Tow trucks are a necessity on the road, especially after an accident. Vehicles break down in dangerous areas and need to be moved, and only a properly equipped truck can tow such a vehicle to a safe location. Tow trucks are sometimes involved in accidents themselves, however. Such a large vehicle, especially if it is towing another car, can cause serious physical and property damage.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a tow truck, you need a lawyer who understands St. Louis truck accident law. You’ve just been through a terrible ordeal, but our skilled legal team is here to help. The award-winning truck accident attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC have the drive, resources, and experience needed to recover full compensation for tow truck victims.
We’ve secured more than $3 billion dollars in settlements for our clients, and we can help you, too. Contact the personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Call (314) 963-9000.
Why You Need A Lawyer to Handle Your Case
If you’ve been in an accident with a tow truck, there are several parties that may have liability for the crash. Fault may lie not only with the driver, but also with the towing company. Large trucks can cause a lot of damage and devastating injuries in an accident, and your claim could cost the towing company’s insurer a lot of money.
A skilled lawyer can deal with the insurance company for you, as well as collect evidence and conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine who was at fault. If someone else’s negligence was responsible for your injuries, a good accident attorney can make them pay.
Why Hire Us?
OnderLaw, LLC has years of experience helping clients recover millions in compensation for their injuries, in St. Louis and nationwide. We take pride in our ability to provide top-quality, personalized legal representation to each of our clients. When you hire our firm, you bring in an award-winning team of advocates who will fight relentlessly for your rights to compensation for your injuries.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand the pain of recovering from a massive truck accident. We help people going through the same situation every day. We can handle the legal battle while you focus on what’s most important right now: your own health and your family’s well-being.
Our firm and our attorneys have been honored by numerous prestigious legal organizations for our work supporting our clients. We received a Martindale-Hubbell AV® peer review rating for our legal abilities and high general ethical standards. We were named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Super Lawyers list, and were named by National Trial Lawyers as the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
Causes of Tow Truck Accidents
Driving a tow truck has challenges that go beyond the usual dangers that drivers of other vehicles face. A tow truck driver receives special training to learn how to properly secure a car to the hitch or trailer. Federal law requires a driver towing more than 26,000 pounds to have a commercial driver’s license. An unqualified driver or one that doesn’t follow the right procedures may cause an accident.
Here are some common risk factors in tow truck accidents:
- Reckless driving to get to an accident scene – Towing companies compete for business, and the first truck on the scene will be rewarded with a new client. Irresponsible drivers sometimes exceed speed limits and violate the rules of the road in order to get there first.
- Poor maintenance – Like any vehicle, tow trucks require regular maintenance and inspection to ensure their safety. Brakes, suspension, transmission, signal lights, headlights—any of these components or others could fail on the road, causing a catastrophic accident. Additionally, the towing mechanism must be frequently inspected and maintained to ensure that a connection doesn’t detach during transport.
- Overloading/Improper loading – It takes extra training to learn to load and secure a vehicle to a tow truck. The driver must observe weight limits and often-complicated connecting procedures.
- Drowsy, distracted, or drunk driving – Tow truck drivers typically work long and late hours. Many towing companies operate 24 hours a day. It’s very easy for an exhausted driver to make a fatal mistake. As with any other vehicle, distracted or intoxicated driving is extremely dangerous—but with a tow truck, the consequences can be much greater.
- Driver error – Many hazards exist on the road, and a driver must have the experience necessary to avoid an accident. The driver might miss a car in its blind spot, they might take a corner too quickly, or they may follow the car in front too closely. Any of these things could lead to a serious crash.
A good accident investigation can uncover important facts, such as whether the driver was qualified and followed proper towing and driving procedures, whether the towing company performed necessary background checks, and whether they properly maintained the vehicle.
Injuries In Tow Truck Accidents
Tow trucks are heavy vehicles. Even lighter trucks can weigh around five tons, and tow a weight of 7,000 to 11,000 pounds. Larger tow trucks and car carriers can weigh upwards of 23 tons, in addition to their payload. When one of these vehicles crashes, it can cause significant devastation to other cars on the road as well as the surrounding environment. The car being towed poses an additional hazard, as it may become unhitched during the accident and impact other vehicles.
Any combination of injuries is possible, but the types of injuries a tow truck accident victim might sustain include:
- Minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Internal bruising and bleeding from massive impacts within the car
- Lacerations and deep cuts from broken glass and metal debris
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Back and neck trauma or whiplash
- Head and brain trauma, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage
- Neck and spinal injuries, possibly resulting in partial or complete paralysis
You should discuss your injuries with your lawyer as soon as possible to determine how they might impact the compensation in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve just been in an accident with a tow truck, you may have many questions. Here are answers to the most common questions we receive. Your lawyer can provide more detailed information when you meet to discuss your case.
What can I do to help my claim?
If you are seeking compensation for your injuries in a tow truck accident, there are several steps you should take to ensure the case you make for compensation is as strong as possible.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t think you were injured, you may be suffering from serious internal damage that you won’t feel until much later. Symptoms from a concussion, internal bleeding, and back or neck injuries may wait a day or more to emerge. If you don’t get checked out after the accident, the insurance company may try to argue that you weren’t injured at all. Obtain a diagnosis from your doctor and follow their treatment plan and all recommendations.
- Take pictures of the accident site, of your injuries, and of damage to the vehicles. Try to get photographic evidence as soon as possible after the crash, before injuries begin to heal and before vehicle damage is repaired.
- Write a detailed account as soon as possible. Before your memory fades, make detailed notes about what happened directly before, during, and after the crash. If the driver’s negligent behavior is corroborated by witnesses, your notes may be an important part of your case.
- Keep all records in a single file. Collect all medical records, receipts, insurance policies, pictures, and contact info for the other driver and witnesses in one place.
- Don’t sign anything or make any statements until you talk to your lawyer. Right after the crash, you don’t have a full understanding of what happened, and you may say something the insurance company could use later that would hurt your claim.
- Hire an attorney. Contact the accident insurance claim lawyers at OnderLaw, LLC right away to handle your case. Our team can answer all your questions and get started on your claim immediately.
The success of your claim will rest partly on your ability to provide necessary medical and accident-related documentation.
What kinds of insurance do tow truck drivers and companies carry?
Missouri law requires towing companies to have a minimum of $15,000/$30,000 in liability coverage. They may also hold medical coverage for passengers, comprehensive coverage for non-accident damage, uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, and on-hook coverage, which protects the vehicle they are towing.
What can I be compensated for in a tow truck accident claim?
Each accident is unique, and the type of compensation you receive for an accident will depend on the level of negligence of the other driver or towing company, as well as the severity of your injuries. There are several typical forms compensation may take, however:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Payment of long-term care costs
- Compensation for wages lost during your recovery
- Restitution for loss of household income
- Funeral or burial expenses in the tragic event of a death
Medical care is extremely expensive, especially for the kinds of injuries sustained in truck accidents. Compensation and reimbursement of lost wages may be key to your successful recovery.
Speak With a Tow Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is suffering from injuries sustained in an accident with a tow truck, you need an experienced St. Louis truck accident attorney on your side. Our award-winning legal professionals will research every aspect of your case to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.