Moving Truck Accident, Who is Liable?
Las Vegas sees countless people pulling in or moving out of our city every single day. Men and women move to Sin City looking for work or a warm place to retire, which explains the dramatic increase in population over the past 40 years. Many businesses are also moving into town, using moving trucks to haul equipment and supplies. It is no surprise to see moving trucks and vans on the roads and pulled up in front of buildings.
Unfortunately, these large vehicles can cause considerable damage when they collide with smaller cars or with pedestrians. If you were struck by a moving truck, please contact an experienced law firm for assistance. At Naqvi Injury Law, we represent victims just like you who seek compensation for your injuries.
Dangers with Moving Trucks
Moving trucks are larger than passenger sedans but smaller than big rigs and 18-wheelers. They often have a “boxy” appearance, which is why some people call them box trucks. Given their size, they are very dangerous and can seriously harm someone who is hit by one.
When you think about it, it’s not terribly surprising that these vehicles get into collisions. There are many risks inherent with these trucks:
- Their size makes them harder to maneuver in tight spots or when taking corners.
- Their blind spots are larger than most drivers are expecting, so the driver might not see someone near the truck or crossing behind it.
- Many moving trucks are rented and driven by non-commercial drivers who lack the experience to control these vehicles.
- Improperly loaded cargo can shift and increase the instability in the truck.
Someone who has never driven a moving truck before might wrongly assume that they can drive it the way they would a little four-door sedan. This is a big mistake! These drivers make many errors that those holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) would not make.
Common Moving Truck Accidents
These trucks are often involved in collisions when they are driving in congested areas, particularly downtown. Many moving trucks are operating during peak rush hour traffic, when the odds of a collision are highest.
Without a doubt, one common accident involves a moving truck clipping or striking a pedestrian, especially when the truck tries to make a turn. The driver might misjudge the distance between the truck and a pedestrian or not see a pedestrian jumping into the crosswalk. Always exercise extreme caution when making a turn in Vegas.
Another common accident occurs when the truck backs up, but the driver cannot see anyone standing or parked behind the truck. Unsurprisingly, the driver plows straight into the victim.
Because these trucks are heavy, they need more room to come to a complete stop. It is not surprising that many moving trucks get into rear-end collisions with cars, especially at intersections.
Moving trucks can also roll onto their side, such as when taking a turn at high speeds or when going up or down a hill. A truck that rolls over can crash into vehicles in adjoining lanes of traffic.
Suing the Rental Company
Some of the more famous rental companies include U-Haul and Ryder. Someone can walk in off the street and rent one so long as they have a valid driver’s license. Many accident victims wonder if they can sue the rental company for their collision. The answer is complicated.
Generally, 49 U.S.C. 30106 states that the rental company is not liable for accidents when the company is in the business of leasing or renting motor vehicles and has not been negligent or criminal. So U-Haul, Ryder, or another rental company is not automatically on the hook simply because someone was driving their truck when they hit you. This can be disappointing since those companies have large insurance policies that can cover the cost of medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Consider the following example. Michael rents a U-Haul and proceeds to crash into a car in an intersection because he wasn’t watching where he was going. The victim cannot immediately sue U-Haul or the franchise for the accident, even though Michael caused a wreck in it.
Nevertheless, there are a few situations where you might be able to sue the rental company:
- The company does not properly maintain the vehicle, so that it is defective. For example, they might know that the brakes are faulty on a truck but not pull it from the fleet.
- The company rents a truck to someone without a valid driver’s license. Rental companies should always check and make a copy of the license as proof.
- The company leases a truck to someone who shows signs of being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. For example, someone might come in with bloodshot eyes and a breath smelling of alcohol.
When a company has made a mistake like one of those listed above, they are negligent and can be sued.
Insurance and Moving Truck Accidents
Many of our clients are injured by the negligence of reckless drivers. For example, a driver might fail to check his mirrors or drive too fast for conditions and get into a wreck. Other drivers take turns too close to pedestrians or tailgate, which leads to collisions. Under Nevada law, you can usually sue the driver for negligently injuring you. However, it’s important to consider what insurance they have:
- If a professional moving company (not a rental company) got into a crash, then you might be able to bring a claim on their professional business policy if the driver is to blame. Not everyone moves themselves but instead hires professionals, who can make errors like any other driver.
- If a driver rented a moving truck and caused a crash, they should have insurance through the rental company. The policy might not be much, but it is something that can apply to cover an accident.
As you wait for the police to arrive at the accident scene, remember to get the insurance details. Also, get the driver’s name and driver’s license number. You can also take a picture of the truck involved Make sure that the license plate shows clearly.
Negotiating a Settlement
Negotiating a settlement with an insurer is never easy. They are more likely to aggressively fight a claim where the victim has suffered serious injuries, which often happens in moving truck accidents. Many of our clients have suffered broken bones, concussions, organ damage, back injuries, and spinal cord damage. They have tens of thousands of dollars in medical care and are prevented from working.
Fully document your losses, including all lost income. Put copies of all hospital or doctor’s bills in a folder, along with prescription drug receipts. These documents help establish your reasonable medical expenses.
We have found that an area of dispute involves pain and suffering and other intangible losses like these. If you are paralyzed, for example, you have suffered a serious loss and should be fully compensated. Chronic pain and inconvenience are also deserving of money damages.
Ideally, you should work with an experienced attorney from the start of your case. Our firm can shield you from aggressive insurance company tactics and help you preserve evidence. We recommend calling an attorney instead of giving a recorded statement or answering an adjuster’s questions. Let us act as the go-between.
Speak with Naqvi Law Today
Our firm can aggressively negotiate a settlement on your behalf. We are experienced truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas with many satisfied clients. A moving truck accident should not mean months of headaches trying to get compensation when someone else is at fault for the wreck. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.