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 vehicles from U-Haul are inexperienced with operating larger vehicles and are unaware of the potential issues the rental vehicles may have that could contribute to the risk of an accident. U-Haul accidents are more difficult to evaluate and take action on because liability for collisions is often shared between the driver operating the vehicle at the time of the accident, U-Haul for its maintenance of the vehicle and the vehicle manufacturer in the event that defective equipment is determined to be a contributing factor.
With a variety of factors which may contribute to an accident, it is important to discuss your situation with an Illinois U-Haul accident attorney as soon as feasible. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers 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 through 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 vehicles is that the drivers underestimate the amount of space taken up by the vehicle. Side swipe accidents, collisions with the rear end of vehicles 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 come to a stop safely.
- Failure to obey traffic laws— speeding, ignoring traffic control devices and the failure to yield right of way are the cause of many accidents and drivers operating U-Haul vehicles are subject to the same laws everyone else must follow. As is the case with all drivers, 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 important 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 control the trailer and the trailer could collide with other vehicles or break away.
- Distracted driving— Drivers that use electronic devices such as cell phones while operating vehicles are three times as likely to be involved in an accident. Texting and talking on the phone are major concerns and the decision alone 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 is greater so when this is coupled with intoxication it has catastrophic consequences.
- Mechanical failures— The state of vehicles rented from U-Haul must always come into question following an accident because it is the duty of U-Haul to inspect each vehicle 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 manufactural defect, the manufacturer can share liability as well.
One of the greatest concerns about renting large trucks to inexperienced or unqualified drivers is that the drivers rarely respect 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 vehicles during an accident. One can only imagine the types of injuries that the occupants of those vehicles may endure.
- Crushed or shattered bones— The crushing nature of an impact with a truck can result in compound fractures, shattered bones or bones which have been crushed beneath the weight of the wreckage. It often requires surgical intervention to position bones to be able to heal again 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 the course of 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 themselves initially following 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, however, 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 the 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.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Illinois U-Haul accident, you may not know where to begin when filing a claim. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience and success when representing clients harmed in accidents on Illinois roads and highways.
Contact us now to learn how we can maximize the compensation you are able to recover through our advanced knowledge of applicable laws and access to numerous resources that allow us to ensure you receive the care you need and deserve. You can also learn more about your rights and legal options during a free consultation with an attorney.
Your consultation comes at no risk or obligation and we will never require an upfront payment 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.