A City Truck Gets Into An Accident. Who Pays?

GREENSBORO, NC -- Parents of 145 children are happy their kids are safe after a Greensboro city garbage truck plowed into the daycare facility.

The truck hit the Childcare Network on Friendly Avenue around 10:30 Tuesday morning. Thankfully, none of the 145 children inside or the daycare workers were hurt. Police are still investigating, but say they're not sure how the trash truck ended up in the kitchen part of the building. The initial reports show the truck and another car collided, but we have yet to see who is at fault.

If the truck driver is found to be at fault, will the city pay for the damage?

There is a reason we ask the question. It used to be federal and state governments and their employees were protected from being sued without their consent. They had sovereign immunity.Over the years it has changed.

North Carolina has a doctrine of "governmental immunity". It puts a cap on monetary damages that could be recovered against the state about a million dollars and provides certain exceptions to liability.

A city can waive the this immunity by buying its own liability insurance. Not every city does. The City of Greensboro waives this immunity and has it's own insurance. If the insurance adjuster finds the city is at fault in a claim, a claim can be made against the city. We have yet to see if the city garbage truck driver is at fault.


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