A tow truck wreck in Houston is something that people in the city are used to seeing. Stalled and wrecked vehicles have to be carried away, and the special transport vehicles that do so have to be heavy and powerful to do their job. This power and weight, though, is a major threat when one is involved in a crash. In fact, the difference is often several tons, which is enough to result in horrific wrecks. What’s worse, transport vehicle drivers are encouraged to respond to crash sites as quickly as possible, pushing them into dangerous traffic maneuvers and unsafe speeds.
What Normally Causes Tow Truck Wrecks?
Houston is a high traffic city, and transport vehicle drivers must be as safe as possible at all times. However, when on call to a crash, drivers often make sudden lane changes or turns, drive too quickly, or hit their brakes without warning. This is usually because the driver is only focused on getting to the crashed car and isn’t paying attention to their surroundings. In many cases, the company employing the driver will share liability, either because it encourages dangerous driving with financial incentives, or because the company isn’t checking its drivers’ qualifications. Surprisingly, many drivers don’t even have their CDL, which is needed to safely operate such a powerful vehicle.
In addition to driver inattention, transport vehicles are often affected by mechanical failure or simple lapses in safety checks. For example, the driver must be careful never to obstruct brake lights when carrying a decommissioned vehicle, as this can make it impossible for other motorists to notice when the driver is slowing down. Problems with attaching mechanisms and cables are also common, and in severe cases can result in the decommissioned vehicle detaching and rolling off the truck bed. When this happens, other motorists only have a few seconds to react and maneuver out of the way. And if a motorist is forced to react quickly, swerving out of the way can cause them to collide with vehicles in adjacent lanes.
Poor maintenance can also increase the risk of brake failure and tire blowouts, both of which are among the most common causes of tow truck accidents. Transport companies must inspect their vehicles regularly and respond to any concerns before allowing the vehicle back on the road.
What Should a Victim Do If They Are Involved In a Tow Truck Wreck?
Experienced personal injury attorneys have seen every kind of vehicle crash there is, so they should be able to target a claim effectively. Whether the driver or transport company is responsible for the crash, or even if both share liability, a personal injury attorney will be able to organize a case with the information at hand. This may include police reports, reports by crash investigators, maintenance records held by the driver’s employer, the driver’s background information, medical records, witness testimony, and anything else that may be relevant to the case.
For these reasons, it is usually a good idea for a victim to explore their legal options with the help of a legal professional.