which can create the circumstances for an accident.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by a Garbage Truck Accident?

Depending on the situation, different parties can be held liable for a garbage truck accident. Of course, the driver of a garbage truck can be held liable for injuries and property damage caused by their negligence. For instance, if they disregarded the rules of the road while operating the truck, they could be liable for any accident they cause.

In other cases, the owner of the garbage collection services company can be held liable for negligence. In some cases, this might be a city/municipal agency or department, but in some areas, it could be a privately owned company.

An example of this is when the garbage collection services company fails to maintain properly cared for vehicles in their garbage truck fleet. They could be held liable if they allowed a driver to use a truck that they knew or should have known to be in a defective condition due to lack of necessary maintenance and repair.

In addition, the employer of a driver or other employee of a trash collection company can be liable for the negligence of their employee on a theory of respondeat superior. This doctrine holds that an employer is legally responsible for the wrongful conduct of their employee.

Likewise, the principal in a principal-agent relationship is legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an agent. Of course, the wrongful acts or conduct must take place within the course and scope of the employment of the employee or within the scope of the agency in the case of an agent.

Usually, when respondeat superior is applied, a victim sues both the employer and the employee and seeks to hold both of them liable. A court then applies the doctrine of joint and several liability as it determines which party is liable for which portion of the total damages.

All states have the doctrine of respondeat superior in their law. However, the law may have developed differently in the various states. There is no one national standard for the doctrine.

For this reason, different tests for proving the relationship necessary to establish the way in which the theory of respondeat superior applies would be used in different states. Most states, however, either one of the following:

  • The Benefits Test: Employees engage in after-hours social or recreational activities on the part of employees pursuits of the employer’s premises, and these are endorsed by the express or implied permission of the employer. In addition, the activities are conceivably of some benefit to the employer. In this situation, the employer is liable for any harm caused by their employee’s actions;
  • The Characteristics Test: If an employee’s action is common for the job that they perform, then it is fair to conclude that it is characteristic of the job. In this case, the employer is liable for all harm that results from the employee’s actions.

Lastly, it is possible that the manufacturer and distributor of a defective vehicle could be held liable for accidents that are directly caused by the defect in the vehicle. An example of this is when there is a defect with the truck’s braking system, which causes it to fail to stop, resulting in an accident.

Or, in another scenario, a defect in a garbage truck might injure one of the trash collectors who work on the truck. Again, the manufacturer and distributor of the truck could be liable for strict product liability in this instance.

Are There Any Remedies for a Garbage Truck Accident Claim?

Garbage truck accidents can be serious and may require legal action. In cases based on negligence, where it is alleged that some person failed to fulfill their duty of care and caused harm, the remedy is an award of money damages. This award should compensate the victim for losses related to both personal injury and property damage that they suffer.

The same is true in cases based on a strict product liability for a latent defect in products, e.g., a garbage truck. These lawsuits also seek the remedy of an award of money damages to compensate the victim for the losses they suffer because of personal injury or property damage.

The damages may cover economic losses associated with medical expenses. These include hospital stays, doctors’ bills, and the other costs of all of the necessary medical treatment that is needed for the injury the victim suffered. Economic losses also include the cost to repair or replace property as necessitated by any damage to the property.

Economic losses also reimburse for lost wages. A person may lose wages because they are unable to work as a result of their injuries. Or they may lose wages because they need to miss work in order to get the medical treatment that they need.

In addition, a person’s earning capacity can be affected by the injuries they suffer in an accident. They may not be able to return to the same type of work they had before they were injured. In these cases, compensatory damages may also reimburse the victims for their loss of earning capacity.

In addition to compensation for economic losses, a victim can also recover compensation for the non-economic losses they suffer. The main non-economic loss is the pain and suffering that a person experiences in connection with the personal injury inflicted on them. On rare occasions, the person or company liable for the accident might have to pay punitive damages. But punitive damages are not awarded often.

If the victim should be killed in an accident, whether their claim is based on negligence or strict product liability, the close family members would file a lawsuit for wrongful death.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Garbage Truck Accident Case?

Garbage truck accident lawsuits can be complex and require the help of a lawyer. can connect you to an experienced truck accident lawyer near you if you need advice and guidance in connection with an accident that involved a garbage truck. Your attorney can review the facts of your case, identify who is responsible, and file the right kind of legal claim in the right court so you can recover the damages you deserve.

Save Time and Money - Speak With a Lawyer Right Away

  • Buy one 30-minute consultation call or subscribe for unlimited calls
  • Subscription includes access to unlimited consultation calls at a reduced price
  • Receive quick expert feedback or review your DIY legal documents
  • Have peace of mind without a long wait or industry standard retainer
  • Get the right guidance - Schedule a call with a lawyer today!

16 people have successfully posted their cases

Find a Lawyer