It’s not uncommon to see tow trucks pulling broken down vehicles or towing them on the back of a flatbed. Most people don’t think twice about this until something goes wrong and the vehicle dislodges. Often, there is clear negligence when a dislodged vehicle causes an accident.
The Risks of Improperly Loaded Tow Trucks
When done well, a tow truck securely holds onto the vehicle it is towing. However, if someone makes errors during the process of securing the load, that could lead to catastrophic loss.
An accident may occur if the vehicle becomes loose and collides with another vehicle. It may also lead to debris from the towed vehicle coming loose, which can smash at a high speed into your vehicle.
How Tow Trucks Should Be Loaded
Tow truck drivers have training to help ensure they load vehicles of all sizes and weights properly. When a tow truck approaches the vehicle, the driver assesses the situation to determine the best method for moving the vehicle off the roadway and onto the bed of the truck or up on the rig to pull the vehicle behind the truck. Some of the steps in this process may include:
- Inspecting the vehicle to determine if there is corrosion or damage to it that could create a safety risk
- Ensuring all towing equipment, including the rings that hold the vehicle and the truck in place, is in good condition
- Double-checking ramps and chains to ensure they are properly fixed and in good condition to maintain the vehicle during the process
- Checking the weight of the vehicle or the vehicle and trailer in a flatbed to be sure it does not exceed the gross vehicle weight of the hitch used to attach the trailer
- Determining if the weight distribution of the load is properly balanced
Drivers must also take into consideration the weather conditions and the overall safety of the process. If these steps do not occur or problems exist, it may create a safety risk for those involved.
Who May Be Liable for a Failure to Load Properly?
Liability in a case like this depends on many factors. Here are some examples to think about when considering who is responsible.
- The person loading the truck. If this person did not follow protocol and safety procedures, especially if they received training, they could be responsible.
- Tow truck company. In some cases, the tow truck company or owner may be responsible, especially if their vehicle was faulty, they failed to train the driver, or if they otherwise put people at risk.
- Tow truck manufacturer or mechanic. There are some situations where the mechanic that fixed the vehicle or the manufacturer itself may be at fault, especially when those components were responsible for the accident occurring.
What a Fair Recovery in a Tow Truck Wreck May Include
In any type of truck accident, fair compensation for the incident depends on the losses a person suffers. There are many factors that may play a role in this. Some of the compensation owed may include:
- Medical bills associated with emergency care after the incident
- Ongoing medical costs associated with rehabilitation, surgical procedures, and pain management
- Long-term rehabilitation needs to aid in recovery
- Financial support for loss of mobility due to leg or arm amputation or injury
- Costs associated with updating a home to accommodate medical equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death claims
How a Texas Tow Truck Attorney Can Help You
Your tow truck attorney can guide you in determining how much compensation you are owed, how to get it, and how to pursue your claim even after denials from the insurance company. Contact our legal team to get more information and to start the process. The Button Law Firm offers a free consultation to help you determine your next steps.