There are many different ways that a tow truck can become involved in an accident while assisting a motorist. Sometimes, the errors causing the crash are those of the tow truck driver, while other times it is another driver who is negligent. Either way, if you have been injured in a tow truck accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to receive compensation through the courts. Be sure to contact an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney without delay to discuss your circumstances.
Back in late June, a tow truck driver affiliated with the Freeway Service Patrol was involved in such an accident. The tow truck was responding to a vehicle in need of assistance on I-280 in Redwood City, according to a KPIX report.
As the truck driver assisted the motorist, a lumber truck slammed into the tow truck and the driver, killing him. The police indicated to KPIX that they did not believe that the 25-year-old driver of the lumber truck was drunk or on drugs at the time of the crash.
California’s ‘Move Over’ Law, Injury Crashes and ‘Negligence Per Se’
There are several scenarios in which the driver who hit a tow truck could be the one who is negligent and liable. That driver, for example, may have failed to obey California’s “move over” law. That statute requires drivers “to move over a lane or, if they are unable to do that safely, slow down when they see amber flashing lights.” This requirement is in place whether the vehicle with the lights is a Caltrans vehicle, a law enforcement vehicle, an emergency vehicle or a tow truck.
Alternately, the at-fault driver may have been speeding, distracted or driving while impaired. In any of those three scenarios, your case may present you with the opportunity to obtain an award of damages based upon the legal concept of “negligence per se.” This says that, if someone violates a statute or ordinance and, as a result of that violation, injures you, then the law presumes that that person acted negligently. This legal doctrine can help to simplify what you have to prove in your case in order to win and obtain an award of damages if you can produce evidence that the driver was cited.
Not all tow truck accidents are the fault of the other driver. Some accidents may involve errors made by the tow truck driver him/herself. The tow truck driver, in attempting to help a stranded motorist, may have improperly parked the truck in a way that was unsafe or that otherwise affected traffic. (For example, a truck driver who parks his tow truck mostly on the shoulder but partially in a travel lane may be negligent and therefore liable.)
Another way tow truck drivers can be negligent, and to blame for a crash, is if they fail to use the proper safety devices and warning lights to alert other drivers to their presence. When that happens, or when the driver parks improperly, the tow truck driver’s errors may create a situation where even an alert driver driving reasonably safely is unable to get out of the way.
Whether you were hurt by the operator of a tow truck, box truck, semi-truck or some other vehicle, you need to be sure you are equipped to go to court and succeed in getting the compensation you deserve. To do that, rely on the skilled truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our attorneys have been helping all kinds of people use the legal system to get the awards of damages they deserve for their injuries. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.