Perhaps more than any other type of vehicle crash, a tow truck accident claim can benefit from lawyer assistance. Recovery vehicles are some of the heaviest on the road, so they can cause incredible damage if they are not controlled properly. And, unfortunately, there are significant problems with the recovery industry. They range from poor driver training, to terrible vehicle maintenance, to dangerous work incentives that encourage reckless driving. Together, these factors can lead to devastating wrecks that may result in permanent, life-altering injuries.
WHAT COMMONLY CAUSES A TOW TRUCK ACCIDENT?
A personal injury lawyer handles vehicle crash claims all the time, and no two cases are the same. Nowhere is this truer than with recovery vehicles. That’s because recovery vehicles rival the mass of an 18-wheeler but are much more maneuverable. This makes them a deadly weapon in the wrong hands, and they do end up in the wrong hands all too often.
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for most large work vehicles, but some recovery vehicles do not fall under this umbrella. In some areas, only recovery vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds must be manned by someone with a CDL. This is a dangerous precedent, as it means under-qualified and inexperienced drivers may be given the keys to a tow truck. And even if a driver does have their CDL, they still have to be trained to handle the vehicle’s controls and learn how to secure a recovered vehicle. According to industry studies that track tow truck crashes, nearly two-thirds of all drivers involved in a wreck do not have enough training.
Driver error, therefore, is the most common cause of these wrecks. This is compounded by the irresponsible financial incentives tow truck companies provide to drivers. In general, the more jobs the driver takes on and the faster they respond to a crash site, the more they will be paid. This results in drivers speeding, taking dangerous turns, and ignoring dangerous driving conditions, like inclement weather.
IN THE WAKE OF A TOW TRUCK ACCIDENT, HOW CAN A LAWYER HELP
Before the debris is even cleaned up, the recovery company will send an investigator to the crash site and begin collecting evidence that may be used against the victim. The investigator may slant the facts of the case as much as they can; taking deceptive photos and only recording witness testimony that supports the company.
An attorney can help a victim counter this by using accident reports, witness testimony, and several experts to prove the defendant’s negligence. An attorney will also safeguard a victim’s rights and prevent the defendant’s company from stalling a victim or pressuring them into dropping a suit. This will allow the victim peace of mind while they fight for the compensation they are entitled to.