Tow trucks have been in service for almost as long as motorized cars have been on the road. Since tow trucks were first used in the early 1900s, the tow truck industry has become a billion-dollar industry that employs thousands of people across the country. These large trucks are commonly seen on our streets and highways. Whether they are on their way to an accident or have a vehicle in tow, they can cause serious damage and injuries when they are involved in an accident.
Tow truck operators may work as independent contractors, or they may work directly for a towing company. There are three main types of tow trucks — conventional tow trucks, wheel lift or full float trucks, and flatbed tow trucks. Conventional tow trucks are not used as much anymore, but they are still helpful for moving damaged vehicles.
They use chains to hook up vehicles and pull them on two wheels. Flatbed tow trucks are becoming more common because they do not cause damage to front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive autos.
Tow truck companies must properly maintain their vehicles and provide safety and operation training to their drivers. They must hire drivers with good driving records and valid driver’s licenses. If they fail to do so, companies could be held responsible for crashes of their drivers.
Tow truck drivers must have a valid license and permit to operate a vehicle. The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) has rules and regulations for tow truck operators. There are three types of tow truck operations:
- Incident management (IM)
- Private property (PP)
- Consent tows (CT)
Tow trucks must have the proper permits to operate under these different conditions. The permits must be renewed each year. Drivers must complete an educational program that typically consists of an eight-hour towing course. If you are involved in an accident with a tow truck, the driver should provide his or her current driver’s license and valid tow permit.
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What Causes Tow Truck Accidents?
Many different problems may cause tow truck accidents. Some of the most common reasons for tow truck crashes include poorly maintained trucks, improperly hooking up tow vehicles, and inattention to the road. Tow trucks sometimes travel on the side of the road or drive around traffic to get to their destination in a hurry.
Tow trucks should have a working flashing light; however, they do not have sirens and could go unnoticed by other drivers. Tow truck drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way, go through red lights, park improperly, and drive into the rear end of another auto.
Trucking accidents may be due to human error, road conditions, or mechanical problems. The driver or the company may be negligent. A skilled Houston tow truck accident attorney will assist in gathering information about the cause of the crash.
Who is Responsible for a Tow Truck Accident?
The driver and/or the tow company may be held responsible for a tow truck accident. First, you need to determine the cause of the accident.
The negligent party should be held accountable for the crash and any damages and injuries resulting. For example, if the tow truck driver went through a red light and hit your car, the driver is responsible for your injuries. If the owner did not properly maintain the tow truck and the brakes failed, causing the crash, the owner may be responsible.
The tow truck company may be held accountable for their employees while on the job. It is important to evaluate the crash immediately following the incident. An experienced Houston tow truck accident attorney will gather evidence and information about the crash to prove negligence in the case.
What Should I do After a Tow Truck Accident?
There are several things you should do immediately following any type of accident. Call the police to report the accident. The police will respond to the scene and investigate the crash. They will take statements from drivers and witnesses and gather data about the vehicles and drivers.
The paramedics will arrive to evaluate any injuries. If you are hurt, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Contact an attorney to discuss your tow truck accident. Following the crash, do not speak to the insurance company until you talk to an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will advise you regarding communications about the accident.
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How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The law limits your time to file a personal injury lawsuit from a truck accident claim. Texas statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury. Although you have up to two years, it is best to begin the process as soon as possible.
The longer you wait to file a case, the more difficult it will be for your attorney to access the information and proof he or she needs to prove your case. Your lawyer must prove that the driver or tow company was negligent and the negligence caused your injury.
Then you must also have medical reports and other documentation that prove your damages. Damages may include medical bills, physical therapy costs, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering, among other things.
The costs associated with a severe injury can be astronomical. It may take weeks, months, or years to fully recover. If the accident causes a disability, you may never get well and be unable to return to work. Medical expenses can add up, and at the same time, you may not be working.
This can cause a lot of financial difficulties and stress. You do not need to pay for these costs on your own. The negligent party must be brought to justice.
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Contact A Tow Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a town truck accident, call attorney Greg Baumgartner. Our team has the experience and tenacity to handle all truck accident cases. We have helped many people who have been hurt in a tow truck wreck over the last 35 years!
Contact our office today to discuss the details of your injury.
Call us at 281-893-0760 to speak with top-rated truck accident attorney Greg Baumgartner.
WE DO NOT HANDLE PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS- ONLY PERSONAL INJURY!