Have you ever had to rent a moving truck? Driving in Georgia, especially in Atlanta, can be a challenge with a regular car. It’s even more challenging when you’ve got a rental truck to maneuver.
To make matters more complicated, rental trucks are often operated by people with little to no experience driving vehicles of this size. Despite this, they do not require any specialized driver’s license to operate.
What Causes Rental Truck Accidents?
When it comes to rental trucks, they can save you the cost of hiring movers, but there are grave dangers if you get into an accident. If it’s your first time renting a vehicle like this, the rental truck company may fail to warn you about weight limits or unbalanced cargo.
Although they are made for anyone with a regular-class driver’s license to operate, these vehicles are more difficult to drive. They’re even harder on Atlanta’s busiest roads.
Rental trucks have large blind spots, making it difficult to safely change lanes. Additionally, they require wider turns and longer stopping times. Even just one slight error could cause a catastrophic accident. This can include an unbalanced cargo load that causes a rollover. In a case such as this, whoever loaded the truck will usually be held at fault in the rental truck accident.
If your car is hit by a rental truck, lawyer Kopelman recommends that you learn the driver’s relation to the truck to know where you should file your claim. This is especially true if there are faulty parts or maintenance issues. The companies that rent these vehicles must ensure they are safe, or else they could be held liable.
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What to Know About Car Insurance Coverage and Rental Truck Accidents
In Georgia, you must have the proper car dashboard lights. Usually, your insurance will cover a rental truck, but you must check your policy to be certain. If you have any doubts, you should contact them before you rent a truck for your move.
Rental truck companies do not require you to purchase any supplemental insurance. However, you do have the option to purchase it for an additional fee. Georgia’s statute for motor vehicle financial responsibility requires that all vehicles that are registered and operate in the state have liability insurance.
Rental truck companies are not exempt from this, however O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 reverses the usual order of priority of insurance coverage. In other words, if your vehicle was hit by a rental truck, that driver’s personal auto insurance would be the primary and the required coverage on the rental would be secondary.
Similarly, if you purchased supplemental rental coverage, that would then become your primary coverage while your personal policy would become secondary. This matters because more than one policy for a given driver may apply in certain vehicle accidents involving a rental truck.
How to Determine Who is At Fault in a Rental Truck Accident
There are federal laws that protect rental truck companies such as U-Haul, Enterprise, Budget, and Penske. It’s not likely you can make a case against a careless driver that rented one of these trucks.
However, that doesn’t mean these companies can’t be at fault. If someone rented a truck and was not fit to drive, and it can be proven through evidence, then it is considered negligence. In that situation, the rental truck company could be responsible for the crash that resulted.
Every situation is unique, which is why attorneys advise anyone that was in a rental truck accident to get representation from an experienced truck accident lawyer. An attorney who knows what they are doing will determine who is at fault for the accident.
Gathering the proper evidence will ensure that you can make a solid case to receive compensation for your injuries and hardships. Depending on the details of the rental truck accident, the person liable could be the driver who rented the truck. The rental truck company may be liable as well.
If movers were hired to load the rental truck and it was determined that the load was unbalanced, contributing to the accident, they could be at fault too. The rental truck itself could have a defect, making the manufacturer a liable party in the accident.
Additionally, the maintenance company responsible for keeping the rental trucks in proper condition may not have fulfilled its duties. In this case, they could be considered at-fault in your rental truck accident.
What to Do After Your Rental Truck Crash?
Like any other accident, it is important that you collect as much evidence as you can. This will serve as your way to recover your economic and non-economic losses. When your injuries are moderate to severe, you shouldn’t try to fight alone. It’s recommended that you work with a personal injury attorney to get the outcome you deserve when it comes to your compensation.