Transportation accidents can involve all types of vehicles, from motorcycles to tractor-trailers and rental trucks.
Moving truck rental companies make it easy to get behind the wheel, which is a great benefit when you need a DIY move. In reality, however, these large commercial vehicles are not so easy to operate.
Customers who have never driven any vehicle larger than a minivan may not be adept at handling a large truck. In fact, even those with experience may be at risk if the equipment is outdated or has not been properly maintained.
The Risks of Transportation Accidents
Once filled with furniture and boxes, a rental truck can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 26,000 pounds.
The weight and length of commercial trucks can contribute to all kinds of accidents. Maintaining control of a vehicle this size can be difficult, particularly in inclement weather or in the event of a tire failure.
And when an accident does occur, damage can be severe. Victims may suffer head and back injuries, broken limbs or ribs, collapsed lungs and other serious trauma. And some rental truck accidents result in fatalities.
Even if no one is seriously injured, large trucks are capable of causing significant property damage.
Safety Concerns with Rental Trucks
In comparison to standard passenger vehicles, rental trucks have a decreased speed capacity, along with an increased braking time. In addition, they have less maneuverability and limited rear visibility.
Some truck accidents may be blamed, at least in part, on these unwieldy vehicles being rented out to drivers who have had no experience in with large commercial vehicles.
More troubling, perhaps, is that many rental trucks that are out on the road today may be overdue for inspections and maintenance. The government does not consider rental trucks commercial vehicles, so the U.S. Department of Transportation does not oversee their safety.
For this reason, some companies are suspected of renting out trucks that have not been properly serviced or maintained. And some companies may be using aging fleets, renting trucks that are well beyond their recommended age and mileage.
Legal Action for Victims of Rental Truck Accidents
When transportation accidents involve rental trucks, the question becomes, “Can the rental company be held liable?” Sometimes this can be a challenge, as most renters are required to sign liability waiver forms to rent.
Legal claims for these accidents may involve proving negligent entrustment. In other words, lawsuits may allege that the rental company knew, or should have known, about the renter’s inexperience or incompetency to operate the vehicle safely, and as a result, should not have allowed them to drive it.
Vehicle safety is also a factor with many legal claims involving truck rentals. In some cases, it can be proven that the rental company has been negligent in maintenance, such as skipping regular safety inspections or renting out vehicles that have outlived their practical use.
Victims who are not at fault in vehicular accidents deserve compensation. If you have suffered injuries in a rental truck accident of any kind, call us to schedule a consultation with our experienced legal team.
The Montgomery Dowdle Law Offices, serving Boise, Idaho, and the neighboring communities, specializes in helping victims negotiate the complex legal processes involved with seeking just compensation for transportation accidents of all kinds.