Moving Truck Accident Lawyer
We are all familiar with all the moving truck rental companies we see on the roads, like U-Haul, Ryder, Enterprise, Penske, Allied, United Vanlines, Atlas, and Budget.
These companies offer very cheap packages for people that need to move out of state or just need to move locally from say Los Angeles to Irvine.
Like driving any motor vehicle, accidents can and always do happen when we least expect it.
If you were hit by a moving truck, or if you were driving a moving truck and suffered injuries then you need to contact our law firm today so we can discuss your situation and protect your legal rights.
The California roads and highways are so congested with traffic and they are already dangerous enough, but when you add inexperienced drivers behind the wheel of a 20-foot U-Haul truck (or a larger trailer being towed) it makes a recipe for disaster.
Why Contact The Law Offices of Daniel Kim?
If you are injured in a moving truck (or van) accident then the odds are you’ll want to contact us for help.
Most injuries in moving truck accidents are pretty severe and it’s not easy to work with the insurance companies to make sure you get compensated. If the accident happened at a stop sign, a red light, or just driving down the 405 freeway, it’s going to be a battle for you to represent yourself.
Daniel Kim and his legal team have years of experience helping moving truck accident victims here in Southern California. We have a 99% client satisfaction rating and we have over 1000 positive reviews on Yelp and Google.
You can contact us 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Call today for a free, no-risk consultation.
Who Pays For a Moving Truck Accident?
When a person rents a U-Haul or Penske truck they typically will be required to pick a plan for liability insurance from the options that the company offers.
For example, U-Haul uses Safemove insurance which covers damage to the U-Haul truck itself, and the U-Haul’s cargo and medical injuries. Customers can buy a higher level of insurance, like Safemove Plus which covers liability to other vehicles up to $1 Million.
In pretty much every case, somebody who wants to reject the liability coverage must then provide the rental company with proof of their own individual auto insurance policy, to ensure they can provide coverage if the driver is at fault for an innocent victim’s injuries.
The problem is that most of these customers can’t just assume their regular insurance policy will cover the damages caused by the rental truck.
Causes of Moving Truck Accidents
There are so many causes of moving truck accidents, but we have discussed the more common ones below in detail.
Some of these moving truck accidents can be blamed on other drivers who are clueless and can’t drive, but many times the accident is the fault of the moving truck driver or is blamed on the rental truck company for their negligence.
- Distracted Driving – This is so common in today’s world, with cell phones, texting, people emailing, checking GPS directions, or even just doing their makeup, etc. California and Federal legislation is doing their best to stop people from driving while distracted, but it’s a hard battle to win.
- Negligent Driving – this would include things like speeding, road rage, drowsy driving, and failing to yield at stop signs or red lights at intersections. In other cases, drivers might be taking drugs or alcohol while driving which is illegal. Even making turns without using a proper signal is negligent and stupid.
- Truck Defects – moving trucks need to be properly inspected every time that a new person rents the truck. In addition, rental moving truck companies should ensure their trucks pass the proper safety tests and checks required by federal law. Things like old tires, bad brakes, and hitch or trailer issues should be addressed before these issues cause an accident.
- Inexperienced Drivers – There are so many people that rent a big moving truck that is say 20 feet or bigger, but the driver has literally zero experience driving a vehicle that big. U-Haul and the other companies rent these trucks even though the driver doesn’t have a commercial driver’s license.
- Weather and Road Conditions – Even in California weather (rain, sleet, fog, etc.) can play a part and cause accidents with moving trucks being involved. Most people can’t control their Honda or Tesla in the rain, but when you give them a 25-foot Ryder moving truck and it’s raining outside, well all bets are off.
Truck Rental Liability
If you or a loved one has been injured in a moving truck accident, then you’ll want to call us today and get answers.
We have many clients ask us if the moving rental truck company (like U-Haul, Ryder, Enterprise, Penske, etc.) can be held liable (at fault) for any injuries they suffered from an accident with a moving truck or van.
When people sign the paperwork to rent these moving trucks, there can be a waiver in the terms and conditions that can limit the liability. Additionally, other restrictions on liability might be placed from specific California and Federal laws that will limit the amount of liability of truck rental companies.
This legal stuff becomes very complicated once there are injuries involved and the insurance companies are worried about paying out money in a settlement.
Generally speaking, it can be very difficult to hold Ryder, U-Haul, or any moving truck rental company liable, because all they do is provide the vehicle to a 3rd party who then physically drives the van or truck.
Once that driver leaves the parking lot and starts driving negligently it is no longer the responsibility of U-Haul or Ryder because the driver is not an employee.
There are situations where the moving truck rental company rents a vehicle to somebody that legally should not be on the road:
- this includes underage drivers
- drivers who appear intoxicated
- drivers without a license
- drivers without auto insurance
These types of circumstances can make the moving truck rental company liable because all drivers need to have these basic things in order to rent a moving vehicle.
Of course, truck rental companies do rent defective trucks sometimes by mistake and this is an entirely different story.
Defective Truck and Trailer Manufacturer Liability
There are many instances where defective parts (or just an outdated vehicle) are the main cause of a truck accident.
Typically, there are 3 ways that your injury lawyer can prove that the truck or trailer was defective and the primary cause of the moving truck accident.
- A defect that is based on the original design of the product and is generally caused by failing to thoroughly test the product before the customer ends up using it.
- A label or warning defect occurs when they failed to adequately warn people about the known dangers and potential hazards involved with these moving trucks and trailers.
- A manufacturing defect does happen more often than you might think. This will normally occur if the company failed to properly manufacture the products due to an attempt to save money while reducing the cost of the manufactured item. When this situation arises, we need to show that the manufactured product was divergent (tending to be different) from the intended design. There could have been a machine error or factory inconsistency that caused a part to become defective.
Some U-Haul or Ryder trucks might not have stickers on them warning about wide turns, or wide loads, things that are nuanced and require a warning to the driver and other drivers on the road.
How Much is My Moving Truck Accident Settlement Worth?
There are many factors that go into determining what type of settlement you will be entitled to after everything is said and done. Again, this is why you want to hire an experienced moving truck accident lawyer like Daniel Kim to make sure you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
The insurance company that is handling your case will look at many items individually to figure out what they believe you should get for your injuries and damages.
Obviously, if you only broke an arm you’ll receive a lot less money than a person who broke their back and has lifelong injuries. Whether your case is worth $1 Million, or only $50,000 we will fight for you the whole way.
Daniel Kim and his legal team will be able to establish an injury claim for compensation for the following:
- Loss of wages for past and future hours you miss due to your injuries
- Medical expenses for things like ambulance rides, ER visits, doctor appointments, meds, etc.
- Pain and suffering for mental distress, PTSD, anxiety, etc.
- Future special care and any disability needs like nursing and life care
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In California, the victim has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. There are a few special circumstances like if a minor is involved, or if a case involves a city like an MTA bus, etc.
You can read more about the California statute of limitations here. All of these legal issues make it crucial that you contact Daniel Kim today and get a free consultation.
Common Injuries From Moving Truck Accidents
Accidents involving moving trucks are very similar to other truck accidents when it comes to injuries that victims usually suffer. There are always so many factors that can determine what happens, things like are you wearing a seatbelt, or what speed were the vehicles going.
Below is a list of the common injuries from moving truck accidents:
Moving Truck Accident Statistics
Companies that rent moving trucks are always worried about profits, and sometimes when you chase profits you lose sight of protecting your customers and innocent people driving on the roads.
From 2005 to 2010, rental trucks like U-Haul were involved in 145 fatal crashes according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These crashes resulted in 177 deaths and seriously injured another 163 people.
55% of the time, the truck or truck driver was put at fault for these accidents according to FMSCA.
On average, a fatal crash involving a rental truck costs over $10 Million.
This amount includes the wrongful death portion of those killed, property damages, any costs associated with the other victims who were injured in the crash, and other delays resulting from the accident.