Most people have probably seen a tow truck speeding along the highway, perhaps even on the shoulder of the road, while heading toward an accident. While any vehicle can be involved in a traffic collision, tow truck operators are at higher risk. This is because they are often called to accident scenes where traffic may be congested and backed up for miles. Tow truck operators are considered emergency responders in California, and the “move over” law applies to them as well as police vehicles, ambulances and fire trucks. However, the operators of tow trucks can cause accidents themselves, which can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.
If you need immediate assistance after a collision with a tow truck, call the Law Offices of David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 to begin a free review of your important case.
Justice with a Los Angeles Tow Truck Accident Lawyer
David has been working as a truck accident injury lawyer in Los Angeles and the area surrounding it for more than 25 years. There are good reasons that the legal ranking firm Super Lawyers names him as a top Los Angeles personal injury attorney year after year. His compassionate service, hard work and vast knowledge of the law has helped him win 98 percent of his cases.
If you lost a family member or suffered an injury because of the negligent acts of another, call David at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. David can review your case, answer your questions and tell you what options are available to you. He can also give you an estimate of how much you may be able to recover. If you prefer, you can also reach him at his website by filling out the online form.
Tow Truck Operators Do Not Require Special Training
In California, tow truck operators are not required to obtain a permit to operate these vehicles that can weigh over 26,000 pounds. They only need a commercial license. Training is not required either, and most operators learn their job along the way. Experienced drivers can obtain certification to operate light, medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks.
How Accidents With a Tow Truck Occur
Errors committed by tow truck drivers are the same as ones made by the drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks, which include:
- Speeding: Tow truck drivers often speed to reach an accident site faster. This can cause an accident with serious consequences because of the size and weight of the vehicle.
- Driving while fatigued: Because tow truck operators are on call 24-hours a day, they may have to get up in the middle of the night to respond to an accident. This can affect their ability to operate the vehicle in a safe manner.
- Reckless driving: Tow truck operators are emergency responders and may cut in and out around other motorists, tailgate and perform other dangerous maneuvers, which can lead to an accident.
- Blocking traffic: Tow trucks have to be positioned in a location where they can retrieve a wrecked or broken down vehicle. Oncoming vehicles may not spot the tow truck until it is too late to slow down or stop, resulting in an accident.
- Drugged or drunk driving: Because the operators of tow trucks are on call around the clock, they may receive a summons when they have been drinking or using drugs. This can affect their ability to drive safely.
- Equipment failure: Chains and hooks can break and hoists can fail, which can lead to an accident if a vehicle being towed comes loose and falls. Maintenance of the vehicle is also important to avoid a collision.
- Faulty attachments: When loading or hooking up a vehicle to tow is done incorrectly, it can cause the towed vehicle to drift, come loose or fall, resulting in an accident. This can be particularly dangerous when traveling at higher speeds.
What Are the Different Types of Tow Trucks
Because tow trucks have to haul vehicles, they are heavy, large and equipped with cables, winches and other equipment, which increases their weight. Of course, if a vehicle is speeding, it will cause more damage if it is involved in an accident, and most accidents involving tow trucks happen when they speed.
Four basic types of tow trucks are used, which can depend on the reason they are being called into service. These include:
- Tow trucks equipped with a hook and chain: Because this type of tow truck is generally used for junk vehicles because they can cause more damage, they aren’t used as much as when more vehicles had rear-wheel drive. A hook and chain tow truck pulls a vehicle with two wheels up off the ground and operates by wrapping chains around the frame of the vehicle and lifting it up using a boom winch. Because the boom winch extends beyond the back of the tow truck, an accident with one of these vehicles can do serious damage and cause injuries.
- Flatbeds: A tow truck equipped with a flatbed has a hydraulic system. This lets the vehicle either be lifted or driven onto the flatbed. While these types of tow trucks are generally safe, they can still cause serious injuries when involved in an accident. Vehicles being hauled can also break loose and fall, causing severe damage to other vehicles and their occupants.
- Wheel-lift: These types of tow trucks incorporate a metal yoke to hoist up a vehicle by either its rear or front tires by using a hydraulic hoist. These are the types of tow trucks you see when a vehicle is being repossessed. Accidents with wheel-lift tow trucks can occur in residential or commercial areas, especially to pedestrians or bicycle riders.
- Integrated: An integrated tow truck is heavy-duty and used to tow trucks and buses. Controls inside the vehicle allow these multi-axle tow trucks to use an extended arm to lift the vehicle and pull it. However, if a big truck or bus comes loose while being pulled, it can result in devastating injuries to those in other vehicles.
Free Case Review with a Los Angeles Tow Truck Accident Law Firm
David understands that when you need to speak to a lawyer, you might want to right away. This is why he makes himself available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He believes that no one should have to pay the financial damages for an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. His work ethic, legal acumen and diligence means he will put 100 percent of his effort into investigating and winning your case. You owe nothing until your case has been won. Call David now at (800) 991-5292, and he will schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation. An online contact form is also available if that is the way you would prefer to get in touch.