U-Hauls are ubiquitous. These white and orange trailers and trucks are found in every state of the US. People use them to do everything from moving across town to across the country. However, U-Hauls have a little-known dark side: they are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road.
This is a problem because U-Hauls have become even more popular in recent years. That means that you’re more likely than ever to get hurt in an accident with a negligent U-Haul driver.
Whether you’ve already suffered a U-Haul accident or you’re concerned about a future crash, it helps to understand why these trucks are so dangerous. Here’s what you need to know about U-Haul’s increasing popularity, the dangers of U-Haul trucks, and what to do if you’ve been hurt in a U-Haul accident.
U-Haul Use Has Skyrocketed in California
In the last few years, the housing market has grown dramatically. People are buying and selling homes at a dramatic pace, meaning that there are more moving vans on the road than ever before.
In fact, U-Haul use has risen so much that California briefly ran out of trucks. So many California residents were renting U-Hauls to move to other states that there were simply no more cross-state U-Hauls available to use. Considering that U-Haul attempts to keep several thousand available trucks in the state at all times, that demonstrates exactly how many Californians are driving these trucks every day.
U-Hauls Accidents: Common and Deadly
The rise in the popularity of U-Haul and other truck rental services wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t so dangerous. However, these trucks are frequently involved in fatal crashes. The question is simple: why?
There are four dangerous problems with this increased reliance on rental and U-Haul trucks:
- Untrained drivers: Most people have no experience driving something the size of a moving truck. While anyone with a standard driver’s license is permitted to rent these vehicles, they are unlikely to actually know how to handle a massive truck or trailer. As a result, they’re less likely to understand how to avoid an accident and more likely to cause accidents that lead to significant injuries. Worse, U-Haul has been found to actively rent out trailers that are dangerous to the average driver.
- Oversized loads: Many people try to overload their moving trucks to get things from one place to another in as few trips as possible. While that’s understandable, it also means that the vehicles are extremely heavy and vulnerable to loads shifting from side to side. That can make accidents more likely as the truck’s center of gravity shifts and forces the driver to compensate unexpectedly.
- Tight time limits: Many rental trucks have a strict deadline by which the vehicle needs to be returned and significant fines for late returns. Drivers trying to avoid those fees are more likely to speed to get all of their trips finished. Speeding makes accidents more likely and more deadly, especially for overstuffed trucks driven by someone without proper training.
- Inconsistent maintenance: While U-Haul trucks are supposed to receive frequent maintenance, the company’s fleet includes tens of thousands of vehicles. Each U-Haul location is responsible for maintaining the vehicles stored there. It only takes a few negligent people for trucks to go without critical repairs long enough that they become dangerous. Just like speeding, a poorly maintained truck makes accidents more common and more deadly.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a U-Haul Accident
Between the lack of training, incentives to speed and overload trucks, and inconsistent truck maintenance, rental trucks like U-Haul create the perfect conditions for significant accidents. If you’ve already been hurt in one of these crashes, you deserve help paying for your medical bills.
The best way to get that help depends on your situation. In a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance is usually responsible for covering your medical expenses. However, insurance on U-Hauls can get complicated. There are three types of insurance you may need to consider:
- The other driver’s standard car insurance: If the other driver is at fault and has car insurance, their policy most likely covers accidents in rental trucks. In this case, you’ll need to prove the other driver was at fault and contact their insurance.
- Insurance specific to the rental truck: Some drivers choose extra insurance to cover rental accidents. Many truck rental companies offer policies to cover the period when the driver is responsible for the vehicle. These policies are specifically intended to cover accidents like yours. Again, you’ll need to prove to the rental insurance company that the other driver was at fault.
- The rental company’s insurance: Sometimes, neither driver is truly at fault for an accident. If the driver who hit you was fighting a poorly maintained rental, then the company that owns the truck may be liable for your injuries instead. If this is true, you’ll need to contact the company and make your claim against their insurance instead of the other driver’s policies.
Depending on the situation, you may need to file claims against two or three of these policies. It’s essential to file your claim quickly and accurately to give yourself the best possible chance of receiving the funds you need to recover from the accident.
Make Your Claims Against Dangerous Rental Truck Companies
U-Haul and other companies like it offer an important service. They make it easier for people to move without paying for professional help. However, these services also put ordinary people in charge of heavy, unwieldy trucks that are significantly more dangerous in an accident than the average car. That means that they put every other driver on the road at risk.
If you’ve been hurt in a U-Haul accident, you’re not alone. You need to take action quickly to file a claim against the person or company whose negligence caused your accident. That’s where an experienced truck accident lawyer can help.
The right lawyer can help you file your claims with the right insurance companies and make sure you get the funds you need to get back to your everyday life. You can schedule your consultation with the experts at the Law Offices of Michael Oran, APC, to learn more