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What Happens if I Was Hit by a U-Haul With No Insurance? Who is Liable?
If you are hit by a vehicle of the U-Haul fleet and there is no insurance coverage in place, you can still pursue financial compensation. Unfortunately, liability can be harder to prove in U-Haul collisions than in regular vehicular collisions because U-Hauls are large vehicles that have been rented out to individual drivers.
Liability will depend on the particularities of the accident, as well as in which state the accident occurred. If liability can be proven against the defendant, then you may win the lawsuit.
What Determines Liability in a U-Haul Accident?
Liability is assessed based on several factors, centered around the concept of negligence. If these elements are present in the U-Haul accident, then a party may be held responsible. Collisions involving trucks are generally more complicated than car-to-car collisions.
- Duty of care: All drivers have a duty to drive safely and cautiously. U-Haul also has a duty to ensure that their fleet is in a roadworthy condition before being rented and that the company is not renting the vehicle to an inappropriate person.
- Breach of duty: Since the duty of care has already been established, the failure to meet that duty constitutes negligence. This is necessary to determine liability.
- Causation: If negligence can be proven to have caused the accident in some way, the negligent party may be held liable. This could be either the driver of the U-Haul vehicle or the U-Haul company itself.
- Quantifiable damages: If there are measurable damages as a result of the negligence, then liability may be established. Commercial truck collisions can often result in expensive bills, as well as non-economic damages (e.g. emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life).
The more high-quality evidence you can find to support your claim, the more likely it is that your lawsuit will be successful against the defendant.
When is the U-Haul Company Held Liable?
Typically, U-Haul will not be held responsible for any accidents that are caused by the drivers who rented the fleet vehicle, but exceptions do exist. In these exceptions, you may be able to successfully file a lawsuit against U-Haul itself.
If U-Haul is found negligent, proceedings to prove liability may be commenced, and a successful lawsuit against the company may be made.
If U-Haul is guilty of negligence in their act of renting out the vehicle, they may be held liable. The following may be seen as negligence:
Renting the U-Haul Vehicle to the Wrong Person
If the driver was unlicensed, deemed incompetent or unfit to drive, or intoxicated at the time of rental, U-Haul may be held responsible for the accident even though the driver is not a U-Haul employee.
Failure to Perform Proper Vehicular Maintenance
It is U-Haul’s duty to inspect, maintain, and repair their vehicles on a regular basis. If the fleet is not in safe operating condition, U-Haul may be held liable for any accident that occurs as a result of improper maintenance. Examples include renting out vehicles that have faulty tires, problems with the steering or kingpin systems, or malfunctioning brakes.
If a part of the vehicle is investigated and found to be defective from the start, the manufacturer and distributor of the vehicular component may be found liable instead.
Failure to Provide Necessary Safety Information
Trucks and trailers have safety instructions that differ from passenger car safety rules. If U-Haul neglects to provide the renting driver with the necessary safety information or manuals, then U-Haul may be found negligent.
U-Hauls are vehicles often rented by drivers for the purpose of moving heavy loads, but the renters are not necessarily professional truck drivers. There are specific safety guidelines for driving a heavily-loaded truck, and U-Haul must ensure that the driver is aware of them. Otherwise, the large U-Haul vehicles can be a serious danger on the roads.
When is the Driver of a U-Haul Held Liable for an Accident?
If U-Haul cannot be proven to be negligent, then it is time to look at whether the driver may be held liable for any deaths, injuries, or damages following the accident.
Your status as a passenger of either the U-Haul vehicle or the vehicle that the U-Haul vehicle collided with usually does not affect whether or not you are eligible for financial compensation.
The driver may be held liable for the accident if liability can be established.
Where Do We See Liability or Insurance Status Being Challenged?
Vehicular collision laws and insurance laws may vary greatly from state to state. In some states, including California, auto insurers may offer uninsured/underinsured insurance; in others, bodily injury or property damage liability coverage may be mandated.
Dealing with liability can be a difficult matter, both legally and mentally, especially if you are the victim of a U-Haul accident.
Even if your driver does not personally have rental insurance, it is typically a good idea to double-check whether the insurance carrier of any party involved in the accident might cover any injuries or damages.
Quality of Evidence
It is generally recommended that you find an attorney as soon as possible who can help you request the necessary evidence for your case. Key information related to the accident, such as evidence from tech devices, driving logs, and government agencies, may all be wiped in routine information disposals if there is a long delay.
Evidence may come in the form of photos, weather conditions at the time of the collision, witness testimony, and more. Experienced attorneys can help you gather the highest quality evidence and ask the right questions in order to establish who is liable for the wreck.
Time Limitations of Filing a Lawsuit
Whether or not liability can be proven, it is important to file a lawsuit as soon as possible. In many states, the statute of limitations will give parties in an accident a certain time-frame within which to sue. Once that window closes, a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party may not be possible.
Multiple Parties are Liable in the Accident
In some cases, it may be possible for you to make multiple claims to maximize the financial compensation received. A thorough investigation of the potentially liable parties may result in the discovery of more than one.
Your Action Step: How to Best Pursue Your Compensation?
Being in an accident with a U-Haul truck can be incredibly traumatic and financially costly. Let us help you so that you can focus on your mental well-being, physical recovery, and getting back to life before the accident.
If you were involved in a U-Haul accident and are worried about inadequate insurance coverage for your injuries or damages, call the powerful lawyers for a consultation so you can start seeking the compensation you deserve, today. We are always ready to take your call, (844) 844-POWER and see what it’s like to have our team at Power Trial Lawyers on your side.
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