Tow trucks provide a valuable service at the scene of an accident and when a vehicle breaks down. However, these vehicles are large, commercial trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more. When a tow truck driver causes a crash, the victims can suffer serious injuries or death.
Types of Tow Trucks
Tow trucks are used not only to transport cars and trucks but also to tow away large vehicles like commercial trucks and large machinery. There are four types of tow trucks that are used by towing companies:
- Hook or Chain trucks. These tow trucks use chains that are hooked around the vehicle’s axle or frame, and the vehicle is raised by a hydraulic pulley. The rear axle remains on the ground when the motor vehicle is transported.
- Wheel-Lift trucks. These trucks operate in a similar fashion as hook and chain trucks. However, a metal device is placed under the front or rear wheels to protect the bumper during transport.
- Flatbed trucks. These tow trucks use a hydraulic-powered bed to position the vehicle to be towed.
- Integrated trucks. These are lighter vehicles that are sometimes used to tow vehicles that are illegally parked or are being repossessed. They also have “boons,” which are devices that allow a car or truck to be towed if the keys are not present.
Causes of Tow Truck Accidents
Tow truck crashes occur for many of the same reasons as other commercial truck accidents. Some top causes are:
- The driver was fatigued from driving long hours without a break.
- The vehicle being towed was not secured properly and shifted or became disconnected from the tow truck.
- The driver was intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use.
- The trucker was speeding.
- The tow truck was parked in an unsafe manner, and other motorists had insufficient notice to avoid a collision.
- The tow truck driver was inexperienced.
- The tow truck was not maintained properly, and a part, such as the brakes or steering, malfunctioned.
Who Owned the Tow Truck That Caused Your Accident?
Many tow trucks are owned by private tow truck companies. However, governmental departments, such as transportation, public works, fire, or police departments may also utilize tow trucks. If a government-owned tow truck caused your collision, you must comply with special notice requirements and other procedural rules when filing your claim.
Were you or a family member injured in a tow truck accident in Norfolk? Our experienced truck accident attorneys understand the complexities in these cases and have the skills and resources you need to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Call our office to schedule your free consultation today to learn more about your legal options.