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Texas Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer

Texas Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer
texas truck accident lawyers merritt and merritt attorneys

Texas Garbage Truck Accident Attorney

Garbage trucks are vital to maintaining the health of communities throughout the state and the country, collecting and removing waste. While our homes and businesses rely on this essential task, accidents involving garbage trucks can and do happen all the time. Whether they are operating in residential or commercial areas, the frequent starting and stopping of the truck and the size of the vehicle can lead to collisions with other vehicles, property, and individuals.

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a garbage truck, it is important that you seek the help of a qualified and experienced lawyer. Garbage truck accident cases are unique and often involve more complex litigation than other auto accidents. There are often multiple parties involved, and proving negligence can be a challenge. For these reasons, it is wise to speak with a qualified garbage truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Texas Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving large vehicles, such as garbage trucks, are very different from typical accident cases. The lawyers at the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm have dedicated their practice to handling personal injury and accident cases that exclusively involve big trucks of all types. We work tirelessly to ensure that every case receives the attention it deserves, while we explore every possible option to achieve the most favorable outcome for our clients.

Our many decades of experience have allowed us to build relationships with professionals in all the appropriate fields to give industry-specific witness testimonies. This helps us build a strong case in personal injury cases. We’ve also built a reputation across the state among various truck companies for being willing to file a claim when needed to secure fair compensation, whereas other firms would typically accept a low offer to achieve a quick resolution.

If you’ve been injured or experienced loss as a result of a garbage truck accident, reach out today for a consultation to discuss the details of your case. Our team is dedicated to helping you receive just and fair compensation for your injuries.

Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents

Performing the working duties of a garbage truck in a safe manner comprises a myriad of varying components. Because of these complex issues, there are many potential reasons for an accident to occur. The following are some of the most common factors that lead to or contribute to a garbage truck accident:

  • Negligence, such as reckless driving by the driver
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while tired or drowsy
  • Inattentiveness, such as failing to notice an individual in their blind spot
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Vehicle failure, such as faulty components or negligent maintenance
  • Debris or falling garbage

How an accident was caused will help determine liability when pursuing a claim for compensation. No matter what the cause, if you sustained an injury as the result of an accident with a garbage truck, you deserve fair and just compensation and must hold the appropriate parties responsible.

Determining Liability

The first step in recovering damages is determining who is liable for the accident that caused the injuries. In many cases, more than one party may be responsible for the accident. They may include any combination of the following:

  • The garbage truck driver
  • The owner or operator of the truck, such as the waste management company
  • The appropriate government agency if the truck is directly owned or operated by the government
  • A mechanic who recently serviced the truck
  • A manufacturer of either the truck, part, or component that was directly responsible for the accident

Ultimately, determining fault in a claim involves proving that all three of the following components were present:

  • Duty of care. First, you must prove that the party in question owed you a duty of care. For example, the truck driver owes you a duty of care to stay attentive to you and others on the road, and the owner of the truck owes you a duty of care to provide proper maintenance to keep the vehicle safely operational.
  • Breach of duty. If the other party owed you a duty of care but failed to carry it out or provide it, this would constitute a breach of duty of care. For example, a truck driver who is inattentive to road conditions and an owner of a garbage truck who fails to properly maintain the vehicle have both breached their duty of care to the public.
  • Injury. For a valid claim for compensation, you must have sustained an injury or other loss as the direct result of a breach of a duty of care. This final point is an important one because, without an injury, there would be no basis for a claim. Furthermore, negligence is only established if the breach in their duty of care was directly responsible for the accident occurring.

If you are able to demonstrate all three points in relation to a garbage truck accident, you can establish the negligence of the at-fault party and pursue compensation for damages. By working with a Texas accident attorney, you maintain the strongest chance to recover damages for all your losses in a fair and just manner.

Recoverable Damages in a Garbage Truck Accident

When you’ve suffered loss or injury on account of someone else’s negligent behavior, you have the right to pursue compensation to recover those losses. If you’ve been involved in a garbage truck accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to recover:

  • Medical expenses. The severity of the injuries sustained will affect the medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Generally, these include emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, and other medical procedures. Additionally, compensation should allow for follow-up care, such as doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, physical therapy, and other ongoing care related to your accident injuries.
  • Property damage. Accidents can cause extensive damage to personal property, such as vehicles, and a claim can seek to recover the repair and replacement costs associated with the accident.
  • Lost wages. Accident injuries can require significant time to heal. This has the additional consequence of keeping individuals out of work during recovery time. Depending on the injuries, some individuals may be unable to return to work at all. Claims can seek to recover wages lost as a result of time away from work.
  • Pain and suffering. In addition to out-of-pocket expenses, there are non-economic damages for which an individual can seek compensation. Pain and suffering refers to the general physical and emotional pain you experience because of an accident. Claiming for this can recover compensation beyond mere reimbursement for expenses paid.
  • Other damages. Courts may also award claimants additional compensation for loss of quality of life, loss of consortium for wrongful death cases, disability, and additional expenses paid. Additionally, the courts may issue punitive damages to be awarded to set a precedent and help avoid future accidents.

In most cases, the burden of proof lies with the claimant to demonstrate the extent of the losses and damages suffered. Through the help of a skilled and experienced lawyer, you can explore the full extent of the damage with which the accident left you.

Injuries Commonly Sustained in Garbage Truck Accidents

While most motor vehicle accidents can result in a range of different types of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to major traumatic injuries, the larger size of garbage trucks and the type of equipment the trucks carry can create a greater potential for dangerous situations and more severe injuries in an accident. Some of the more common injuries sustained in accidents involving garbage trucks include:

Head, Neck, and Spine:

  • Neck sprains
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Injuries to eyes and ears
  • Spinal disc injuries, such as hernias or disc ruptures
  • Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis

Muscles and Internal Organs:

  • Torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  • Sprains
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding


  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Amputation
  • Burns
  • Abrasions, such as road rash

Additionally, the nature of the equipment and contents of garbage trucks can lead to further injury or complications, especially if you come into contact with spilled or fallen trash during the accident, as serious infections could occur.

Unique Aspects of Garbage Truck Accidents

Unlike typical motor vehicle accident cases, garbage truck accidents have several complicating factors that make for more complex cases. Several aspects are particular to garbage truck accidents, including government liability concerns and the peculiar difficulty in proving negligence in such cases. These complicating factors require that you work with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney with experience in handling garbage truck accident cases.

Government Liability in Garbage Truck Accidents

The fact that government agencies are involved in the waste collection process makes pursuing claims and compensation far more complicated. Depending on the local municipality, government agencies may contract private companies to perform the waste collection on their behalf, or they may employ their own fleet of trucks and workers to operate the trucks and collect waste.

When the garbage truck is both owned and operated by the government, “sovereign immunity” will complicate the ability to pursue a legal claim. This doctrine legally posits that a government entity cannot commit a legal violation, which prevents individuals from taking action against them in a civil court. In Texas, however, the Texas Tort Claims Act establishes a path by which a person can bring a compensation claim against a local or state government entity if they have been injured by that entity. It is vital to have a qualified and knowledgeable attorney review the circumstances of your case to determine whether a valid claim can be pursued in your case.

Difficulty in Establishing Negligence in Garbage Truck Accidents

If you are able to pursue a claim against the government agency or company that owns or operates the garbage truck in question, you may still encounter further difficulty. Establishing negligence, which tends to be a foundational legal requisite for proving fault for an accident, is especially difficult in garbage truck accidents.

Garbage truck drivers are, by necessity, not constrained to the same traffic laws as other motorists. This freedom allows them to fulfill their job duties more easily. For example, in addition to making frequent stops, garbage trucks may, in certain cases:

  • Drive on the wrong side of the street.
  • Drive along the edge of the road or along the curb.
  • Stop in the middle of the street.
  • Split lanes or cross over traffic lanes without notice.

Because they are not constrained by the same rules of the road, garbage truck drivers may not be guilty of committing a traffic violation for exhibiting the same driving behavior as another motorist who would be liable for committing a violation for the same action. It takes the careful work of a skilled attorney to help establish negligence in these cases to prove that a wrongful act or traffic violation did occur that led to your injury.

How a Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

By working with a skilled and qualified attorney with experience in specifically handling garbage truck accident cases, you can have the greatest opportunity to recover any appropriate damages. Due to their comprehensive legal experience, your attorney is most suited to:

  • File insurance claims against the at-fault party.
  • Pursue a claim for compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Represent you in court during litigation.

Additionally, your attorney can help ease your stress during your claim. Recovering from an accident is both a time-consuming and painful process. By allowing an attorney to take care of the legal procedures on your behalf, you allow yourself more time and energy for recovery.

Finally, garbage truck accident attorneys can protect you from being taken advantage of during the claims process. Various parties involved in your case may try to lead you to accept much lower compensation than you deserve. By working with a dedicated attorney, you can have an advocate fighting on your side to both protect you and secure the maximum compensation in your case.

Talk With a Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Accidents involving garbage trucks lead to complex claims cases with many complicating factors. To successfully bring a claims case against all responsible parties, it is vital that you work with a qualified and skilled Texas garbage truck accident attorney, like those at the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm. We can fight diligently on your behalf to secure fair and just compensation for your losses. Contact our office today to get started with a consultation.

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