California roads have been populated with a lot more moving trucks in recent times, significantly increasing the chances of collisions between these trucks and passenger vehicles. Crashes involving large box trucks, often used by movers, can be extremely dangerous due to their size and weight.
Call our car crash lawyers in Sacramento today to learn more about your legal options if you were injured in a collision involving a moving truck. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.
Below, we discuss the complex nature of moving truck accident claims and how we may be able to help.
Anyone with a valid driver’s license can rent a moving truck. They are not required to take a driving test before renting these vehicles.
People may not account for the differences between driving a regular car and a moving truck. These vehicles have much larger blind spots, cannot brake as quickly and have much larger turning radiuses. In short, driving a moving truck is much different than driving a sedan, pickup truck or other non-commercial vehicles.
If the driver of the moving truck does not have experience driving a moving truck, he or she may be more cautious behind the wheel. This means he or she might drive slower on the freeway or brake more frequently.
This could also be dangerous, as other drivers may get frustrated with the timid driver and become aggressive. For example, passing the moving truck on the right or switching lanes when there is little to no space for a lane change. This type of aggressive driving could pose a hazard to the people in the moving truck as well as to surrounding vehicles.
Liability for your damages from a moving truck accident comes down to whose negligent actions directly resulted in your injuries and damage to your property. Generally, liability will fall to one or more drivers whose negligent actions caused the collision. For example, if a moving truck driver was speeding and collided with your vehicle, he or she might be financially liable for your damages.
However, it is important to note that while fault for the accident lies with the driver of the moving truck, it might not always mean that driver is the one liable for your damages. For example, if the driver of the moving truck works for a moving company, his or her employer might be vicariously liable for its employees’ negligence.
If the driver of the moving truck that hit you rented the truck from a company, that company may not be liable for your damages. Instead, the driver’s insurance would be held liable. This is because there is a federal law that allows rental car companies to avoid liability for damages caused by drivers who rented their vehicles, including moving truck rental companies.
Most of these rental companies do require that drivers at least provide proof of liability insurance, as it is state law, though. This way, if you are injured by a negligent driver in a moving truck, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
There are several exceptions to the law shielding rental car companies from liability when a negligent driver causes a crash.
You may be able to file a claim against the moving truck rental company if you were injured due to the company’s own negligent business practices. For example, if there was a defect in the rental vehicle.
The second exception is if the company knowingly rented the vehicle out to a person who was incapable of driving it, such as an unlicensed driver or someone who was visibly impaired.
Vehicle rental companies must regularly inspect the vehicles on their lots for safety issues. If something is wrong with a vehicle, or a recall has been issued on a part, the company is legally required to take it off its lot until the issue is resolved.
You may be able to prove the rental company failed to conduct regular inspections or routine maintenance by getting a copy of the business records associated with the moving truck involved in the collision.
Obtaining these business documents may be difficult, as the company is not going to willingly hand them over. You may need to file a lawsuit and get to the discovery process, which is when the company would be legally required to hand over the information.
Whether the negligence of a driver or a moving truck rental company caused your damages, our attorneys are prepared to help you throughout the entire legal process.
The initial consultation with a licensed attorney is free and there are no fees while working on your case. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation at the end of the legal process.
Call us today at 916-777-7777.