Every time you hit the road you are bound to see a vehicle towing another vehicle. Tow trucks come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from a smaller “pickup” style truck, to a car carrier designed to haul many cars at the same time. Their size and role often makes them more of a danger than other vehicles on the road.
Another problem is the casual towing vehicles. Every year thousands of RV drivers and vacationers take to the road with their family car, boat, or recreational vehicle in tow. These drivers are less experienced than commercial tow truck drivers, making sharing the road all the more perilous.Why Are Tow Trucks So Dangerous?
Tow trucks are large and cumbersome vehicles. As is such, they have limited maneuverability compared to a normal car. Given this size disparity, any accident with a normal passenger vehicle is likely to cause more severe damage and injury to the smaller vehicle.
Plus, tow truck drivers may not be as experienced as they should when operating such a large vehicle. While commercial and governmental tow truck drivers are specially licensed to drive larger vehicles, individuals who drive RVs or those who tow a trailer may not be as competent or experienced.
Regardless of the size of the vehicle, the same group of contributing factors leads to the majority of accidents. This includes: distracted driving, driver fatigue, poor weather conditions and speeding (among others). While these same issues plague tow truck drivers, the results of a crash are more severe when they are driving a large vehicle or towing another vehicle.Common Tow Truck Accidents
Given the fact that tow trucks are so heavy, it is more difficult for them to slow down and stop. This increases the risk of rear-end collisions for other drivers. Also, the size and height of tow trucks gives them a higher center of gravity, which makes them more vulnerable to rollovers. Similar to a semi-truck, tow trucks also have a larger blind spot, compromising the safety of those driving next to them. Less commonly, some tow truck drivers may negligently tow cars, causing their loads to shift or come loose. It goes without saying that this presents an enormous hazard to other drivers. In the non-commercial context though, inexperienced drivers may improperly hitch their load to the truck, blocking following drivers’ view of their brake lights and turn signals. The bottom line is: a lot more can go wrong when it comes to tow trucks compared to the normal passenger vehicle.The Aftermath of a Tow Truck Accident
The results of a tow truck accident are not good. Given their size, impacts and resulting injuries are often far more severe than those of normal passenger vehicles. Although the types of injuries are similar, their increased severity can lead to traumatic injury and even death. If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a tow truck accident you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries.
You should be able to recover the most compensation that you possibly can. Miller&Zois has experience handling large truck accidents, and that experience only helps us fight even harder for you. If you have been injured, contact Miller&Zois at 800-553-8082.Tow Truck Verdicts and Settlements
While the value of a case depends on the facts and it is impossible to predict how a jury will rule, the following cases should give an idea of the value of tow truck accident cases.
- 2014, Illinois: $11,600, Verdict: The plaintiff stops at an intersection and is rear-ended by a tow truck. Her injuries are minor and consist mostly of soft tissue damage. She sues the tow truck company alleging negligence, and the jury awards her $11,600.
- 2014, New York: $340,000, Verdict: The plaintiff was driving in NYC when a tow truck strikes the right rear portion of his SUV. As a result of the crash, the plaintiff suffers back, neck, and shoulder injuries. He sues the tow truck driver, alleging that he ran a stop sign. The defense argues that the injuries came from a preexisting condition. The jury awards the plaintiff $340,000.
- 2002, Maryland: $85,000, Verdict: A 16 year-old driver is driving across an intersection when a tow truck turns out in front on him. The two collide and the driver suffers facial lacerations. The tow truck driver claims that the other driver was speeding, making him responsible for the accident. Regardless, the driver sues and the jury awards him $85,000.
If you have been injured by a tow truck or other motor vehicle though no fault of your own, call Miller&Zois today at 800-553-8082. You can also get a free on-line consultation online.