Who Do You Sue if a Garbage Truck Hits Your Car?
Garbage trucks can be a menace on the road. Especially in tight city streets, garbage trucks sometimes block the road, create traffic congestion, and stop in dangerous places. On some roads, garbage trucks may occupy blind corners or make sudden stops and starts that put other drivers in danger. If you were injured by a garbage truck, you may be left wondering who to sue.
The garbage truck accident attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team have put together some information that may help you figure out what to do after a garbage truck accident. In any truck accident injury case, it is an excellent idea to talk to a truck accident attorney to help you through the process.
Who Owns the Garbage Truck that Hit Me?
Many times, the question of who to sue comes down to figuring out who owns the truck. From one town to the next – let alone one state to the next – garbage collection may be handled very differently. While some garbage collection companies are companies that under private contracts for collecting trash for the area, other garbage collecting companies may be fully private or fully public. Determining the situation in your case can help tell you who to sue.
If there is a garbage truck that has hit you are part of a private company, you could usually sue that company directly. The same as in any other truck accident case, the truck that hit you may be owned by a company you can take to court. Its employees are responsible for collecting trash in a safe way that does not cause injuries. If they drive unreasonably, break laws, or otherwise cause an accident, the drivers, workers, and company itself may be on the hook for your injuries. If the garbage company is private, locals may pay the company directly for trash collection. In these cases, the truck is owned by the company itself, you can sue them.
Sometimes, private companies are under contract from the local government to collect garbage. In those places, local taxes may pay for trash collection. That usually means the private company owns the truck. In these cases, while the company might be employed by the government, it is still a private company that may be sued for its bad actions. Sometimes, there are laws that may stop you from suing the government if one of its contractors commits an error that causes injuries. In these cases, a contractor like a garbage collection company may be protected. Otherwise, these laws may only apply to government employees, allowing you to sue contractors.
If the local government owns the garbage collection services themselves, you may have to sue the government for truck accident injuries. For this case, the garbage collectors and garbage truck drivers may be government employees. If the local, town, city, or municipal government owns the truck that injured you, they should be responsible for paying for your injuries.
Problems Suing for Garbage Truck Injuries
In many cases where the government is responsible for your injuries, it may be difficult to sue them directly. If the garbage company is a private company, you could have the ability to sue the company for your injuries. Although, if they are part of a government contractor, there is limitation for you to sue them.
A rule called “governmental immunity” makes it difficult to sue the government, unless they have specifically permitted it. In some areas, suing a government employee for negligence in operating a vehicle is specifically allowed. In others, the law might prevent suing any on-duty government employee for negligence. Talk to an attorney to understand your local and state rules on suing the government for injuries.
Sometimes, the law also limits how much you can recover. If a private person or private company caused your injuries, you may be able to sue for high amounts. However, if the government injured you, your damages may be limited to avoid certain types of damages, or the total amounts you can win might be capped to save the government money.
Lastly, since garbage collection is sometimes considered a “utility,” rules may protect garbage truck drivers. Many areas have rules against interfering with garbage truck workers or drivers, and these laws could be turned around to hold you accountable for your own injuries. Hiring an experienced attorney to take your injury case may help you overcome these kinds of rules, and help hold the negligent garbage company responsible.
National Garbage Truck Injury Lawyers
If you have ever in an accident with a garbage truck, talk to our truck accident injury attorneys. Call (215) 709-6940 today for a free consultation on your garbage truck accident case.