There are several causes of tow-truck accidents, but one factor is the hauled type of cargo. Unstable cargo creates a high center of gravity, and it can shift forward or laterally. As a result, the load can become loose and fall to the roadway. Severely damaged vehicles can also fall off the tow truck. Consequently, falling parts or debris may cause severe injuries and can even cause a crash.
Many tow truck accidents occur due to factors out of the truck driver’s control. Distracted driving includes eating and using a cell phone. It is also possible for a tow-truck driver to be intoxicated. However, these drivers need to be vigilant when driving and obey traffic laws. Tow truck drivers should also follow the laws of the road and not drive while intoxicated.
Fatigue and other factors that impair driver reaction time may significantly cause tow-truck accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, fatigue accounted for 34 percent of trucks’ fatal collisions. Likewise, erratic driving and inadequate rest can cause accidents. Moreover, tow trucks may have unsecured cargo or be in an unsafe condition.
When a tow truck driver is tired, they are more likely to experience the same symptoms as a driver intoxicated. They may suffer from tunnel vision, trouble with reflexes, and are less responsive to changes in speed and direction. Hence, staying well back and falling several car lengths behind the towed vehicle is essential. If the driver is too tired, they may make a mistake by speeding and causing an accident.
Besides the driver, tow-truck accidents can happen when a driver is not following the rules of the road. A distracted driver is more likely to cause a tow-truck accident. As a result, the driver can be at fault. If this happens, the tow truck company will be responsible. The law is in the best interest of the victims in tow-truck accident cases.
Another cause of tow-truck accidents is equipment failure. Towing companies are responsible for maintaining and inspecting their equipment correctly, but failing to do so can lead to accidents. For instance, a defective tow truck may be prone to engine failure, or the belt holding the towed vehicle can snap in the middle of transport, causing the towed vehicle to roll off the truck bed. Alternatively, a towed vehicle may collide with another car or truck while moving.
While a tow truck’s safety mechanisms are generally well maintained, it is still possible to cause a tow-truck accident when a tow truck is not operated correctly. For example, the tow truck’s tires can cause severe damage in an accident. If a vehicle is not loaded, it can lead to devastating consequences. A tow truck with an open trailer could not be maneuvered safely, and its weight can result in a rollover crash.
The most common cause of tow-truck accidents is improper loading. When a tow truck is not adequately secured, the load it hauls can be dangerous to other vehicles and even to other drivers. When the tow truck is loaded, it isn’t easy to maneuver. As a result, the tow truck can become a target for other vehicles.
Inadequate Road Maintenance
Other causes of tow-truck accidents include inadequate road maintenance. Poor road conditions can affect tow truck safety. Municipalities and construction companies are responsible for maintaining roadways to prevent dangerous potholes and defects. These factors can contribute to the risk of a tow-truck accident. And if they fail to maintain safe roadways, tow-truck operators can be held legally responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their trucks.
The Driver and the Towing Company May Be At Fault For Your Damages and Injuries
Tow-truck accidents can result in serious injuries. The driver may not have been attentive enough to ensure they were appropriately attached. The tow truck may not have been in a safe place for a vehicle to unhook safely. In such a case, the driver and the towing company could be responsible for the damages and injuries. Furthermore, the tow truck could not have been adequately secured.
You Have Rights After a Tow Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a tow-truck accident in Houston, you may be entitled to compensation. The liability of the tow truck company is based on evidence, a judge’s ruling, and other factors. A tow-truck company does not waive your legal rights. To protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve, you should immediately seek medical attention and evaluation. Take pictures of the accident site, including any visible injuries or damage to your vehicle or the other vehicle. Also, take photos of the road and any property damage. If you know of any witnesses, you should collect their contact information and complete any prescriptions.
Even if you do not have any medical injuries after a tow-truck accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the company that operated the tow truck. In addition to seeking medical attention for your injuries, you may also be eligible for compensation for lost wages, lost income, and medical expenses. If the tow truck is at fault, the driver and the tow truck company should be held accountable. If the negligent party is liable for your injuries, you can recover your losses from that party.
Despite being a common misconception, truck drivers are trained professionals and have a duty to operate safely. If a tow truck driver’s negligence results in a severe accident, you may be entitled to compensation. In many cases, the tow truck driver was at fault in the accident. If they were negligent, the insurance company would be liable for the damages caused to the driver, passengers, and property.
Contact our Houston tow-truck accident lawyers today at (713) 999-8669 for a free case evaluation.