Legal Options if Injured by a Rental Truck Driver in Ohio
Many truck rental companies fail to prepare drivers for the responsibility of handling such a large vehicle, which can put the driver and those who must share the roads with their vehicle at risk. If you’re hurt in a rental truck accident, call KNR today.
Rental Truck Accidents
If you need to move your family to a new home or transport goods from one office to another, you may need to use a rental truck for your projects. Rental trucks are not the same as your average sedan; in fact, that can be twice the size of the car you regularly drive. That is why it’s important to exercise caution while operating one of these vehicles. Any negligence while driving a rental truck can cause devastating consequences.
Was your car hit by a rental truck? Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW to speak with one of our experienced Ohio truck accident lawyers. Our attorneys have considerable experience with rental truck accidents. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Rental Truck Companies Don’t Train Drivers
It’s easy to rent a truck – almost anyone who is over 20 years old and has a driver’s license can do it. In fact, some rental companies don’t even care if you are that old. Sometimes you can rent a truck if you’re 18 years old and have a driver’s license. Companies don’t require drivers to have a CDL or be trained to drive a large truck. The person renting the truck is not given a course or even a brochure on how to operate the truck safely to avoid accidents.
Rental trucks range from around 10-12 feet, and can even reach up to 26 feet in length. Even the smallest sizes are over twice the length of a regular four-door sedan. Because the tractor is attached to a huge box, it doesn’t have a rearview mirror. Instead, a driver must rely on the two side mirrors. Using only these mirrors can be difficult for an inexperienced truck driver.
Equipment May Not Be Serviced Regularly
Many truck rental companies don’t even rent out their fleet. They usually let a licensed third-party business rent the trucks. That third-party company keeps the trucks on their lot, and the person who handles the rentals may not actually work for the company that owns the truck.
Because these trucks are often rented to handle heavy jobs, they withstand a lot of abuse from people who don’t actually own them and therefore don’t feel the need to be careful with them. The trucks may not be serviced frequently enough to keep them in working condition. The trucks’ engines, tires, brakes, and other parts must be checked and upgraded regularly to deal with the wear and tear they suffer.
Accidents Caused By Rental Trucks
A person driving a rental truck can cause an accident through a number of negligent driving acts, such as:
- Failing to use caution on icy or wet roads
- Following cars too closely
- Not applying the brakes soon enough
- Neglecting to carefully check blind spots
- Making a wide turn without ensuring cars aren’t nearby
A passenger car is no match for a large truck. Being hit by one of these vehicles can cause extensive damage to your car, not to mention what it can do to you or your passengers.
Insurance Options for Rental Trucks
Truck rental companies often offer coverage plans to driver in case the truck is damaged while in their care. A driver’s personal auto insurance plan may not cover them when they are driving a rental car or truck, which is why they can choose to get additional overage from the company. Rental companies may offer the following coverage options:
- Damage waiver– This waives the driver’s liability for damage done to the truck while they were driving it.
- Cargo protection– You can get reimbursed for the goods packed inside the truck in case anything get broken or lost.
- Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)– If you get into an accident and the other driver sues you, SLI would cover damages from the suit.
Because these coverage options are an additional cost, drivers may be inclined to purchase only the damage waiver, or forgo the extra protection entirely. Therefore, if they cause your accident, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Is Liable for a Rental Truck Accident?
A driver’s careless actions often put them at fault for an accident. This is not always the case, though. Others who could be liable include:
- The truck renting company. The company could be negligent in some way. They may rent a truck to a driver who isn’t of legal age or doesn’t have an active driver’s license, or they may neglect the maintenance of their fleet.
- The manufacturer of the trucks. Even trucks that receive regular maintenance aren’t safe if they have parts that malfunction. If these trucks are defective in some way, their manufacturer could be held responsible.
Your Legal Options
After a rental truck accident, you must explore your legal options. If the driver of the truck bought the extra SLI insurance, you could explore a settlement with the insurance company to cover your property damage and medical bills. If the driver didn’t get the additional coverage, you may need to work with their personal insurance company. Should a driver’s plan not cover them when they’re driving a rental, a personal injury lawsuit is a viable option.
No matter what route you want to take, it is vitally important to contact a truck accident attorney to help you through your case.
What Kisling, Nestico & Redick Can Do for You
When you’re hurt in a rental truck accident, there are different outlets you may need to explore to ensure the responsible party pays for your damages. But where do you start? You may not know, but the experienced attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick do.