Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer

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A world without garbage trucks is hard to imagine. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one typical American generates about 5 pounds of solid waste every day. Without hardly a thought, Michigan residents put their receptacles out on trash day, and waste disposal service vehicles arrive to carry away our undesirables. 

Yet, the system is not without its flaws. Garbage truck accidents can ruin lives. The Michigan injury attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm believe that accident victims need to understand how the law protects their rights in the event of a collision. 

Only well-informed accident victims can make sound legal decisions. We can give you the information you need to determine your next step. In your free consultation, our main goal is to answer all your questions about garbage truck accident cases. Learn whether you have a claim within 2 hours by emailing us, or call 855-MIKE-WINS anytime.

What Makes Garbage Trucks Dangerous

The following characteristics of these large vehicles could contribute to the severity of garbage truck accidents:

  • Weight: A Michigan waste disposal vehicle could weigh between 15,000 and 18,000 pounds
  • Size: Trucks vary in size; one model is about 39 feet long and 8.46 feet wide
  • Moving parts: Garbage trucks are more than just vehicles; moving components lift, lower, and crush objects with high levels of force
  • Force: Many trucks feature hydraulic systems, and operating presses can exert pressure of about 2,500 pounds per square inch; the average packer cycle time is 16 seconds

Michigan waste disposal companies require truck drivers to have a Type B commercial driver’s license (CDL). Noting the features above, you can probably understand why.

Garbage trucks are large, heavy vehicles with moving parts, unfortunately with great potential to injure people and cause property damage in collisions. The special driver’s licenses are intended to indicate that the driver will operate his or her vehicle with great care, using skills and experience to avoid garbage truck accidents.

Driver Errors Cause Garbage Truck Accidents

A negligent driver might ignore traffic regulations, such as speed limits and right-of-way rules. Another trucker might not plan to hurt anyone. Yet, if you were injured in a sanitation truck accident, you may realize that a single thoughtless act can have terrible consequences. 

What are the causes of garbage truck accidents? A Michigan garbage truck accident lawyer can make a detailed investigation to give you a well-researched answer. We invite you to examine the driver errors listed below, then call us toll-free at 855-MIKE-WINS to schedule your free, personalized case review.

Judgment errors 

A new driver might forget to check blind spots before turning or changing lanes. On the other hand, a seasoned driver might zoom through familiar intersections without making a proper stop, assuming no one will be there. 

Judgment errors like these make residential streets a dangerous place to be. Yet, why should accident victims pay for the inexperience and overconfidence that contribute to these mistakes? 

Distracted driving

Operating a garbage truck might require even more concentration than a passenger vehicle. Besides typical road concerns, truck drivers must make frequent stops along a set route. 

Many work in pairs. One driver loads while another takes the wheel, a partnership successful only with cooperation and communication. 

Our Michigan injury attorneys investigate the role these distracting activities play in garbage truck accident cases:

  • Using a cellphone to call, text, or check social media
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Chatting with passengers or pedestrians
  • Looking or reaching for an item
  • Consulting navigation software
  • Adjusting dials and controls
  • Grooming
  • Putting on or removing clothing
  • Looking at things or events outside of the vehicle

Negligent drivers could endanger others if anything distracts their eyes, hands, or minds.

Driving impaired

Certain substances damage driving performance, often without the driver being aware. Michigan law regulates the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Still, even prescription or over-the-counter medications can impair drivers.

Michigan alcohol- and drug-related injuries numbered upwards of 74,000 in 2019, while 419 people lost their lives around the state.  

Driving fatigued

Trash collectors might begin working at 5 or 6 AM. A busy day, perhaps 8 hours or more, filled with manual labor could make anyone feel tired. The pressure to finish a route on time could tempt a fatigued driver to push beyond his or her limits. 

The unsafe combination of drowsiness and driving causes 100,000 accidents on US roads every year. Sleepiness can have these detrimental effects on a truck driver, including:

  • Slowed reaction times
  • Decreased awareness 
  • Impaired judgment
  • Increased risk of an accident

According to, shift workers are particularly vulnerable. Irregular hours, long work days, and working in the dark can disturb natural sleep patterns.

“Shift workers have to try to sleep when their body is telling them to be awake, and be awake when their body is telling them to sleep. As a person gets more tired, he or she begins to miss things that would normally be responded to, resulting in careless and even dangerous errors, particularly when driving.”

Why Poor Maintenance Poses a Danger to Everyone

If a truck is not inspected and maintained regularly, mechanical problems could cause a garbage truck collision. 


Tires must be kept in good condition or changed when necessary. Garbage truck accidents could result when tires are: 

  • Damaged during mounting
  • Made of weak rubber
  • The wrong type of size for the vehicle
  • Punctured or repaired improperly
  • Over- or under-inflated
  • Wearing down tread irregularly or separating

Our Michigan injury attorneys notice when specific problems are often associated with damaged or defective tires, such as:

  • Trouble stopping (worn or bald tires)
  • Blowouts (improperly inflated tires)
  • Decreased traction / Hydroplaning (worn tread)
  • Fire (underinflated tires)
  • Balance problems and uneven wheel alignment

Steering, suspension, engine, and transmission systems

Steering and suspension issues are often the results of wear and tear. When they break down, a truck operator could suddenly lose control of his or her vehicle.

Transmission and engine problems affect acceleration. If a driver needs to move quickly to avoid a garbage truck accident, malfunctioning parts could make this impossible. Steering, suspension, and transmission systems are hard to identify in the devastation of garbage truck accidents.

It is best to consult a professional since the issues above are just a sampling of what can go wrong while driving a sanitation vehicle. Contact a Michigan garbage truck accident lawyer for a free evaluation of your injury claim. The personal injury attorneys of Mike Morse Law Firm can fight for your justice if mechanical issues caused your garbage truck accident.

Damages for a Michigan Garbage Truck Accident 

If you suffered losses in a garbage truck accident, our Michigan injury attorneys can put our expertise to work for you. During our 25+ years of experience, we have maximized compensation and won over $1.5 billion total for our clients.

For sanitation workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identified refuse and recyclable materials collection as the 6th-deadliest occupation in 2020. Since this data did not include workplace illnesses, it is apparent that garbage truck accidents are real workplace dangers.

When employees are accident victims, their rights should be respected. Yet, often they find themselves battling to get fair compensation for their injury claim. That’s where Mike Morse Law Firm comes in. 

Our law firm will go the distance for you when we take on your case. Do you need help with workers’ compensation benefits? Do you wonder whether you qualify for additional personal injury damages? Call us toll-free at 855-MIKE-WINS or email us anytime for your free injury claim evaluation. 

For pedestrians and drivers 

In Michigan, personal injury law allows accident victims to pursue compensation for their losses. Contact a garbage truck accident injury lawyer as soon as possible if you experienced:

  • Property damage – To your car or valuable items in the vehicle damaged by the collision
  • Personal injury – E.g. broken bones, head injuries, disfigurement
  • Missed work – Lost wages due to time off or changed work abilities
  • Tragic loss – Wrongful death of a loved one

Michigan law allows a specific amount of time during which you may file a garbage truck accident claim. So contact an accident lawyer right away to learn your legal options.

Contact an Accident Lawyer Who Cares for You

The Michigan injury attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm understand that injuries, property damage, and other losses could upset your finances after a garbage truck accident. Our clients appreciate the freedom to pursue justice without worrying about paying out of pocket. At our law firm, accident victims pay nothing until we win their garbage truck accident cases.

Our Michigan injury attorneys are equipped to fight for a successful resolution of your garbage truck accident case. We invite you to learn what the state’s largest injury law firm can do for you. Call 855-MIKE-WINS today.


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– Melvin Johnson Highland Park, Michigan

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