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How Are Tow Truck Accident Claims Handled?

When many people hear about truck accidents, they don’t usually picture tow trucks as the type of truck involved in the crash, however, the truth is that tow trucks are involved in many crashes that cause serious injury to the victims. Each year, more than 4,000 victims die in commercial truck accidents and tow trucks are included in that number.

Since tow trucks are used to tow other vehicles, they are incredibly heavy. There are several types of tow trucks that are seen on North Carolina roads and anyone of them can cause severe damage in a crash:

  • Flatbed: These large tow trucks have a flatbed where vehicles can be pulled up onto by a hydraulic lift. This removes the vehicle that is being transferred completely off the road.
  • Hook and chain: These types of tow trucks are usually only used nowadays with vehicles that are going to junkyards because they are known to cause damage to vehicles.
  • Integrated:  These are very large tow trucks that are used to tow tractor-trailers, buses, and other large vehicles.
  • Wheel lift: These tow trucks are smaller and use hooks to tow the vehicle behind them.

Given the size and weight of these vehicles, accidents with tow trucks can be just deadly as other types of truck accidents. Victims often suffer serious to catastrophic injuries that can have a profound impact on their lives.

Tow Truck Accidents

National statistics show that almost 95 percent of all vehicle accidents are caused by human error, including taking dangerous risks while driving. This also applies to truck drivers. If you are injured as a result of a negligent tow truck operator, you may be entitled to pursue damages against the driver and the company he or she works for.

It is up to the towing company to ensure that the drivers they hire are properly trained and licenses. Towing other vehicles requires knowledge and skill and an inexperienced or untrained tow truck driver can cause a serious accident if they don’t know what they are doing.

Some of the other common causes of tow truck accidents include the following:

  • The tow truck driver failed to secure the vehicle they were transporting.
  • The tow truck driver was speeding.
  • The tow truck driver ran a red light or stop sign.
  • The tow truck driver was driving too fast for road and/or weather conditions.
  • The tow truck driver failed to yield.
  • The tow truck driver was engaged in distracted driving behavior, such as texting or setting GPS.
  • The tow truck driver was engaged in reckless driving.
  • The tow truck driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Contact a Carolina Accident Attorney

If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, contact a seasoned North Carolina truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Even if it is not entirely clear who is the at-fault party, a Carolinas injury attorney will be able to determine which party or parties are liable. At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, our injury attorneys have represented numerous truck accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results. 

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Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia