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Two Major Crashes Involving Tennessee Garbage Trucks within a Week of Each Other

A Nashville garbage truck driver was critically injured from a crash involving a minivan off Lebanon road, where both vehicles got flipped on their sides. The driver of the garbage truck got pinned inside, and was taken to a nearby hospital when he was freed. The driver of the minivan sustained minor injuries. It is not certain from the news report what caused the accident.

A few days later, another crash involving a garbage truck in Mt. Juliet caused a fuel spill, and the fire department had to be dispatched. According to the news report, it is also unknown what caused this crash.

Car Accidents Involving Government Vehicles or Government Employees

In car accidents involving government vehicles like garbage trucks, and government employees, it is more difficult to file a lawsuit and recover damages. Thanks to a legal concept known as sovereign immunity, governmental agencies and their employees have limited liability for accidents and crashes if they were acting within the scope of their employment or duties at the time of the accident.

When Can the Government be Liable?

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)  provides a limited waiver of the government’s sovereign immunity in cases of negligence. This means that the government may only be sued if a government employee or agency was negligent within the scope of their employment. See 28 U.S.C. S 1346(b). For example, if the garbage truck driver(s) in the above examples had been speeding, driving recklessly, or simply rear ended the other car, that would allow an individual to file suit for damages.

In addition to negligent behavior, hazardous road conditions may also give rise to damages if those conditions played a part in causing a car accident. Hazardous conditions include:

  • roadside hazards such as potholes;
  • line-of-sight obstructions;
  • pavement edge drops;
  • construction zones that aren’t properly marked; and
  • unreasonably dangerous rail-highway grade crossings.

Tort Claims Against the Government

You must have exhausted all your administrative remedies under the FTCA in order to file a lawsuit. Ultimately, you have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident to file a claim with the government. They have up to six months to rule on it. If the government admits guilt, you will be compensated for your injury. If not, you may then file a lawsuit in federal court.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

At Calhoun Law, PLC in Nashville, we are not intimidated by a government tortfeasor. We believe that everyone has the right to compensation if they were injured due to someone else’s negligence. We will utilize accident reconstructionists, expert witnesses, and all the evidence we can gather to help your maximize your compensation. If you have been injured by a government employee, call us now at 615-250-8000 for a free consultation.

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