Rental Truck Accidents

June 8, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Rental Truck Accidents

Accidents Caused by Rental Trucks Are Deadly

Everyone at some point has moved from one home to another or had the need to transport items too large or numerous for a typical car. In this case, people sometimes turn to the services of a rental truck. These vehicles may not be as large and heavy as a commercial truck but they are still much larger than the typical passenger vehicle. With this comes a higher level of driving skill required to operate the vehicle safely. Unfortunately, just about anyone with a license and credit card can rent out a truck with no experience driving anything but a sedan. Advertising campaigns for companies renting out these trucks say that it's as easy as driving a minivan which is significantly smaller than a large rental truck.

Liability in a Rental Truck Accident

In the event that someone is injured in an accident with a rental truck, they will want to make a personal injury claim to seek compensation from the liable parties. But exactly who is liable in an accident with a rental truck? There is no simple answer since it can vary from case to case depending on what was the cause of the accident. More often than not, the accident is caused by the inexperience of the rental truck driver. If this is the case, then the liability would fall upon the driver responsible much like in a normal car accident. The problem is that sometimes the responsible driver does not have insurance that covers the rental truck and only covers regular car rentals or they neglected to buy the truck insurance from the rental company. In other cases, the liability may fall to the rental company. There are actually a few ways that the rental company can be negligent and cause an accident..
  • The rental company could skimp on maintenance inspections on their vehicle which can result in a malfunction that causes an accident.
  • The truck could have possible defects unknown to the renters that lead to a malfunction and then accident.
  • They can negligently entrust a vehicle to someone that clearly has no business using it. Someone could have no insurance, license, they could be intoxicated or have some kind of impairment that limits their ability to drive a large vehicle.
In some cases, if the truck was loaded improperly by a moving company and an accident occurs because of the improperly distributed weight, then the movers could be held liable.

Rental Truck Accidents are Especially Dangerous

Greater Size Means Greater Risk

Rental companies want you to believe that hauling a full 26-foot long truck is just as simple as a leisurely run to the store in a minivan or pickup truck. A minivan is roughly 14-16 feet long and just about two thirds the biggest rental truck size. If you don't think that's too big of a difference in size, then consider how much heavier a moving truck is in comparison to a minivan. The average minivan curb weight is about 4500 pounds. The smallest size of a moving truck typically available is ten feet long and about 8500 pounds when full.

Heavy Trucks are More Dangerous

It may not be as long but it's nearly double the weight and that's only the 10-foot truck. A 26-foot truck can weigh up to 20,000 to 26,000 pounds when full. That is the weight of three and a half minivans combined. With more weight and size comes a much more difficult time braking, turning, and maneuvering. The momentum of all the weight makes braking distances increase. The height of a moving truck makes it more prone to flipping on turns. The increased length makes the turn radius increase and changes increases the needs of good spatial awareness to compensate. The weight must also be properly distributed in the back of the truck. Proper loading protocols have to be followed in order to prevent trucks from being too heavy at one point. Trucks with improperly distributed weight are more prone to tipping and consequently, accidents.

Rental Truck Accident Damage

Almost anybody with a license and money can get behind the wheel of one of these behemoths and possibly cause a catastrophic accident. A rental truck accident is much more dangerous than a regular car accident. A full sized and fully loaded rental truck weighs over twice as much as the average car. Maybe they don't weigh the same 80,000 maximum pounds that a tractor trailer but 20,000 to 26,000 pounds losing control on the road is still incredibly destructive. Double the weight at least in a rear ending accident is double the damage. Also, these trucks do not have the rearview mirrors that drivers without experience will have trouble driving without. The lack of a rearview mirror allowing sight to directly behind the truck causes blind spots that inexperienced drivers will have trouble with. Switching lanes can easily result in an accident that where a smaller car will underride the truck. Most of this weight comes from all kinds of objects loaded into the back of the vehicle. If the doors are compromised in an accident or because of a malfunction, then those objects become dangerous debris. Not only will there be a truck collision but even small objects can be dangerous when thrown into the road and causing drivers to dangerously swerve to avoid them and cause a chain reaction crash.

Seek a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident involving a rental truck then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled commercial truck lawyers have the expertise you need to secure the settlement that you deserve. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. You can reach us in one of these 3 ways:
  • Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 451-6900
  • Complete this online contact form
  • Click the Live Chat button in the bottom right corner of this page


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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