Many people who move do so by renting a moving truck from companies like U-Haul or Ryder. Since most of these individuals have little to no experience driving a large truck, moving truck accidents are inevitable.
If you are involved in a moving truck accident, you might wonder about liability. Your best option is to get the help of an experienced attorney who can investigate the accident and protect your rights.
Causes of Moving Truck Accidents
The majority of moving truck crashes occur because of negligence. Some of the most commonly occurring factors that cause accidents with rented moving trucks include:
- Speeding. Driving fast not only makes the moving truck harder to control, but it also means that if an accident happens, it is likely to be serious.
- Mechanical problems. If brakes go out, tires are improperly filled or bald, or the engine has issues, drivers can lose control.
- Improper turns. Bigger trucks make wider turns, and it is easy for drivers to underestimate the amount of space their truck needs to turn properly.
- Improper lane changes. Making lane changes can be tricky for drivers who are not used to driving trucks.
- Failure to yield the right of way. Being in a bigger vehicle often gives drivers a false sense of confidence, expecting that smaller vehicles will get out of their way.
- Distracted driving. Distractions such as GPS or cell phones mean drivers are not keeping their eyes on the road.
- Inclement weather. Rain or snow can make it more challenging to maintain control of the truck, leading to a crash.
- Drunk driving. Being under the influence of alcohol dramatically impacts a driver’s ability to control a large vehicle.
Injuries From Moving Truck Accidents
Because of the size of a moving truck, injuries that happen as a result of crashes can be severe. Common injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Brain and spine injuries
- Severe burns
- Loss of limbs
Victims who are injured may be able to recover economic damages for the costs of medical treatment, loss of wages, and other expenses. Non-economic costs such as pain and suffering can also be awarded.
Moving Truck Accident Liability
The question of where legal liability falls with a moving truck accident can be complicated—especially if the move takes place in more than one state. A driver often rents a truck from a company in one state only to drive across the country and return it in another state. There is a federal law in place, 49 U.S.C. 30106, that says the company that leased the truck is generally not liable for accidents. This law applies only to companies that are in the business of leasing vehicles.
There are some exceptions to the law. If an exception applies, the moving truck rental company may be liable for an accident. For example:
- If someone who is visibly intoxicated is allowed to rent a truck and is involved in a drunk driving crash
- If they failed to inspect a truck properly before renting it
- If the moving truck company rented the truck to someone without a valid driver’s license
In theory, an injured driver should be able to seek damages from the personal auto insurance of the driver who rented the truck. In addition, the company that rents out trucks usually offers drivers additional coverage for damages and injuries resulting from accidents involving the truck.
Contact a Texas Truck Accident Attorney
If you are injured because of a negligent moving truck driver, you should pursue a personal injury lawsuit. At The Button Law Firm, we work on a contingency basis, so you do not have to pay anything upfront. We don’t get paid until you recover damages. Give us a call today so we can review the details of your case.