Visitor Question

Car wreck with dumpster on side of road…

Submitted By: William (Atlanta, GA, USA)

I was driving to work before sunrise and hit/clipped a dumpster on the side of the road that totaled my vehicle. No other vehicle was involved and since I wasn’t injured I did not get a police report. I was only going about 25 mph. The dumpster does appear to have been hit multiple times.

The road the dumpster is on is a 2 lane road with no street lights and enough room for cars to park both ways while still allowing cars going opposite directions to pass freely.

But the dumpster is much wider then a car and two cars are not able to pass. What happened was a combination of things. For one I didn’t see the dumpster until the very last minute because it didn’t have any reflectors on it and it was before sunrise. The second reason was because another car was coming from the other direction, compelling me to move to the right more.

When I moved to the right to avoid a collision with the vehicle going the opposite direction, a piece sticking out from the dumpster clipped the front right side of my car, my front passenger tire, bending the axle backwards and damaging the rest of my car. I did not strike the dumpster head on.

Questions: How come the dumpster company is not required to have reflectors on them? Would I have a case for bringing charges and damages incurred to the dumpster company? Does not having a police report matter?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear William,

According to the State of Georgia’s Motor Vehicle regulations trucks of over 2 tons must have reflectors on the rear of the truck in addition to brake lights. In your case your failure to file a police report will be a small hindrance to an civil action you might think of pursuing.

You really don’t have much of a case against the dumpster company. Fortunately there weren’t any injuries. Without a police report assessing blame for the accident, any opinion about negligence will be just that – an opinion.

Hopefully you secured the name and contact information for the dumpster company. If not you’ll have an especially difficult time making a claim for any damages to your car. Instead contact your own insurance company. After compensating you they may decide to subrogate against the dumpster company.

Insurance companies are quite proficient at tracking down parties, especially when doing so may result in their being reimbursed for monies they pay out to their insured.

Learn more here: Georgia Car Accident Guide

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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