Garbage Truck Accident Lawyers

Although they’re far from glamorous, garbage trucks and their crews play a crucial role in keeping society functioning. The other side of that, though, is that these vehicles are large, unwieldy, and dangerous. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a garbage truck, there are lots of considerations to make — how will you recover from your injuries? How will you pay for it? Will you need legal representation, and if so, how will you secure it?  

You don’t have to go through the aftermath of a garbage truck accident alone. If the other driver or company was responsible for the accident, the garbage truck accident lawyers at Nix Patterson could assist you. 

Your attorneys will review the crash evidence and tell you if there is a viable case. If so, your garbage truck accident attorney will determine who was liable for the impact and go over the crash scene. Then, they will assess your injuries and other damages to establish a fair case value.

What’s Different About a Garbage Truck Accident?  

Garbage trucks are commercial vehicles. Accidents involving garbage trucks have factors that differentiate them from typical car accidents. 

First, the garbage truck is often owned by a local government agency. Some localities hire private sanitation companies to do waste collection for the government, but the city or county may own garbage trucks that collect waste weekly. 

If the accident involves a local government-owned truck, filing a lawsuit against that entity can be complicated by government immunity. Your attorney will review the details of the garbage truck accident to decide if it’s possible to sue a government agency. 

Second, proving the truck driver caused the accident can be more complex than other cases. For example, on a waste collection route, the truck has to stop more often than other vehicles. The truck may be allowed to drive on the left side of the street, along curbs, the street’s edge, or bike lanes. If the driver drove erratically, it can be challenging to prove negligence. 

How Do Garbage Truck Accidents Occur? 

Garbage truck accidents happen for many reasons–often through human errors such as: 

  • Garbage truck driver negligence, including speeding, running red lights and stop signs, failure to yield, and loss of vehicle control 
  • Distracted driving, especially using a cell phone behind the wheel
  • Fatigued driving 
  • Garbage falling out of the truck into the roadway 
  • Failure to check blind spots 
  • Improper maintenance 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports how garbage truck accidents occur and how often. In addition, OSHA notes that many garbage truck accidents involve pedestrians struck by the vehicle. 

For example, garbage truck accidents happen when garbage trucks back up with insufficient visibility and inadequate checking of blind spots before turning and changing lanes. 

Garbage trucks usually have large side mirrors and loud noise-making devices designed to alert pedestrians and drivers that the rig is backing up. But other drivers may try to speed past the truck, causing a severe accident. Even with the truck turning on its beeper while backing up, it still can strike and injure or kill a pedestrian. 

Who’s Liable in a Garbage Truck Accident? 

If a garbage truck causes an accident that injures you, your attorney will attempt to secure compensation first by determining who is liable for the crash. Several parties might be liable in the accident, including: 

  • The driver. If the operator of the vehicle was acting negligently, they might be held responsible.
  • The city or county that owns the garbage truck. The government may also be liable if an unsafe street condition caused the garbage truck accident. 
  • The employers. The garbage pickup company may employ the driver or own the truck. If so, they might be the liable party. 
  • The manufacturer. The company that manufactured the garbage truck could be found responsible if the vehicle or a part was defective, leading to an accident. For example, tire defects could cause a blowout and accident. 
  • The mechanics. The technicians who worked on the truck might be liable if they did not perform maintenance correctly. 

Commercial vehicle accidents are often complex and may involve liability by the driver, employer, and sometimes other drivers. Therefore, having your accident reviewed by an experienced garbage truck accident lawyer is imperative. 

How Does Your Attorney Prove Garbage Truck Accident Liability? 

Collecting evidence about your garbage truck accident is essential to proving liability. The accident victim may be able to collect some basic evidence after the crash. However, a licensed attorney must be the one contacting the proper individuals to collect items like cell phone records or surveillance camera footage.

If you are not seriously injured after the crash, take photographs and videos of the damage to drivers, passengers, and all involved vehicles. Also, collect visual evidence of the crash scene, such as crash debris, vehicle pieces, and skid marks. Take close-up and wide-angle shots of all crash proof. 

Next, try to obtain eyewitness names and contact information after the crash. Eyewitness testimony from neutral observers is valuable courtroom evidence that can bolster your claim. 

After hiring an attorney, an accident victim may obtain the truck driver’s cell phone records to see if the driver was texting and driving. Surveillance video may also be available from the truck and nearby surveillance systems. The attorney also may access the truck’s ‘black box’ to obtain vital evidence to prove liability. 

If the garbage truck driver was working when the accident happened, their employer might be liable for the driver’s actions. The garbage truck company may also be responsible if they hire an unsafe driver or provide inadequate training. 

Contact a Nix Patterson Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer

After a severe garbage truck accident, you may feel at lost or otherwise abandoned. The insurance company may not give you the time of day. You might be out of work and unable to pay your bills. However, Nix Patterson has a team of commercial truck accident lawyers ready to help you. Your attorneys will safeguard your rights and fight for justice in your case. Contact us today for a complimentary legal consultation about your accident.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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