The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has documented an alarming number of tow truck-related accidents across the country in recent years. If you were in a crash with a tow truck, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 to get help with filing a claim. A Chicago tow truck accident lawyer will handle every aspect of your case. We want to fight for justice and a fair financial award on your behalf.
Types of Tow Trucks
The state of Illinois has certain requirements related to tow trucks and their insurance coverage. However, every tow truck presents specific risks which could result in a severe injury or fatality.
- Flatbed Tow Trucks. These trucks pull vehicles using chains or straps which can lead to severe accidents if the vehicle is secured incorrectly.
- Hook and Chain Tow Trucks. These trucks tow cars by attaching a hook to the front end of the vehicle. If a towed vehicle comes loose, it can cause an obstruction in the roadway.
- Wheel Lift Tow Trucks. Similar to a hook and chain tow truck, these trucks use hydraulics to lift the rear wheels of a car and transport the vehicle from the back. If a towed vehicle comes loose, it can cause severe injuries or death.
- Integrated Tow Trucks. These tow trucks are two large vehicles such as buses or other trucks. If a large bus or truck comes loose, it can cause a devastating accident.
Steps After a Tow Truck Accident
If you suffered injuries in an accident with a tow truck, you should follow these steps to attempt to maximize your health and your ability to seek compensation related to any personal injury suit you may file against the driver, towing company, or manufacturer.
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Seek Medical Attention Immediately
If you were in an accident with a tow truck, emergency responders will likely arrive at the scene of the accident. Oftentimes, tow truck accidents can be serious. Even if you do not have a medical professional examine you at the scene of the accident, you should visit your doctor after the accident in case some injuries exist and symptoms do not present themselves until later. Receiving a medical examination by a doctor will allow you to have a permanent record regarding your injuries and allow better leverage to settle with an insurance company regarding your injuries.
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You may feel disoriented immediately after the tow truck accident, but try to get information from witnesses and the tow truck driver, including their contact information, license plate numbers, insurance information, and a tow truck number if applicable. If you are unable to obtain this information, do not worry, as the police officer will likely take this information down for his or her police report. Additionally, if you are able to take any photographs at the scene of the accident, either of the vehicles or your injuries, it may prove useful to any claim you may later file.
Make sure to request a copy of the police report and create a file of all documents related to the accident. These documents include medical bills, documentation regarding your inability to work, lost wages, a diary of your pain and suffering, diagnostic tests, medical prescriptions, and physical therapy. You may be able to receive compensation for these types of expenses related to your accident and injury.
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Insurance companies will quickly offer you a settlement for your injury that may not fully compensate you for your injuries or expenses related to the trucking accident. Make sure to never give an insurance company full authorization to view your entire medical history or say that you are feeling fine. In fact, you should speak to an insurance company as little as possible. Make sure to never agree to record any part of your conversation. Wait until you feel healthy and emotionally stable enough to visit with an insurance company following a trucking accident.
Additionally, never say that you are getting better or feeling better in any way. Additionally, you should provide as little information to them as possible. While it may seem trite, the truth is that anything you say to an insurance company or an insurance adjuster can be used against you regarding their compensation offers. In other cases, insurance companies will purposefully stall their compensation offers or investigations simply to frustrate the victims into finally accepting a low settlement offer. Visiting with a Chicago tow truck accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and the compensation amount to which you are entitled.
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Responsibility and Liability for Tow Truck Accidents
Depending on the circumstances of your tow truck accident, you may hold several different parties responsible. Determining the cause of the tow truck accident is important, as it will likely point to whether the driver, the tow truck company, or the manufacturer of a defective truck part or component is liable. If the driver is liable, you may still hold the tow truck company responsible as well, as their employer. It is an employer’s responsibility to hire safe drivers that operate their vehicles without negligence or recklessness. If the tow truck did not receive proper maintenance by the owner or company, then a court will hold them liable for any injuries or damages suffered.
A Chicago Tow Truck Accident Lawyer Can Fight for You
If you were in an accident involving a tow truck, you may have the right to receive compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, or property losses. Contact a Chicago tow truck accident lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and have the information you need if you decide to move forward with your claim.