When your car won’t start or is otherwise disabled, a tow truck can help you out of a really unpleasant situation. However, these same helpful tow trucks may also cause serious accidents that result in severe injuries. If a tow truck caused an accident that left you injured, you should consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as you can.
An experienced truck accident lawyer can inform you of your legal rights and determine what damages you can claim for compensation. Furthermore, a lawyer can represent you in settlement negotiations with the insurance company and fight to get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
What Are the Common Causes of Tow Truck Accidents?
Tow truck accidents can happen for many of the same reasons that other vehicle accidents occur. In many cases, tow truck driver error and the towing company’s negligence are the causes of accidents involving tow trucks.
Common causes of tow truck accidents include:
- The driver is drowsy and fatigued from working long hours.
- The tow truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The driver is driving faster than what is considered a safe speed for a truck towing another vehicle.
- Distracted driving
- Due to inexperience, the driver makes an error in operating the tow truck.
- The company has not adequately maintained or regularly inspected the tow truck, leading to an accident caused by a malfunctioning component.
- A vehicle has not been correctly secured to the tow truck, resulting in its detachment and sudden entry into traffic.
- The truck is not parked in a safe location, leaving other motorists with insufficient reaction time to avoid a collision.
No matter how a tow truck accident occurs, its potential to wreak havoc on other motorists is very high. Fortunately, in many cases, victims of tow truck accidents are entitled to compensation for their accident-related losses under state law.
Understanding the Impact of Tow Truck Accidents
Tow trucks are much heavier than most vehicles on the road, especially when they are towing other vehicles. For this reason, the impact of tow truck accidents can be severe, and victims often sustain serious, life-altering injuries. If a tow truck is towing another vehicle and its brakes fail, it could collide with a smaller car driving nearby.
Because the occupants of that car are struck by the truck’s full weight and the vehicle it is towing, the result could be extremely serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Severe soft tissue injuries
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Victims recuperating from serious injuries sustained in a tow truck accident often can’t work for an extended period. They may suffer from debilitating pain that requires numerous surgeries as part of their physical recovery. On top of it all, the victim’s car is totaled in many instances, leaving them without transportation until they can get a new vehicle.
What Should You Do After an Accident Involving a Tow Truck?
The aftermath of a tow truck accident can be confusing and difficult, but there are several things you can do to ensure that your rights are protected. The most important of these are detailed in the material below.
Take Care of Your Health
If you are in an auto accident, seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine and do not appear to be injured, you should see your doctor for an evaluation. In addition, follow all of your doctor’s advice, fill any prescriptions that he or she provides, and attend all recommended follow up appointments. Failing to do so could make it difficult to obtain full compensation for your injuries.
It’s good to keep a file with your medical bills and other documents related to the injuries you suffered, such as x-rays, treatment visits, and doctor recommendations. In addition to being helpful as a medical and financial reference, insurance companies, your attorney, or possibly a jury will use the documents as evidence of your injuries.
Create an Accident Statement and Document Your Recovery
Write a statement about the accident as soon as you can while your experience is still fresh and crystal clear in your mind. Be proactive and create your statement promptly while you can still recall everything that happened.
Both writing your statement or recording an audio/video account of the accident are acceptable. What’s important is that your statement is an accurate record of your experience in the tow truck accident. Your insurance company and lawyer, should you hire one, can use this statement to piece together everything that happened at the time of the accident.
Furthermore, you should keep a journal about how your injuries are affecting you. Examples of issues to document include pain, problems sleeping, events you cannot participate in because of your injuries, limitations of activities and feelings of anxiety or depression.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
Just because you report your accident to an insurance company does not mean the insurer will pay the entire claim. Even though the tow truck driver is at fault, their insurance provider may not offer an adequate settlement to cover all your damages. An experienced truck accident attorney on your side can negotiate with insurance companies to make sure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
In a tow truck accident, other parties besides the driver, such as the towing company or their maintenance provider, may be liable as well. Your lawyer can identify who is responsible, how much compensation you can receive for damages, and fight on your behalf to obtain a favorable settlement or court decision.
The Bottom Line About Tow Truck Accidents
Tow truck accidents can result in significant damage, not only to your vehicle but also to your physical, mental, and emotional health. The sheer size and weight of a truck increases the likelihood of severe injury and significant vehicle damage. A dedicated truck accident attorney will fight to obtain maximum compensation for physical, mental, and emotional damages, allowing you to focus all of your energy on recovering.