If you have ever rented a U-Haul to move, you know how stressful it can be. The truck is bigger and boxier than your car, and the sightlines and blind spots are different. Other drivers may try to speed up to pass you, or you can find yourself stuck on a narrow road, hoping you don’t hit the cars parked on either side. This is why so many people choose to hire moving companies; after all, their drivers can handle a big truck, and you have one less stressor on your plate.
If the moving truck is involved in a collision, multiple parties could be liable.
When the truck driver is liable
If you are hit by a moving truck, the driver could be liable if his or her negligence is what caused the crash. If the driver was distracted, drunk, or engaging in reckless behaviors, then he or she could bear the brunt of the responsibility.
If you are the one driving the truck, then you will be held liable for any injuries you cause in a wreck.
When the trucking company is liable
Moving trucks tend to take a significant amount of abuse. These trucks require frequent and proper service and maintenance to ensure safe operation. A careful investigation into the crash may uncover that the truck company – whether you rented it yourself, hired a moving company, or were in a totally different vehicle – is liable for some type of mechanical failure, such as brake failure. This means compensation would be incumbent upon the trucking company rather than the renter’s auto insurance policy.
Liability under federal law when the moving truck travels across state lines
Interstate travel can add challenges to any claim. Oftentimes, drivers rent trucks from a company in one state only to make delivery in another state.
Under 49 U.S.C. 30106, accident liability generally does not rest on truck leasing companies for accidents that involve their leased trucks. The rule only applies to truck rental companies that provide vehicle leasing services as part of their business. The rule does not apply to companies that are not routinely in the business of leasing these vehicles. It also does not apply if you lend your truck to a friend to help him or her move. In addition, this rental exemption is only applicable if the rental company is not found negligent or otherwise engaged in criminal misconduct when renting the truck.
If I was hurt in a collision with a moving truck, what do I do?
If you are injured in a truck crash with a moving truck, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Because there could be multiple liable parties, your best bet is to contact an attorney with experience in truck accidents leading to injuries. At Harris Lowry Manton LLP. We investigate the scene of the crash, review your medical records and the police report, and speak with witnesses. If someone else’s negligence led to your injury, we will fight to secure the compensation you need to protect yourself, your family, and your future.
If you have questions about your next steps after a truck wreck, Harris Lowry Manton LLP can answer them. Our team has secured millions of dollars for the benefit of truck accident victims across the state of Georgia. To set up a free, no obligation consultation about your case, call us in Atlanta at 404.998.8847, or in Savannah at 912.417.3774. You may also reach us through our contact form.