Rental Truck Accidents

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Moving truck accident liability is not always straightforward. In general, the driver is responsible for accidents they cause, and rental companies and manufacturers are liable for accidents caused by truck and equipment malfunctions. Moving services are typically liable for any accidents they’re involved in. Interpretations of fault can become convoluted, especially in incidents involving other drivers, so it’s recommended that drivers work with a rental truck accident lawyer.

Rental car insurance includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. These cover you for damages that you cause, repairs for your rental vehicle, and any major damages from an accident. If your existing insurance or credit card do not provide these three coverage categories for car rentals, it’s worth purchasing rental truck insurance.

TorHoerman Law operates on a contingency fee. Therefore, our clients do not owe any payment until they have been appropriately compensated for their injuries.

Moving Truck Accidents

Moving truck rental services are popular. Renting a truck or van from a company like U-Haul, Penske, and Budget is often less expensive and gives you more control over your move. Instead of relying on professional movers to handle your stuff, rental trucks let you pack your possessions and go. You know where your things are, you can pack them however you like, and you don’t have to pay additional fees for a company’s services and materials.

Despite the cut costs and additional autonomy, do-it-yourself moving comes with one big risk: accident liability. Accidents can happen, and self-movers don’t always carry the same insurance coverage that professional movers have. This can lead to disputes over liability, company-provided coverage, truck damage costs, and, in some cases, moving truck accident lawsuits.

If you’re involved in a rental truck accident, it’s important to know what to do. This article breaks down moving truck insurance and liability, handling an accident, and moving truck accident lawsuits. Read on to learn more.

 

Moving Trucks and Rental Vehicles

Whether you’re moving to a new building or a new state, planning a move requires both research and patience. There are plenty of options for moving your things, and they each have their own pros and cons. While some Americans get by with their own vehicles and the help of friends, most rent a moving truck or use a moving service.

 

Types of Moving Trucks

Moving trucks come in all shapes and sizes. DIY movers can rent vehicles from moving truck rental companies while others hire professionals to handle their things. Different trucks, and different companies, can fit your individual needs depending on how much you own, where you’re moving, and how much you want to spend.

Rental companies like Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz Penske, and U-Haul let movers rent their vehicles. Each company has different prices for things like mileage and insurance, but they generally offer similar services and trucks. Common moving vehicles include:

  • Pickup Trucks
  • Cargo Vans
  • Small to Midsize Moving Trucks (10 foot, 14 foot, and 17-foot trucks)
  • Large Moving Trucks (20 foot, 24 foot, and 26-foot trucks)

Moving can be a lot of work. That’s why many movers hire professional moving crews to pack, move, and unpack their stuff. Moving services are typically more expensive, but they usually have their own trucks and insurance. Most major moving companies have fleets of trucks (including the ones listed above) to fit the individual needs of their customers

Rental Truck Accident Statistics

Rental moving trucks are convenient, but they’re also a cause for concern on the road. Most renters are not professional drivers and lack experience in operating large-scale vehicles. The following statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Rental Truck Safety Report and Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts highlight the frequency and causation of these accidents:

  • 44% of fatal rental truck crashes are due to driver fault. 56% are due to another vehicle, driver, or the environment.
  • Of all rental truck crashes, 4% were due to issues with the truck, and 42% were caused by another vehicle, driver, or the environment.
  • From 2005 to 2010, there were 145 fatal crashes involving rental trucks.
  • The majority of large truck crash fatalities are due to collisions with other vehicles.
  • There were 107,000 large truck harmful events recorded in 2018. This includes collisions, rollovers, explosions/fires, and other issues involving equipment or road quality.

Moving truck accidents are fairly common. Some rental vehicle crashes are caused by driver negligence or reckless driving. However, many of the common causes of accidents are due to things outside of the driver’s control like bad weather conditions, faulty vehicles, or other drivers. Regardless of how the accident happens, questions often arise over who is responsible.

 

Dangers of Moving Trucks

Moving trucks are particularly dangerous for a number of reasons. They are more difficult to operate and more susceptible to mechanical problems than smaller vehicles. These issues are compounded with moving truck rentals where drivers typically do not have experience operating large vehicles.

Operating a larger, commercial-sized vehicle typically requires specific training, testing, and certification. When it comes to rental trucks, anyone with a license can rent and drive one. This means drivers lacking experience and expertise are operating vehicles that are difficult to drive and control.

Moving trucks are often larger than other vehicles. This means wider turns, larger blind spots, longer stopping times, and increased air turbulence. They are difficult to operate and especially hard to navigate on narrow, crowded roadways.

Big trucks cause big damage. Accidents involving trucks often result in serious injuries, vehicle and property damage, and sometimes even fatalities. Rental truck drivers who lack experience operating large vehicles are more likely to wreck their trucks or cause an accident on the road.

Who is Liable in a Moving Truck Accident?

Moving truck accident liability is not always straightforward. In general, the driver is responsible for accidents they cause, and rental companies and manufacturers are liable for accidents caused by truck and equipment malfunctions. Moving services are typically liable for any accidents they’re involved in. Interpretations of fault can become convoluted, especially in incidents involving other drivers.

If you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car or truck, it’s important to understand who is liable for any damages and injuries.

Accident liability rests on the renter if his or her (or whoever is driving) negligence causes the accident. Common negligent driving charges include distracted driving, reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), and failure to obey traffic laws and signals. The driver can also be responsible for accidents caused by another driver depending on his or her insurance coverage. Rental truck companies require the driver to be insured, either through a personal plan or by purchasing temporary insurance as a part of the rental package. Driving uninsured can cause revoked driving privileges and other charges.

The Graves Amendment, US Title 49 Code 3010, shields truck rental companies from liability in most accidents caused by drivers who rent their vehicles.  However, rental companies are legally obligated to maintain their trucks for safe operation; liability in accidents caused by vehicle maintenance failures falls on the rental company. Moving truck companies are also required to verify that renters are licensed and not driving while intoxicated (at the time of the rental) Failure to verify either of these could mean liability for the company.

Moving company accident liability typically falls on the driver and his or her employer. Specific liability depends on company-driver contracts and the details of the accident.

Moving companies typically have insurance packages that protect their employees when they are in accidents. However, employees can be held responsible when they display negligence (see above) while driving or breach their contract. Determining fault and liability between the employee and company can require input from a moving truck accident lawyer.

Moving companies are often at fault for accidents involving their trucks and services. They can also be expected to cover the costs of on-the-job injuries if their employees are injured in a car accident. According to federal law, moving companies can also be held liable for maintenance and inspection failures or for allowing unlicensed or intoxicated drivers to operate their vehicles.

What Happens If I Crash a U-Haul or Other Moving Truck?

If you crash a U-Haul, Penske, Budget, or other moving truck, it’s important that you take the right steps to minimize your damages and liability. Follow the steps below (see “Involved in a Moving Truck Accident”) and do not admit fault. Liability is dependent on your insurance coverage, specifics of the accident, and the other driver’s policy. A U-Haul accident lawyer or rental truck accident attorney can help you navigate subsequent legal challenges.

 

Should I Get Insurance for my Rental Truck?

It’s important to understand rental car insurance before driving your moving truck. Before renting, review your personal car insurance or contact your agent to find out if your benefits extend to car and truck rentals. This will help you avoid paying for redundant coverage. Many credit cards also offer insurance, so it’s worth calling the toll-free number on the back of your card for an explanation of your coverage.

Rental car insurance includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. These cover you for damages that you cause, repairs for your rental vehicle, and any major damages from an accident. If your existing insurance or credit card does not provide these three coverage categories for car rentals, it’s worth purchasing rental truck insurance.

 

 

Involved in a Moving Truck Accident

Being involved in a rental truck accident can be stressful, but being prepared can make the situation easier to handle. Be sure to get yourself and your vehicle out of the road and harm’s way if possible.  If the accident is severe, call 9-1-1 immediately to alert the authorities and medical personnel. If no one is injured, it’s important to call the police department’s non-emergency number to report your accident. Never admit fault at the scene of an accident, even if you believe that you are liable.

 

Mitigate Injuries

If you are injured in an accident, it’s crucial that you mitigate your injuries. This involves seeking out proper medical care and following your doctor’s recommendations. Document your injuries and track your medical treatments, expenses, and doctor’s visits. This will help reduce your liability and gives you a stronger case in a potential U-Haul accident lawsuit or other rental truck lawsuits.

 

Collect Evidence

Document your accident and collect any relevant evidence. Take pictures of any incurred injuries, vehicle and property damage, and the road where the accident took place. Take notes with the date and time of the accident and details of how the accident happened. Take down the names, phone and license plate numbers, and insurance information for all parties involved. If there are witnesses, take down their contact information. Again — do not admit fault —and do not sign any documents unless they are from medical personnel or the police. Contact your insurance agent and a moving truck accident attorney when you are able to do so.

 

Contact a Moving Truck Accident Lawyer

Finding an attorney with experience with moving truck lawsuits and personal injury will help ensure that you have support against rental and insurance companies. This protects you against unreasonable liability claims and increases your chances of earning compensation for any subsequent medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages incurred during the accident. Contact TorHoerman Law today to learn more about working moving truck accident law firm.

 

Filing a Moving Truck Accident Lawsuit

If you or a loved one were in a moving truck accident, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit. These cases protect victims and their families against unfair insurance claims and can earn them compensation for any damages incurred during the accident. Be mindful of your state’s statute of limitations and make sure to file your claim on time.

Hiring a Moving Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were in a moving truck accident, you deserve to make your case against rental, moving, and insurance companies. At TorHoerman Law, we have a team of experienced attorneys with years of success with truck accident lawsuits. We work with our clients to help minimize their stress, avoid unwarranted liability claims, and maximize compensation for their damages. We offer free consultations for all potential clients, and our legal services are based on contingency fees. This means none of our clients pay until we have helped them gain compensation.

TorHoerman Law has successfully won more than $4 billion dollars for clients injured at no fault of their own.

Contact the law offices of TorHoerman to speak with a moving truck accident lawyer today and learn more about your moving truck lawsuit.

 

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