Legend has it that tow trucks were invented in 1916 after a driver lost control of his Ford Model-T near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since then, tow trucks have been a sign of relief to most people. However, getting into a tow truck accident can be devastating. The result could be a life of permanent disability, financial and emotional distress, and even death.
If you or your loved one were involved in an accident with a tow truck, the Regan Zambri Long tow truck accident lawyers can help. Their legal team will guide you through the complex claims process and work hard to ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries. The Regan Zambri Long lawyers do not work on a retainer - they will not get paid unless you do. Call today for a free evaluation of your case and let Regan Zambri Long help you move forward from your accident as soon as possible.
If you were injured in a tow truck accident, then the lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you take legal action.
There are many different types of tow trucks that travel the Washington DC roads every day. You’ve most likely seen many of these but perhaps weren’t quite sure what they do. Tow trucks are used for everyday occurrences, like moving improperly parked cars. When a car is illegally parked in front of a driveway, or a fire hydrant, a tow truck will be sent to remove the vehicle. They are also used for car accidents and breakdowns. In fact, you will most likely need a tow truck at least once in a lifetime of driving. The most common types of tow trucks you’ll see in Washington DC are:
This type is the most common type of tow truck and is mostly used to tow cars. If you’ve ever gotten a flat tire and needed a lift to the repair shop, a flatbed tow truck is probably what was used. The flatbed is put on an incline with the back end of it all the way to the ground to collect the car. The tow truck driver will secure the car on the flatbed. Once it is secured, the flatbed will lower back from an incline position to a level position with the truck.
Hook and chain tow trucks are the oldest type of tow truck and probably the most recognizable. As the name suggests, these trucks use hook and chains to tow vehicles. The hook attaches to the vehicle’s bumper, in the front of the car, or axle, which is connected to the wheels of the car. The tow truck then drags the car to its destination. These trucks aren’t used as often anymore because the vehicle’s drivetrains (the part of the car that connects the engine to the wheels, enabling the vehicle to move) cannot sustain being dragged for long periods of time. You will see these tow trucks when vehicles are headed to the junkyard, rather than to a repair shop.
A wheel-lift tow truck is similar to a hook and chain, but instead of using the hook and chain, a wheel-lift tow truck uses a metal yoke (a structural frame) that only touches the wheels. The truck can then haul vehicles to their destination without causing the same damage to the frame of the car as a hook and chain truck causes.
A boom truck has a hydraulic arm called a boom to recover vehicles. These tow trucks can lift vehicles out of difficult places to be towed away safely. They are mostly used after car accidents when the car is off the road, in a difficult place for a regular tow truck to get to.
An integrated tow truck has two different mechanisms – a boom and a wheel lift. These trucks can be used for mid-sized or heavy-duty pickups. These trucks are used when buses or other trucks need to be towed. This truck has an arm that is mounted in the center and a large number of axles to handle the heavier pickups.
Tow truck drivers are capable of making the same mistakes that regular drivers make. However, because of the size and weight of the truck, there is a unique danger to a tow truck operator making a mistake on the road. The Washington DC Department of Transportation reported over 2,400 truck accidents in the District in 2015. The following are the most common causes of tow truck accidents:
Other causes to be aware of are:
Truck accident injuries can be catastrophic to the person driving a regular sized vehicle. Tow trucks can be almost three times the size of a normal car, which makes the impact of a crash more dangerous to the car driver. In 2019, 97% of occupants killed in crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck were occupants of the passenger vehicle. For victims that survive, the injuries can be permanently debilitating. The most common injuries following a tow truck crash are:
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are one of the more severe injuries one can sustain from a tow truck accident. The CDC characterizes traumatic brain injuries as a major injury that affects how the brain works. Following a TBI, victims can have difficulty speaking or comprehending language. Many need rehabilitation, physical, and occupational therapy to learn to talk, walk, and write again. If recovery is possible at all, it can take years to fully heal. Many victims are left with lifelong seizures and unfortunately, many slip into comas.
Traumatic brain injuries are extremely costly to the victim and their families – physically, emotionally, and financially. If you were the victim of a TBI due to a tow truck accident, consult a tow truck accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long. The lawyers can evaluate the full effect of your traumatic brain injury and work with you to recover compensation for past and future medical bills, as well as lost wages.
Chest injuries are serious injuries that occur when there is blunt force to the chest. Drivers can hit the steering wheel, or be injured by the restriction of the seat belt. Broken and fractured ribs are very common following a tow truck accident. If you’ve been in a tow truck accident and are experiencing shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, bruising in the chest area, coughing up blood, or hypotension (low blood pressure), you need immediate medical attention.
Be sure to save all medical records, including bills for hospital visits, x-rays and other scans, medications, and follow up appointments. Your Regan Zambri Long tow truck accident lawyer will use that as evidence in your claim process and work to cover all expenses related to the personal injury.
Soft tissue damage is damage done to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments during a tow truck accident. Soft tissue injuries are not as easily detectable as broken bones or head injuries. Symptoms are inconsistent and therefore, treatment will also be inconsistent.
Sustaining soft tissue damage after a truck accident can leave the victim with ongoing pain and ongoing medical bills. The cost of treatment will not be predictable, so your tow truck accident lawyer will seek the maximum amount of compensation so that your medical bills – current and future – are completely covered.
Although concussions are not as severe as traumatic brain injuries, they are still extremely serious and need medical attention right away. Victims of concussions may appear dazed or stunned following the accident. Losing consciousness, even for a brief moment, is a clear warning sign of a concussion. Victims may display differences in their mood and behavior. Family members will report that their loved one’s personality changed completely after a concussion.
Any blunt force trauma to the body can cause damage to organs. However, because of the size difference between a tow truck and a regular car, victims of tow truck accidents run a greater risk of sustaining major internal injuries, including internal bleeding. Blood vessels can be damaged or even severed in a tow truck accident, causing them to rupture. Signs of internal bleeding can be confusion, disorientation, bruising, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, and feeling cold. Extensive medical treatment will be necessary, including scans, medications, and surgeries. Keep a record of all medical costs so your Regan Zambri Long tow truck accident attorney can include it in your claim to make sure you are properly compensated.
Emotionally injuries are often overlooked after an accident occurs. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, should not be ignored. PTSD is persistent mental and emotional stress following an injury or psychological shock. Since no one can predict being involved in an accident involving a tow truck, victims can be in shock for days, weeks, or even months after the accident. Ongoing stress is a sign of PTSD. Nightmares, fear, nervousness, anger, and feelings of guilt are also strong indications that the victim is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The most important thing you can do if you or your loved one were hit by a tow truck is remain calm. Take deep breaths and remain in your vehicle if it is safe to do so. Turn on your hazards to signal other drivers that your vehicle is stopped. If you can get your car to the side of the road, try to pull off to the shoulder.
Call 911 – no matter what. Whether you have minor or major injuries, the police should always be called at the scene of a tow truck accident. If the tow truck operator tries to pressure you not to call the police, do not listen. Call 911 immediately following the accident. Take down the name and badge number of all police officers who respond to the scene.
Seek medical attention. Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and internal bleeding are not always noticeable right away. It is extremely important to get evaluated by a medical doctor immediately for your own health. A medical evaluation will also be necessary in a truck accident case.
Once your medical needs are addressed, collect as much information as possible. This will include the name and contact information of the tow truck operator. Take down the name of the towing company, the license plate, and make and model of the tow truck. If the driver is unwilling to give you the information, do not press for it. You can collect the information in the police report. Take the time to speak to any witnesses to the accident. Collect their contact information. Your truck accident attorneys will contact them when investigating your case.
Take videos and pictures of damage to your car and any personal items in the car. Take pictures of the damage to the tow truck and any other information that may be relevant.
Avoid giving any statements that may seem as if you’re admitting fault for the accident. As much as you may want to, never say “I’m sorry” following a tow truck crash. Never give a statement to anyone except the responding police officers and to your insurance company.
Following these simple steps will ensure safety for you and your loved one and will help you in the personal injury claim following the accident.
Dealing with insurance companies, especially following a major accident, can be time-consuming and extremely stressful. The Regan Zambri Long tow truck accident lawyers have 100 years of combined experience and are here to take the burden of the claims process off your shoulders.
Insurance companies are notorious for paying the minimum compensation to their own clients. In fact, after you report your accident, your insurance company will send an adjuster to manage your case. An insurance adjuster’s job is to save money for the insurance company. They have the company’s best interest in mind, not yours. Furthermore, if you were involved in an accident with a larger towing company, then you will be up against a massive legal team and major insurance companies. Going through the claims process by yourself is not advisable. You need a legal team behind you that has the financial backing to see your case through until the end, and Regan Zambri Long has just that.
Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorneys work with investigators on the ground, use expert witnesses, and help you build a robust case. The lawyers have extensive knowledge of the tow truck industry, as well as DC law and various insurance policies.
In the worst cases, the Regan Zambri Long legal team will pursue a wrongful death claim. The lawyers have a deep understanding of what your family is going through as you cope with loss and face a potential lawsuit. They will work hard to recover compensation, but also leave you with a sense of justice following the accident. Salvatore Zambri, one of the partners, puts it this way: “I carry with me every day the responsibility of bringing about some comfort and some measure of justice for those impacted by tragedies. It’s the very reason I became a lawyer.”
Call Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation to discuss legal representation and how Regan Zambri Long can work for you.
A: Several parties can be held responsible for a tow truck accident. Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyers are experts in various DC trucking laws and insurance policies. They will be able to investigate the accident scene, obtain copies of the police report, speak to witnesses, and decide which party or parties are at fault.
If the tow truck driver was driving recklessly (i.e. distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol) then the accident was due to the tow truck driver’s negligence and your accident lawyer would make a claim against the tow truck driver.
The tow truck company could be held liable if improper, or lack of, maintenance on the tow truck caused the accident. It is the responsibility of the towing company to make sure their trucks are in pristine condition before sending them on the road – for the safety of their truck drivers and other vehicles on the road.
It is also up to the company to hire professional, safe drivers. If the tow truck company hired a of the If improper or lack of maintenance on the truck caused the accident, then the party at fault would be the tow truck company. It is also the responsibility of the company to hire professional, safe tow truck drivers. If the company hired a driver and didn’t provide proper training, or a hired a driver with a poor traffic record, then the Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorneys will file a claim against the tow truck employer and its insurance company.
There are situations where the tow truck employer maintained their trucks, hired professional truckers, but still an accident occurs. Tow truck accidents can result from faulty equipment. If there is a recall on brakes or other parts of the truck, your lawyer will investigate if that played a role in the accident. If so, the party at fault would be the truck manufacturer and a product liability claim would be made against the manufacturing company.
A: There are several things you can do to avoid getting into a collision with a tow truck:
A: If you witness an unsafe truck driver, make sure to inform the proper authorities. You may be saving a life when you report a bad truck driver. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a complaint page for unsafe drivers. They also have a hotline number: 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238).
A: Truck accidents are very different from accidents involving regular passenger vehicles. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, outlines different laws and regulations that tow trucks must follow. Following an accident, your focus should be on a complete recovery, not on the different legal tactics and various policies of an insurance company. The Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawyers are experts in tow truck crashes and can help you navigate the claims process so you can focus on getting back to normal as quickly as possible.