According to data from U Haul, Georgia ranked among the top ten states for growth in 2022 as the company saw an increase in the demand for one-way rentals to our state. While growth is a good thing, this factor has also contributed to a slight uptick in U Haul truck accidents in Georgia, too.
Unfortunately, a U Haul crash can lead to substantial losses. From physical injuries that result in medical bills to costly property damage, losses stack up fast. For that reason, it’s important to understand your legal options for financial recovery. Learn more about the common causes of U-Haul truck accidents in Atlanta, how to identify who is responsible, and how to leverage Georgia’s at-fault system to collect compensation below.
Common Causes of U-Haul Truck Accidents in Atlanta
U Haul truck accidents can happen for many reasons. If you get involved in one of these crashes, then it’s important to investigate the cause since Georgia courtrooms operate on an at-fault basis. In other words, the party that’s found at fault for the U Haul crash will also be considered legal liable for the financial losses associated with the accident.
For instance, if one driver is completely at fault for driving while distracted and causing a crash, then they’ll be on the hook for paying the other party’s medical bills, repair expenses, and other losses.
After experiencing an accident, it’s not always easy to determine fault. That’s why you should immediately call the police out to the scene of the accident while you focus on ensuring everyone is physically safe after the incident. The authorities will begin investigating the cause of the crash, while you and anyone else can receive the medical care they need.
Below, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of U-Haul accidents here in Atlanta.
Inexperienced Drivers in U-Haul Accidents
Most drivers don’t have experience handling moving trucks, yet these types of vehicles are rented out to anyone with a standard driver’s license. Unfortunately, a standard driver’s license test doesn’t prepare a driver to handle the problems they’re likely to encounter with a U Haul.
For one, you should always move slower when you’re handling a U-Haul truck. These trucks are heavier, especially when loaded down with cargo. That said, it’s going to take longer for the truck to stop than it would in your traditional vehicle. For another, traveling on hills and rough terrain is going to be a challenge. While going uphill, you’ll want to shift into a lower gear. While going downhill, slow down and let off the gas. Do not ride your breaks. You’ll need to avoid sharp corners and steep areas because these can easily lead to a loss of control.
Finally, you’ll need to know what happens if you wreck a U Haul. Unfortunately, an accident in a U Haul can be more substantial due to the weight of the truck and the size difference between U Hauls and other vehicles.
If inexperienced driving is the cause of an accident, then that driver will likely be held “at fault” or responsible for the accident. That said, always do your due diligence and learn how to properly handle a loaded U Haul before you take it out on the road.
Truck Defects in Atlanta U-Haul Accidents
Another common cause of U-Haul accidents in Atlanta is truck defects. Truck defects happen when the U Haul manufacturer or designer makes a mistake in the process of developing the U Haul. A mistake can happen during the process of manufacturing truck parts or in the design process. A few examples of truck defects that can lead to an accident include:
- Faulty wiring
- Broken lights
- Defective or broken brakes
- Detaching hitches
- Improperly filled tires or defective tires
When a trucking manufacturer might be the party responsible for your crash, it’s best to consult with an Atlanta trucking accident lawyer. The trucking manufacturer almost certainly has their own legal team, so you need to level the playing field with representation of your own.
Poorly Loaded Cargo in U-Haul Accidents
U-Hauls are rented with one goal in mind – to transport cargo a long way. That said, it’s crucial for everyone who rents a U-Haul to understand how to properly load the truck. When trucks are improperly loaded, it can lead to a crash. That’s because during transport, improperly loaded cargo shifts. This sudden shift in weight can easily cause a truck to flip over or jackknife.
U Haul accident claims that involve improperly loaded cargo are complicated. After all, it’s hard to say who was at fault for the cargo loading failure – U-Haul for failing to warn about proper loading techniques or the customers who loaded the cargo.
The Hazards of Renting U-Haul Equipment
When you rent a U-Haul, you take on a lot of risk. U-Hauls can be very dangerous on the road because they’re often very heavy, bigger than the typical truck, and being driven by inexperienced drivers. What’s more, U-Hauls are often rented for traveling across state lines, so there’s also a great chance that the driver behind the U-Haul is fatigued after driving long distances, too. You need to keep these hazards in mind regardless if you’re the one renting the equipment or you’re driving alongside a U-Haul on the road.
Distracted Driving and U-Haul Truck Accidents
Another huge cause of U Haul truck accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving happens anytime a driver takes their eyes off of the road and diverts their attention elsewhere. Distracted driving is much more common than you’d think. It can happen when you reach for your phone to look at a text, attempt to switch the radio stations, search your GPS for directions, or attempt to eat or drink while driving.
Distracted driving is negligent driving. The distracted driver will be considered at-fault for the accident. It can be tricky to prove distracted driving caused your crash, though, so consider hiring a U Haul or Budget truck accident lawyer if you believe distractions played a role in your crash.
Insurance Coverage for U-Haul Accidents
U-Haul accident claims are further complicated because of the insurance companies that come into play. When you rent the UHaul, you may have also purchased Safemove coverage. UHaul offers two different levels. The first level of insurance covers damage to the truck and your belongings as well as medical protection. You can also purchase additional liability coverage. Your typical insurance policy, in most cases, won’t cover you if you cause a crash while driving a U-Haul.
How to Know Who is Responsible for a U-Haul Truck Accident
U-Haul accident claims are complicated, and who pays for the losses often comes down to determining who was responsible for the accident. So, how do you make that determination? Often, this process starts when the authorities arrive at the scene of the accident. They’ll start an initial investigation into what happened and make a determination on their police report. If further investigation is required, insurance companies, legal teams, or independent agencies can continue to search for evidence to prove what happened in the accident. You can secure evidence in the form of witness statements, surveillance footage of the accident, dash cam footage, photographs of the scene of the crash, and more.
Georgia is also a modified comparative negligence state, which means you can only collect compensation if you were less than 50% at fault for the accident. That said, make sure to investigate the accident even if you think you contributed to it. You may still be eligible for partial compensation.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a U-Haul Accident
U-Haul accident claims are very complicated, and they often involve various different insurance companies. U-Haul insurance claims could involve your personal insurance adjusters or the adjusters from the trucker’s insurance company.
It might be best to hire a U-Haul, Budget, Enterprise, or tow truck accident lawyer depending on the specifics of your situation. That way, you can ensure that you file a claim with the proper insurance agencies and that your rights get upheld throughout the process.
How an Atlanta U-Haul Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
A UHaul lawsuit is going to be complicated, especially if multiple drivers are involved, there’s a debate over what caused the crash, or the losses are substantial. When the potential U Haul accident settlement is large, there’s usually more of an incentive for both parties to fight the claims against them.
The right UHaul or Enterprise truck accident lawyer can help along the way by helping you strengthen your claim with the right evidence, negotiating with the other parties, and representing you in the event your case goes to trial.
Are You Considering Filing a Claim?
U Haul truck accidents are often far more destructive than you might initially think. Physical injuries can result in a host of unexpected financial losses like medical expenses and lost wages. Property damage can also stack up fast.
If you’re considering filing a claim, then it might be in your best interests to first contact a local lawyer for more information.
If you’re in Atlanta, then Singleton Law Firm can help. Call us or leave your contact details on our online form now to get in touch and schedule a consultation. We will go over what happened, what caused your crash, the extent of your losses, and help you make an informed decision on whether pursuing a claim is best in your situation.