Typically a tow truck is meant to solve problems by getting a nonfunctioning car or truck from one location to another. Yet, these trucks can cause significant accidents and damage themselves. This may include accidents where the tow truck strikes another driver or pedestrian or when the vehicle being towed breaks free and causes damage. In all situations, if you’ve been in an accident with a tow truck in Texas, you should reach out to an attorney to provide immediate support.
Types of Tow Trucks
Any size and type of tow truck can create devastating losses for a victim. Some of the most common types of tow trucks include:
- Hook and chain tow trucks
- Wheel lift tow trucks
- Integrated tow trucks
- Flatbed tow trucks
- Rotator tow trucks
These trucks range from light duty, which means they have a towing capacity of 5 to 10 tons, to heavy duty trucks, which have a towing capacity of 50 to 75 tons.
Causes of Tow Truck Accidents
Accidents occur with tow trucks as they would with any other vehicle. Some examples may include:
- Distracted driver accidents. In this type of accident, the operator of the tow truck is not paying attention to the roadway, vehicles, or their driving. This may be due to eating, talking on the phone, texting, or engaging in other behaviors.
- Drowsy driving accidents. Long hours on the road, lack of sleep, or boredom may cause a driver to lose control over his or her truck, leading to swerving or weaving between lanes.
- Aggressive driving. Road rage incidents may cause accidents. This may involve driving dangerously close to other vehicles or cutting vehicles off on the roadway.
- Improperly maintained equipment. The vehicle being towed may get away from the tow truck in some cases. This may be due to improperly maintained or used equipment.
- Reckless behavior. Brought on by speeding, not signaling, driving under the influence, or other activities, an accident from reckless behavior may be devastating.
Various other events can cause a tow truck accident. Sometimes, both the tow truck driver and the other driver may be partially responsible for the incident. These complex cases benefit from the help of an experienced Texas tow truck attorney.
Types of Tow Truck Accidents
Tow trucks accidents can happen in various ways. Often, the size of the truck, road conditions, style of operation, and speed of the truck play a role in how much damage occurs. Some examples of tow truck accidents include:
- T-bone accidents. In this type of accident, the tow truck strikes the side of the victim’s vehicle. This may occur when one party is turning or crossing into an intersection and the other strikes it.
- Head-on accidents. This may be brought on when a driver is distracted on a two-way street. The tow truck strikes the other driver at the front of their vehicle.
- Rear-end accidents. If the tow truck fails to stop, this may cause the truck to strike the vehicle in front of them.
Sometimes an accident occurs when the tow truck strikes the victim’s vehicle. Other times, no actual contact occurs. Rather, the driver may swerve to miss the tow truck and strike an object or another driver.
Possible Injuries From Tow Truck Accidents
Injuries from a tow truck accident depend significantly on the type of accident, impact level, and type of truck and cars involved. Some examples may include:
- Broken bones including compound fractures
- Bruises and lacerations
- Back and spine injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Tissue injuries including strains, sprains, and pulled muscles
- Wrongful death
In addition to these injuries, a person may experience significant pain and suffering, long-term medical needs, loss of wages, and loss of companionship. Your total accident losses may be much higher than you initially expect.
What to Do After a Tow Truck Accident
The first step after a tow truck accident is to call the police to report the incident. Avoid leaving the scene of the accident until you have a comprehensive police report completed with details of the incident.
If you are able to do so, gather any evidence that is safe to obtain. This may include photos of the accident and surrounding area, witness statements, and contact information for all involved.
If you aren’t transported by ambulance, head to the hospital as soon as possible for a full exam. Even if you feel okay, this can help ensure any injuries are properly documented.
Once your immediate medical needs have been addressed, contact an attorney to learn more about your next steps. If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster, refer them to your attorney to avoid providing information that could jeopardize your right to compensation.
Texas Tow Truck Insurance Requirements
Texas requires those applying for a tow truck permit to maintain insurance based on the type of work they do. This may include:
- Incident management towing. At least $500,000 in liability insurance per tow truck per incident and a minimum of $50,000 of cargo or cargo on hook insurance per tow truck per incident
- Private property towing. At least $300,000 of liability insurance per tow truck per incident and a minimum of $50,000 of cargo or cargo on hook insurance per tow truck per incident
- Consent towing. At least $300,000 of liability insurance per tow truck per incident
These are minimum requirements. Many insurance companies encourage tow truck owners to have more coverage than this to meet the potential losses from a significant accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Tow Truck Accident
If you’ve been injured by a tow truck, work closely with an attorney throughout your claim. Your Texas truck attorney’s job is to help you prove your case. That includes proving the losses you’ve suffered as a result of the trucking company’s negligence.
It is critical to examine all aspects of your case including evidence, losses, and compensation owed. This helps ensure the best possible outcome when you head into court or settle your case with the insurance company.
Allow The Button Law Firm to help you with all aspects of your tow truck accident claim. We work with clients throughout Texas facing a wide range of losses. To learn more, send us a message online or give us a call now. We’re here to help you no matter what you’re facing.