U-Haul is a popular rental company for trucks and trailers. Depending on availability, you could rent a 26-foot truck. Unfortunately, a person does not need a commercial truck license or special training to rent a U-Haul truck.
Moving trucks can be difficult to handle, especially when they are fully loaded or hauling a car or moving trailer. Even an experienced driver could have difficulty driving a large moving truck for the first time. The result could be a catastrophic accident.
Who Is Liable for a U-Haul Accident in Houston?
Texas is an at-fault state for auto accident liability. If a driver causes an accident, the driver can be held personally liable for injuries and damages. Generally, the person’s car insurance company pays the damages.
If a problem with the U-Haul truck caused the accident, the company might be liable for damages. For example, suppose the company failed to maintain the brakes, which led to a rear-end accident. In that case, you might have a claim against U-Haul for the accident.
Does Insurance Cover U-Haul Accidents?
State law requires drivers to purchase minimum amounts of liability insurance. Texas requires all drivers to have a minimum of $30,000 for bodily injuries ($60,000 per accident) and $25,000 for property damage.
However, some car insurance policies exclude rental vehicles. Therefore, the driver’s personal insurance provider might not be liable for damages. You would need to verify coverage with the driver’s insurance provider.
U-Haul offers several types of optional insurance coverage. Therefore, U-Haul’s insurance carrier might cover the damages caused by a U-Haul accident. However, if the driver did not pay for the optional insurance coverage, you might need to sue the driver for damages.
Does My Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Apply?
If you have uninsured motorist insurance coverage, you should be able to file a claim for an uninsured U-Haul accident. Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for damages when an uninsured driver causes an accident.
Your insurance provider stands in the place of the uninsured driver. Therefore, you should be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages. You should also be able to receive compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.
However, you must prove that the other driver did not have insurance coverage for the accident. You must also prove the driver caused the accident.
Even though you are dealing with your insurance provider, recovering compensation might not be easy. For example, your insurance company could allege you contributed to the cause of the accident, or your damages are not as extensive as you claim.
Regardless of whose insurance company handles the claim, it is best to talk with a Houston U-Haul accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
What Damages Could I Receive for a U-Haul Accident Claim?
Accident victims in Texas may recover compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Examples of the types of damages you might receive include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Past and future cost of medical treatment
- Cost of in-home or long-term nursing care
- Assistance without personal care and/or household services
- Loss of income and benefits
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Decrease in quality of life
An accident victim could also be entitled to punitive damages. However, Texas law states punitive damages are only recoverable if the victim proves the at-fault party acted with gross negligence, fraud, or malice.
What Should I Do After a U-Haul Accident in Houston?
Protecting your rights after a U-Haul accident begins at the accident scene. Do not admit fault or say anything that suggests you could be partially to blame for the cause of the U-Haul accident.
Call 911 to request assistance. The Houston Police Department or the State Police may respond depending on the location.
While waiting for the police officers to arrive, take pictures of the accident scene. Make a video of the accident, including the location of the vehicles and the property damage. Ask witnesses for their contact information.
Go see a doctor as soon as possible. Insurance companies use delays in medical care to avoid liability or diminish the value of your damages.
Seek legal advice from a Houston personal injury lawyer before talking with an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement offer. Accident claims involving U-Hauls and other rented vehicles can be complicated.
Having legal counsel helps you avoid mistakes that could hurt your case. An injury lawyer also protects you from bad faith insurance practices that could prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Houston Truck Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054