When two passenger vehicles are involved in an accident, determining liability can be relatively straightforward. But when one of those vehicles is a rented moving truck or van, deducing liability may be less simple.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a moving truck or van, you could be entitled to recover compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering, among others.
It is best to get the claim process started as quickly as possible, so don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our dedicated moving truck accident attorneys at Loewy Law Firm today. Our team of Austin-based personal injury lawyers has the knowledge and resources to review and analyze your case, determine who pays, and tirelessly seek the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Call (512) 280-0800 today for a free consultation.
Types of Moving Trucks and Vans
Moving trucks and vans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each model is designed to meet the various needs of different movers. Some common types of moving trucks and vans you may encounter include:
- Cargo vans
- Cargo trailers
- Pickup trucks
- Semi tractor-trailers
When people decide to use a moving truck service, they typically choose one of the following:
Rented moving trucks. Many people choose to rent moving trucks from truck rental companies. Rented moving trucks are typically owned by companies including U-Haul, Budget, and Hertz, among others. Drivers who rent from these companies generally are not required to have a CDL (commercial drivers’ license) or any sort of training to operate a rental truck or van. When people who are moving rent moving trucks or vans, they typically do the driving themselves.
Privately-owned moving trucks. Some people prefer not to do the moving work themselves, so they hire movers to do it for them. Hiring movers can be expensive but can also make the moving process easier. When a person hires movers, the movers will typically take care of everything: packing, loading, securing, and delivering the items to the person’s new residence. In this case, the driver of the vehicle is usually a mover who works for a moving company.
Causes and Types of Moving Truck and Van Accidents
There are many causes of moving truck accidents. Sometimes, professional movers who have not been properly vetted by the moving company and lack the proper training to handle a larger vehicle may inadvertently cause accidents due to inexperience. Individuals who rent trucks or vans to move on their own may also cause collisions due to inexperience or because they failed to properly secure and stabilize cargo.
Some of the most common causes of moving truck accidents include:
- Driver inexperience: Individuals who have less experience operating larger vehicles may not be familiar with how to control moving trucks and vans, may not be aware of their blind spots and may have difficulty maneuvering in tight spaces.
- Improperly loaded cargo: Improperly loaded cargo can shift and destabilize the truck, causing dangerous rollover accidents.
- Distracted driving: Texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, and other distracted driving behaviors can be especially dangerous for drivers who do not have experience operating large trucks.
- Mechanical issues: In some cases, if the truck has been poorly maintained by the moving company, defective parts and other mechanical issues can cause accidents.
All of these and more can result in severe accidents and devastating injuries for all involved, particularly passenger vehicles who are hit by a moving truck or van. Some of the common types of moving truck and van accidents include:
- Jackknife accidents
- Underride accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact or T-bone collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Unsecured cargo accidents
Who Is Liable for Moving Truck and Van Accidents?
In most accidents between two passenger vehicles, liability is relatively straightforward. As a fault state, Texas drivers typically make a claim against the insurer of the at-fault driver, or the driver who caused the crash. But what happens when the at-fault driver is driving a rented vehicle, such as a moving truck or van? In that case, liability can be less straightforward, which is why it’s critical to consult with an attorney as you begin the claim process.
Potentially liable parties include:
The driver: If a driver who rents a moving truck causes an accident, then they may be held liable for damages caused by their negligence. Many insurance policies do not offer coverage for rental truck accidents, so it will be up to the driver to pay for damages they caused. However, many rental truck companies offer rental truck insurance for an extra fee. If a driver purchases this insurance, then the rental company’s insurance policy is required to provide coverage.
The rental company: In some situations, the truck that rented out the vehicle could be held liable. If an accident occurs because the rental company failed to properly maintain or inspect the truck, then the rental company could be held liable for damages caused by the accident. The rental truck company also has an obligation to ensure that they are renting the vehicle to a licensed driver. If the rental truck company leases a vehicle to someone who is unlicensed or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they could be held at least partly liable.
The parts manufacturer(s): If defective parts such as a malfunctioning brake caused the moving truck accident, then the manufacturer(s) of those parts could be held responsible for the accident.
Compensation for Moving Truck and Van Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident involving a moving truck or van, then you could be entitled to claim compensation for costs, both financial and non-financial, related to the accident. Compensation is designed to cover damages such as:
- Medical expenses resulting from the accident, including hospital bills, physical therapy bills, surgery costs, prescription medication expenses, tests, scans, procedures, and more.
- Lost earnings, if you are out of work for a time to heal your injuries, or you are unable to return to work and earn an income due to your injuries.
- Damage to your property, such as vehicle damage caused by the accident.
- Pain and suffering, including emotional and mental distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Exemplary damages, if appropriate. Exemplary damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for excessively reckless or negligent behavior and can only be awarded in court.
Navigating the process of claiming compensation is challenging even after a simple accident between two passenger vehicles. But when the accident involves a moving truck or van, things can quickly get complicated. Determining who should be held liable for your injuries and losses immediately becomes more challenging, which is why it is essential to have a skilled moving truck accident attorney in your corner as your advocate.
How Loewy Law Could Help
If you have been involved in an accident with a moving truck or van in the Austin area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us right away. The attorneys at Loewy Law Firm have the skill and expertise to conduct a full, independent investigation into the accident, determine liability, and aggressively pursue the compensation you need to recover. Call our office today at (512) 280-0800 for a free consultation.