Can I file my own charges against someone if a garbage truck rear ended me at a stop light? 19 Answers as of June 19, 2014

Guy driving 40 ton garbage truck was on cell phone when he slammed into me causing me to hit the woman in front of me. I was almost killed by a person who wasn't paying attention! He also went on to hit a van with disabled kids in it. This man should never be allowed to drive a commercial vehicle ever again. Thanks for listening. I am recovering now.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Trendowski & Allen, PC
Trendowski & Allen, PC | Gregory Allen
Yes, you can pursue your own personal injury action against the gentleman driving the truck that hit you. Since he was at fault for the accident he would be liable for the injuries and losses he caused as a result of his own negligence. However, if you are asking if you can file your own criminal charges against the individual who hit you, only the State can prosecute someone. Based on the facts you relayed about the accident it sounds like the police are already involved and the driver was likely charged with something. If you are not sure you can contact the police department that investigated the accident and request a copy of the report. However, your best recourse against this person will be to pursue your own claim for reimbursement for your injuries and losses from him.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/19/2014
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
If you have "Full Tort Coverage" on your automobile insurance, you can recover for the property damage, medical bills and lost wages, that are not reimbursed by your own insurance carrier. You can also theoretically recover compensation for any pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the accident., Since this is a rear end collision there would be no argument about liability. The focus of any settlement or litigation would be on the amount of damages you could recover. For this you should retain the services of an attorney who does personal injury work. Most of them charge contingency fees, meaning that they receive a percentage of whatever amount is recovered for you.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/16/2014
Gliszinski Law Office, LLC | Susan Gliszinski
You can file a civil lawsuit against the driver and owner of the garbage truck for negligence and resulting damages you suffered. You should seek advice of counsel as soon as possible and before you talk to any insurance claims representative.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/16/2014
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
You can file criminal charges with the police department. You should also file a claim against the garbage truck driver and his employer.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/16/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You can sue civilly for your damages, or make a complaint to the police. Only the police can file charges.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/16/2014
    Thomas SanFilippo & Associates, LLC | Thomas SanFilippo
    You should speak with an attorney immediately to protect your rights and your claim against the trucker.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Sure you can sue, However, common sense says that you need a lawyer. Why? Well for openers, you did not realize that you should also sue the owner of the truck in addition to the driver. Then, there is the issue as to what is your case worth? To answer that, you need to gather all of the medical records and review them. This is not for the victim to do. Get a pro.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz & Bhaya | Donald E. Marston
    If you are referring to criminal charges, that is left up to the police and the Attorney General's office. However, you certainly have a right to make a civil claim for damages against that driver. There are time limits on making such claims, so you should act immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    EDWARD M. MILLER, PC
    EDWARD M. MILLER, PC | EDWARD M. MILLER
    If you were injured by the truck driver's negligence of course you are entitled to sue him and his employer (if the statute of limitations period has not expired). If the truck belonged to a governmental entity you would have had to give early notice or be barred.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    The Medler Law Firm LLC | John Medler
    Of course, you can sue the garbage truck driver and his employer. He was negligent and should be responsible for your injuries. Please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Missouri right away.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Not sure what you want to do. if criminal, police might have already charged the driver. If civil (for your injuries) you have a good claim against the city (what city?) let me know your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Elhart & Horvath, P.C.
    Elhart & Horvath, P.C. | Mattias Johnson
    You always have the right to file charges yourself. There are court rules online that can help you in filing your lawsuit. That being said, one important distinction for you to make is whether the garbage truck is owned by the state (or city/municipality/village) or a private company. The difference could be very important. Governmental or State actors have something known as governmental immunity, which means that in a negligence case, you have to prove a greater degree of negligence than if they were a private actor. Nonetheless, it sounds like you have a very good case. I would recommend looking into hiring an experienced attorney in your area as these cases can become quite complicated and there are many costs such as experts that you will have to front the money for. Many firms will take cases such as yours on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you pay nothing up front, and the attorney only gets paid if you are successful in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can file a civil not criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Maria Zarakhovich | Maria Zarakhovich
    You can certainly bring a civil case against him and his company. It sounds like you were seriously injured and you deserve a fair and just compensation. As to criminal charges, if the at-fault was ticketed it would be up to the State to bring them.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You cannot charge someone, however, you can report the matter to the police and they are the ones to charge him.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Criminal charges are filed by the District Attorney. You can request the police to act and if they recommend to the DA that charges be filed they might be. You can sue the truck driver and owner in civil court. The other woman and the disabled children will likely sue but there should be enough insurance coverage unless someone was seriously hurt. You might want to see a personal injury attorney about the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    If you are talking about criminal charges, you need to check with the police. If you're talking about civil charges, I would do research on the Internet for free information on Alabama accident law and then consider whether to get an experienced injury lawyer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    You can always represent yourself in a civil lawsuit. But given the complexity of the accident and the fact that the garbage collection company will have a seasoned group of lawyers, you will not come close to a settlement value negotiating on your own that you would with a legal representative. If you suffered significant physical injuries, I strongly encourage you to speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer, see Truck Accidents for more information. Please keep in mind that there is a three year statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents in Colorado, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the accident or lose your right to do so. Other time limitations may apply. I hope you continue to recover!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/16/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    File charges sounds like a criminal charge. Many local prosecutors (in Los Angeles, for instance, the L.A. City Attorney) review police reports to see if a citation should be issued. You can complain to your local prosecutor (D.A.) but it's up to them to file. Of course if it's L.A. and the trash truck was a city truck, the chances of that happening are slim. You can also make a claim for injuries as a civil matter. Your claim will be against the driver and the owner of the truck. Generally, the statute of limitation is 2 years, but if the truck was a governmental vehicle (city, county) there is a special 6 month claim-filing statute. Please see an injury lawyer ASAP to get properly compensated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney