Illinois Attorneys for People Injured In Accidents With U-Haul Trailers, Vans & Trucks
U-Haul is a go-to source of vehicles for those who are looking to move or transport items around town or across long distances. Many of the drivers who rent trucks and vans from U-Haul are inexperienced with operating larger vehicles.
These drivers are unaware of the potential issues the rental trucks may have that could contribute to the risk of an accident. U-Haul accidents are more challenging to evaluate and take action on because liability for collisions is often shared between the driver operating the vehicle at the time of the crash, U-Haul’s responsibility for its maintenance and the vehicle manufacturer if any defective equipment is determined to be a contributing factor.
Various factors may contribute to an accident, so it is crucial to discuss your situation with an Illinois U-Haul accident attorney as soon as feasible.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents drivers, passengers and other motorists injured in U-Haul van, truck and trailer accidents across Illinois. Contact our law office for a free case evaluation with an attorney who can advise you of your rights under Illinois tort law.
The Most Common Causes of U-Haul Accidents
Unless drivers have commercial driver’s licenses and work with large vehicles on a regular basis, they are often uneducated on the safety concerns related to large trucks or trailers. This inexperience can be exacerbated by other means if drivers are negligent or reckless while operating the vehicles.
Causes of U-Haul Accidents include the following.
- Inexperience with vehicle or equipment— One of the most common causes of accidents involving drivers operating larger trucks is that the drivers underestimate the amount of space taken up by the vehicle. Sideswipe accidents, colliding with the rear end of passenger cars and blind spot accidents are all the result of inexperienced drivers’ failure to respect the space the U-Haul vehicle occupies.
- Cargo shifts or imbalance— Experienced truck drivers know that the distribution of weight inside of a truck or trailer impacts the ease in which it can be maneuvered and controlled. When the weight shifts or is imbalanced, it can increase the risk of rollover events, cause the driver to lose control of the trailer or make it more difficult to slow down or stop safely.
- Failure to obey traffic laws— Speeding, ignoring traffic control devices and failing to yield the right of way cause many accidents. Drivers operating U-Haul vehicles are subject to the same laws that everyone else must follow. Unfortunately, not all drivers behind the wheel of a U-Haul abide by the law.
- Runaway trailer or trailer sway— When towing a trailer, it is essential to be aware of its location on the road and not to allow the trailer to swing out in either direction. When this occurs, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain control and the trailer could collide with other vehicles or break away.
- Distracted driving— Drivers who use electronic devices like cell phones while operating vehicles are three times as likely to be involved in an accident. Texting and talking on the phone are significant concerns. Deciding to turn off a cell phone while getting behind the wheel can save lives.
- Driving while under the influence of controlled substances— Drugs and alcohol reduce reaction time, influence the ability to make rational decisions and can cause drivers to act more recklessly than they would in a sober state. The stopping distance required when driving most U-Haul vehicles can be significant when coupled with intoxication and can lead to catastrophic consequences.
- Mechanical failures— The condition of vehicles rented from U-Haul must always come into question following an accident because U-Haul must inspect each truck, trailer or van and make appropriate repairs before allowing drivers to take possession. Some accidents may be the result of tire blowouts, poor brakes or other mechanical failures that cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. If the mechanical failure is the result of a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer might share liability as well.
U-Haul Accidents Cause Greater Harm than Typical Automotive Accidents
One of the most significant concerns about renting large trucks to inexperienced or unqualified drivers is that the operator rarely respects the power and size of the vehicles they are operating.
Some U-Haul vehicles are comparable to the size of semi-tractors and can crush or pulverize passenger cars during an accident.
The types of injuries that the occupants of those vehicles may endure might include:
- Crushed or shattered bones— The crushing nature of an impact with a truck can result in compound fractures, broken bones or bones which have been crushed beneath the weight of the wreckage. It often requires surgical intervention to reposition bones to heal, and in many cases, the victim may never fully recover.
- Deep lacerations and loss of limb— Glass, metal and the road itself are all capable of cutting into flesh during an accident. These deep cuts can result in scarring, infections, the loss of a limb or the need to amputate a limb, which is infected or injured beyond the possibility of repair.
- Traumatic brain injury— Impacts to the head or sudden changes in speed can cause the brain to strike the skull and begin to swell. Micro-tears in the brain can cause bleeding as well, and the symptoms of trauma to the brain may not always present initially after an accident. When undetected, traumatic brain injuries grow more severe over time and impact cognitive functions, memory and the ability to concentrate. Neurological disorders may also result from traumatic brain injuries.
- Neck and spinal injuries— Injuries to the neck or spine have the potential to cause extreme pain following the injury and during the process of recovery if the victim is still able to walk. Many of the injuries to the neck or spine suffered in U-Haul accidents leave victims paralyzed and forever altering their quality of life. The cost of caring for a patient who has been paralyzed can exceed $2 million over his or her lifetime.
- Death— Some victims are not lucky enough to receive medical care in time or die as a result of severe complications brought on by their injuries. Their families have a right to compensation for the loss of a loved one who acted as a breadwinner and companion.
Attorneys With Experience Prosecuting Illinois U-Haul Accident Injury Cases
If you were injured, or a loved one was killed in an Illinois U-Haul accident, you may not know where to begin when filing a compensation claim. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experience and success when representing clients harmed in crashes on Illinois roads and highways.
Contact us now to learn how we can maximize the compensation you deserve to recover. Our comprehensive knowledge of applicable laws and access to numerous resources allow us to ensure you receive the care you need. You can also learn more about your rights and legal options during a free consultation with our attorneys.
Your consultation comes with no risk or obligation, and we will never require upfront fees for our services or access to our resources. We only receive payment for our services once we have collected compensation for our clients. If we are unable to recover damages on your behalf, you can be assured that our services will be completely free of charge.