People often rent trucks for a day or a few days when moving to a new home or transporting large items from a store. Companies like Budget, Penske, U-Haul, and other rental truck companies advertise their trucks as affordable, easy to drive, and easily available options for people to load and operate on their own, without hiring movers or delivery companies. Unfortunately, many of the people who rent these either are the cause of an accident, or are injured in an accident while renting these trucks.
Since the rental companies do usually offer insurance plans, there might be ways to get coverage for your injuries if you have been in an accident involving a rental truck. If you or a loved one was involved in any truck accident, talk to an attorney right away. The national truck accident attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to get you financial compensation for your injuries.
Dangers of Rental Trucks
Rental trucks may be advertised as safe and easy to drive, but many times they are not. First, these trucks are often owned by the rental company itself (such as U-Haul), but they are kept by local hardware stores, gas stations, and rental truck companies who cooperate with the company to rent the trucks. This means that the person who rents you the truck is not often an employee of the rental company. This can mean that maintenance, upkeep, and general vehicle safety standards are neglected by the person who rents out the trucks. If you receive an unsafe vehicle and it causes an accident, you might be entitled to compensation from the person who rented you the truck. The same may be true for other drivers injured by unsafe rental trucks.
Moreover, many rental companies offer very large trucks for rent. The smallest truck (other than a pickup truck or a cargo van) offered by many rental companies is a 10 ft. truck. Some even offer trucks as large as 26 ft. long – approximately half the length of a standard tractor-trailer. Unlike tractor-trailer drivers, those who rent these trucks often have nothing more than a standard drivers’ license. Most truck drivers are required to have commercial drivers’ licenses, or higher “class” drivers’ licenses that allow them to drive larger trucks. Renters have no extra training or licensure requirements, and are allowed to take these enormous trucks out on the road with no prior practice.
The size and length of these large trucks makes them truly dangerous for drivers with little experience. Not only are these trucks huge, but most models are simply a large truck body with increasingly large cargo areas. These trucks are not necessarily properly equipped to handle misloaded and heavy truck cargo. If the items inside the truck are arranged with heavy items high up in the truck, this increases the risk of tipping or rolling over. Additionally, most rental drivers are not used to the size and length of the truck, which makes maneuvering dangerous. With only the side-view mirrors and front windows for sight, drivers are unable to see behind the vehicle or into other blind spots alongside the truck, increasing the risk of causing an accident when reversing or changing lanes.
Who Pays for Damages in a Rental Truck Accident?
Many rental truck companies offer extra insurance protection plans for renters. If you were the driver or passenger of a rental truck, or were injured in another car during an accident caused by a rental truck, you might be covered by these plans. Like any vehicle rental, these insurance plans are usually “extra,” in that the driver’s usual car insurance might still cover the accident, and these plans merely add additional protection. In the case that the renter took advantage of this insurance, extensive injuries could be covered by either insurance plan.
If the vehicle was not properly maintained by those who rent the vehicles, or by the rental company itself, injured victims might have a case against those companies. The person renting the vehicle will not know the vehicle’s maintenance history, and will assume they are being given a safe vehicle. Since many of these trucks are taken long distances and across state lines, trucks could break down or fail catastrophically, injuring the occupants and other drivers.
Any time a large company or insurance company is involved, you may be given offers to settle out of court. Since these companies are not on your side, it is important to talk to an attorney to understand what your case might be worth before you accept a settlement offer.
Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a rental truck, talk to our attorneys today. The lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team work to get compensation for injured truck accident victims around the country. For a free consultation on your injury case, talk to our attorneys today at (215) 246-9000.