What Happens if I Was Hit by a U-Haul With No Insurance?
What Happens if I Was Hit by a U-Haul With No Insurance?
Moving trucks, like those rented from U-Haul, can inflict serious damage when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 127,000 large truck and bus crashes in 2019, causing 182,000 injuries.
U-Haul trucks are large, heavy vehicles that require additional skills to drive safely. It is common for drivers unused to a U-Haul’s height to damage lower-hanging structures such as awnings, carports, and even drive-through restaurant windows. There are multiple risks to consider, including such as blind spots, longer braking distances, and wider turn radius. The drivers that rent U-Hauls may have little to no experience driving large trucks. This combination puts other drivers at higher risk of being hit by a U-Haul and suffering considerable damage.
The other factor that makes accidents involving uninsured U-Haul drivers common is that many drivers may not realize their car insurance policy does not cover moving trucks. Although many insurance policies cover rental vehicles, it is likely there are limits on vehicle size and weight. If the U-Haul driver does not purchase additional insurance, they may not have liability protection if involved in an accident.
When another driver is hit by a U-Haul, it raises questions about who is liable for the damage. What are the victim’s options if they are hit by a U-Haul with no insurance?
Who is Liable in a U-Haul Accident?
Fortunately, a victim involved in an accident with a U-Haul can claim damages for losses such as medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. To figure out who is liable for these losses, the victim’s attorney will investigate the possible options to assign liability.
- U-Haul could be liable if they are found to be negligent when renting a U-Haul to a customer that caused the accident. For example, they may have rented a U-Haul to someone who did not have a valid driver’s license, was intoxicated at the time of the rental, or otherwise not in a state to drive the U-Haul. The company could also be guilty of negligence if the U-Haul had a safety defect. It is the responsibility of the U-Haul company to regularly inspect, maintain and repair their vehicles to ensure they are safe to use on the road. A third example of negligence is when the U-Haul company does not provide enough safety information to the customer. As mentioned earlier, most U-Haul customers are not experienced with driving large trucks and require additional information about how to operate one safely.
- If U-Haul is not found negligent and therefore not liable for the accident, the U-Haul driver may have liability for the losses incurred by the victim. If the victim was a passenger in the moving truck, the first step is to determine if the driver has taken out supplementary insurance from U-Haul, called Safemove. A Safemove policy provides the customer with a damage waiver, protection for their cargo, and most importantly for the passenger, medical coverage in the event of an accident. It is important to remember that Safemove is NOT liability insurance and a driver hit by a U-Haul will not be able to claim damages under this policy. Another U-Haul policy, Safemove Plus, supplements the U-Haul driver’s liability coverage for up to $1 million in addition to the benefits of Safemove. If a driver is hit by U-Haul, they will only be able to claim losses under Safemove Plus.
- If the U-Haul driver does not have insurance that covers moving trucks, then the victim can consider claiming losses under their Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM). In Nevada, drivers are required to have an auto insurance policy with a minimum of $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury per person, an additional minimum of $50,000 of coverage for bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 of coverage for property damage. In the worst-case scenario, the driver that caused the accident is illegally driving without insurance, making it very difficult to recover damages. If the at-fault driver only carries the legal minimum of liability coverage, it could be nowhere near enough to compensate the accident victim. If the victim has UM/UIM insurance coverage, it is possible for the victim to recover losses under their policies. In the case of the other driver having inadequate liability insurance, Nevada law states that the victim’s damages must exceed the other driver’s policy limits in order to file a claim under their UM/UIM policy.
- In an accident involving a U-Haul, there could be multiple parties at fault. Under Nevada law, losses can be claimed from multiple parties under joint liability and several liability. Under joint liability, multiple defendants are responsible for compensating the victim for the full amount of their losses. The party that ends up paying the victim is not important, but until the losses are paid, each of the guilty parties is liable for the total. Under several liability, the blame for the victim’s losses is divided proportionally among several parties. However, unlike joint liability, the liable parties must only pay their portion of the losses owed to the victim.
Statute of Limitations For Claiming Damages if Hit by a U-Haul With No Insurance
It is also important if hit by a U-Haul with no insurance in Nevada that there is a statute of limitations on claiming damages for personal injury. The law dictates the victim has a two-year limit from the date the injury occurred. There is an exception if the injury was not discovered immediately by the victim, and the statute of limitations is extended to two years from the injury discovery date. If a victim involved in a U-Haul accident wants to claim damages, it is essential to contact an attorney and begin the process as soon as possible.
If you have been hit by a U-Haul with no insurance, it can be difficult to establish who is at fault, determine what insurance coverage is available, and find the right pathway to recover your losses. Our experienced legal team can help. Ensure that you receive the proper car accident compensation in Las Vegas with the assistance of our experienced legal team. Contact us for a free consultation.