Throughout late summer and into early fall, the United States regularly sees a steady increase in U-Haul accidents. This increase typically coincides with students transitioning back onto college campuses. U-Haul accidents can result in serious injuries, death, and property damage. As such, New Hampshire motorists must understand their rights and responsibilities in these types of cases. Injury victims may be able to recover from various parties if they are involved in an accident with a U-Haul driver.
Despite their size and similarity to other trucks, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), does not recognize U-Hauls as commercial trucks. As a result, these trucks are not subject to the various safety rules, regulations, and oversight as other similar trucks. These companies typically invest a significant amount of time and money to ensure that their trucks are distinguished from commercial trucking vehicles. Even though these vehicles are involved in many fatal crashes every year, the major rental truck companies continue to successfully lobby against changing the classification of their vehicles.
Unlike commercial vehicles, the law does not require U-Haul drivers to obtain a commercial drivers’ license (CDL). Rental trucks benefit significantly from this exception, because their customers can easily rent a truck without jumping through various hoops. Further, since the law does not categorize these vehicles like commercial trucks, the companies can avoid thorough and costly inspections. As a result, many of their trucks have a substantial number of miles, and may not be in good working condition.
Although U-Haul, and other similar rental truck companies purport to engage in rigorous safety inspections, an investigation revealed that some U-Haul mechanics were falsifying repair records. Moreover, many of the fleet’s trucks contained defective parts, leading to shaky and unstable trailers. Defective parts compounded with inexperienced drivers can lead to serious injuries and death.
For instance, a recent news report described a U-Haul accident that resulted in one person’s death. According to police reports, a U-Haul truck driver struck a tree near a park, resulting in the truck’s passenger’s death. Additionally, another passenger suffered serious injuries, and both the passenger and driver were taken to a hospital.
Rental truck companies typically require renters to purchase insurance and sign a waiver of liability on behalf of the company, in the event the driver is involved in an accident. In most cases, this leaves victims with recourse against the driver and not the rental company. However, there are certain exceptions to the rule, in cases where the company was negligent in renting to the driver or renting a defective truck. It is crucial that individuals contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies in these cases.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a New Hampshire Rental Truck Accident?
If you or someone you know has been injured in a New Hampshire truck accident involving a rental truck driver, contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. For decades, the attorneys at our law firm have provided clients with top-notch representation in their injury lawsuits. Our law firm has successfully handled all types of personal injury lawsuits, ranging from car and truck accidents to medical malpractice claims. Contact our firm at 1-800-804-2004, to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced New Hampshire attorney today.