Who is Liable in an Accident Involving a Garbage or Dump Truck?

When someone mentions a truck accident, it probably conjures up images of a box truck or a tractor-trailer. Very few people, if any, would picture a garbage truck or a dump truck being involved in an accident. In fact, most people would probably be surprised to find out that collisions involving these large vehicles take place much more often than they realize, and just like other truck crashes, they can lead to the destruction of personal property and serious, or even deadly, injuries.  

If you were injured in an accident that involved a garbage truck or a dump truck, call the Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free review of your case. One of our qualified attorneys will examine the facts of your case and outline the best course of action moving forward.   

Causes of Garbage and Dump Truck Accidents

Both dump and garbage trucks have several distinct features, such a beds full of loose material, large, oddly shaped blind spots, and high centers of gravity, that make them predisposed to potentially fatal accidents, such as:

  • Narrow or slippery roadways causing a collision with another vehicle
  • Bumpy or windy roadways causing vehicle rollovers and freight spillage 
  • Hitting a vehicle that was in one of their many blind spots  
  • Fatigued driving due to Hours of Service violations
  • Operators who are under the influence
  • Unsafe turning maneuvers
  • Electrical or mechanical failures caused by insufficient maintenance.

Due to their enormous weight and size, garbage and dump truck accidents that take place in any of these situations could result in catastrophic injuries to the truck operator, other drivers, and innocent bystanders.

Liability for Garbage and Dump Truck Accidents 

Determining who may owe damages following a garbage or dump truck accident often presents a challenge for attorneys and their injured clients due to the way both of these trucks are owned and operated.

In any one garbage or dump truck accident, the potentially liable parties may include:  

  • The truck operator
  • The operator’s employer
  • The truck owner, if different from the employer
  • The owner of the freight, if the accident involved a dump truck 
  • A municipal entity, such as the local sanitation department in charge of garbage trucks  
  • Other drivers whose negligent actions caused or contributed to the truck accident

Every accident is unique no matter what kind of vehicles are involved. This is why injured victims should always work with an experienced truck accident lawyer; one who knows how to study the details and correctly identify all liable parties. 

Potential Damages Available for Garbage and Dump Truck Accidents

Injured garbage and dump truck accident victims may be entitled to recover from two types of damages: economic and non-economic.

Also known as special damages, economic damages are intended to remunerate victims for tangible, monetary losses resulting from the truck accident. These damages may include:

  • Current and anticipated medical expenses 
  • Lost income and lost future earnings due to missing work or disabilities 
  • Repair or replacement of damaged property
  • Wrongful death damages if the accident was fatal

General or non-economic damages compensate victims for intangible, non-monetary losses, such as:  

  • Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
  • Loss of fellowship
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of the use of a body part
  • Loss of a physical function, such as hearing
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Amputation

The total amount of damages you may be able to collect will depend primarily on the nature and longevity of your injuries, the strength of your evidence, and the financial resources available to the at-fault party.  

Consult With a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer

Being able to name the correct defendants in a garbage or dump truck accident case can be challenging, and if not handled correctly, could result in you getting far less compensation than you are owed.  

If you were injured in an accident involving a garbage truck or a dump truck, our lawyers can help you negotiate a fair settlement that covers all of your damages. The skilled Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have seen first-hand how difficult life can be for the victims of serious truck accidents. We can help you secure equitable compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and more. Call us today at (833) 997-1774 to schedule your free consultation.

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