Why Are So Many Wreckers Involved in Virginia Accidents?

A wrecker provides an invaluable service when a vehicle breaks down and at the scene of an accident. These vehicles, also known as tow trucks, are large, commercial vehicles that can weigh more than 10,000 pounds. When a tow truck operator causes an accident, those in the smaller vehicle can be seriously injured or even killed.  

Tow trucks are meant to be helpful. Are they really that dangerous?

If you or a member of your family were injured in an accident involving a tow truck, we encourage you to speak with a Virginia tow truck accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We offer free initial case reviews to all potential clients

Types of Tow Trucks

Tow trucks are used in many situations to tow away oversized vehicles such as heavy machinery and commercial trucks, and to transport regular passenger vehicles. 

There are four different kinds of tow trucks primarily used by towing companies:

  • Hook-and-Chain trucks: Hook-and-chain trucks tow vehicles by hooking chains around the frame or axle of a vehicle, which is then lifted by a hydraulic pulley with the rear axle remaining on the ground throughout transport. 
  • WheelLift trucks: Wheel-lift trucks work in much the same way as hook-and-chain trucks except that a metal device is positioned underneath the front or back wheels that protects the towed vehicle’s bumper during transport.
  • Integrated trucks: These are a type of lightweight removal truck that is often used to tow away vehicles that are being repossessed or are parked illegally. Integrated trucks are equipped with boons, a device that lets a vehicle be towed even when the keys are not available.
  • Flatbed and Rollback trucks: Flatbed tow trucks use a hydraulic-powered bed to pick up vehicles and set them horizontally on the bed for transport. 

Common Causes of Tow Truck Accidents

Why Are So Many Wreckers Involved in Virginia Accidents?

Tow truck accidents occur for most of the same reasons as any other accident involving a commercial truck. Some of the most common causes include:

  • The operator was exhausted from driving too long without taking a break (drowsy driving).
  • The towed vehicle was not properly secured and became displaced or disconnected from the tow truck.
  • The operator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • The operator was speeding.
  • The tow truck was standing or parked in an area where it was not safe to do so and other vehicles were unable to avoid a collision.
  • The tow truck operator was improperly trained or inexperienced.
  • The truck itself was not properly maintained, leading to a steering or brake malfunction.  

Government-Owned Tow Trucks

Most tow trucks are owned by private companies. However, tow trucks are also frequently used by government entities, such as public works, transportation, police, and fire departments. If a tow truck owned or operated by a government agency caused your accident, there are special notice requirements and other procedural rules that you have to comply with when filing your claim.

Speak With a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today

After being hurt in a tow truck accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury suit to hold the at-fault party responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Don’t put off seeking experienced legal representation after a Virginia tow truck accident. 

The legal team of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, fights for injured clients in Virginia. You can count on our experienced Virginia tow truck accident lawyers to obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today by calling (833) 997-1774.

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