Who is Liable For Accidents Involving Rental Trucks?
Rental trucks and commercial trucks are much more difficult to operate than standard passenger vehicles because of their size and weight. However, drivers must pass certain tests in order to legally operate a commercial truck, and this is not the case when it comes to rental trucks. Anyone with a valid driver’s license is allowed to rent and drive a rental truck–even drivers with no experience operating a vehicle of this size. Because of these loose restrictions, these trucks are frequently involved in serious traffic accidents.
If you are ever involved in an accident with a rental truck, it’s important to understand how to recover the compensation that you are entitled to by law. The key to recovering compensation is proving that another party was to blame for the accident. Here’s what you need to know:
Holding Rental Truck Drivers Liable For Your Injuries
In many cases, the driver of the rental truck is found liable for the victim’s injuries. Why? If the accident occurred as a result of the driver’s negligence, the driver is held legally liable for damage they have caused. For example, let’s say the rental truck driver was not paying attention to the road because they were texting when they crashed into you. Distracted driving is negligent driving, so in this case, the driver is liable for your injuries. Some other common examples of negligence include speeding, driving recklessly, failing to obey the traffic signs or lights, and intoxicated driving.
In situations like these, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. But, some insurance policies do not cover accidents that occur when their policyholder is driving a rental truck. If the driver’s policy does not cover the accident, the driver then becomes personally liable for compensating you. The driver would not be personally liable, however, if they had purchased an insurance policy through the truck rental company at the time the vehicle was rented.
Holding Rental Companies Liable For Your Injuries
Sometimes, it’s the rental truck company that is held liable for the victim’s injuries. The rental truck company is held liable whenever their negligence directly caused the accident. For instance, let’s say the accident occurred because the truck was not properly maintained. It’s the truck company’s responsibility to maintain their trucks, and failing to maintain them is negligent. Therefore, the company would be held liable in this situation.
The company is also responsible for making sure that they only rent trucks to people who are licensed drivers. This means the company is legally obligated to ask customers to present their driver’s license prior to renting a truck. If the company fails to ask a customer for their driver’s license, they could accidentally rent a truck out to an unlicensed driver. If this driver gets into an accident, the company could be held liable for this major mistake.
Holding Manufacturers Liable For Your Injuries
The final party that could be held liable for your injuries is the manufacturer of the rental truck. The manufacturer is liable whenever someone is injured as a result of a defective part or product. For instance, the manufacturer of the brakes can be held liable if this part suddenly malfunctions while the rental truck is in motion. The driver is not to blame if they are unable to avoid a collision because of defective brakes–it’s the manufacturer’s fault.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between an accident caused by a defective part and an accident caused by a poorly maintained part. A defective part is one that does not work in the way it was intended, whereas a poorly maintained part is one that cannot work in the way it was intended solely because it is in need of repair or maintenance. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to produce parts that are free from defects, and it is the rental truck company’s responsibility to maintain them.
Other Injuries Sustained While Using Rental Trucks
Rental trucks are capable of causing injuries even when they are not on the road. For instance, it is possible for someone to injure themselves while loading or unloading boxes onto the truck, climbing into the driver’s seat, or using the truck’s built-in ramp. Who is liable for these injuries? It depends.
Every case is unique, but it is extremely rare for the rental truck company to be held liable for injuries sustained while unloading or loading the truck. This is because it is not the rental truck company’s responsibility to teach you how to move items into and out of the truck.
But, the rental truck company is liable for certain accidents that occur when loading or unloading the truck. For instance, if the built-in ramp on the back of the truck is in need of repair, the repairs should be made before the truck is rented out to customers. If a company allows someone to rent a truck with a damaged ramp, they could be held liable if the person is injured while using it.
It’s not easy to determine who is liable for your injuries. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal representation after a rental truck accident instead of trying to handle these legal issues on your own.
Have you been injured in an accident involving a rental truck? If so, contact Carpenter & Zuckerman as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our personal injury attorneys will review the details of your case to identify the liability parties. Then, we will work tirelessly to hold these parties financially responsible for your injures. Our goal is to ensure you are fully compensated as quickly as possible. Call us now to learn more about our legal services.
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