Who Is at Fault in a Rental Truck Injury?
Posted in Truck Accidents on June 13, 2018
Rental vehicles are useful and many people choose to rent a truck to move, instead of hiring a moving company. While this move can save money, it also comes with risks. Depending on the size of the rental truck, the driver may not be as experienced behind the wheel. Navigating a large vehicle can require different skills on the road, or a truck accident in Nashville may occur.
Unfortunately, that unfamiliarity can lead to accidents. The problem soon becomes a question of fault: the driver may have caused an accident, but the vehicle belongs to the rental company. Just where does the liability lie?
Causes of Rental Truck Accidents
Given how different rental trucks can be from everyday vehicles, it’s no wonder that people have difficulty driving them. Factors that can contribute to accidents include:
- Lack of knowledge or experience driving a large truck
- Less maneuverability
- Limited visibility
- Lower speed capacity
- Weight distribution differences
Not knowing how to handle these issues can contribute to an accident. For those planning on using rental trucks for their move or other activities, it is best to take time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle before driving.
Who Is Liable for Rental Truck Accidents?
Some may assume that vicarious liability means the rental company is liable if their truck is involved in an accident, but this is not the case. If the rental truck driver causes the accident, then he or she is the one at fault, and the court will handle the incident like any other car accident case.
However, some situations may leave the rental company at fault. This may be the case if the rental company has not maintained their truck properly, such as lack of brake maintenance not allowing the driver to slow down in time before a collision. On the other hand, in situations where the accident was the result of negligence on the driver’s part, then the fault lies with the driver, not the company.
Rental Vehicle Insurance
Before renting a vehicle of any kind, it is important to have the proper insurance. Many car insurance policies do not offer coverage of rental vehicles, requiring purchase of an additional policy. Different rental car insurance policies can cover different vehicles, too, so it is important to search for an option that will cover rental trucks, as well as being aware of what passenger and cargo coverage there is.
As liability lies with the driver in the event of an accident, rental vehicle insurance can remove some of the financial burden for an at-fault accident. Many rental companies also offer insurance options in the process of renting a truck.
Ways to Lower Risk of Rental Truck Accidents
Rental companies may advertise the ease of driving a large vehicle, but it does have complications. Drivers preparing to rent a truck should take care to find one that they feel comfortable handling on the road. Asking for additional training and assistance from the rental company can save a lot of trouble when you get on the road.
If a rental company isn’t willing to provide help and answer questions, it can be best to find a different company. While there may be other variables that lead a driver to rent from one company, it is still better to be secure while driving instead of inviting risk while driving.
In the Event of an Accident
For those injured in a rental truck accident, the same processes for compensation apply as in any other car accident. Consulting a Nashville personal injury attorney can help determine a victim’s legal rights and facilitate the process of seeking compensation.