When your vehicle is in a parking lot, the last thing you should have to worry about is that it will get struck by another vehicle. If your parked car is struck by a U-Haul truck, you could be looking at significantly diminished value damages. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we understand that these cases can become complex. Our Seattle truck accident attorneys are ready to help you deal with insurance companies as you move to recover compensation for your damages.
How do these incidents happen?
U-Haul vehicles come in various shapes and sizes. In most instances, these are larger vehicles, commonly large box trucks or trailers towed behind large trucks. Due to their size and weight, they can be difficult to maneuver, especially for inexperienced drivers. Unfortunately, the nature of U-Haul’s business means that there are plenty of inexperienced drivers behind the wheels of their vehicles. In most cases, U-Haul drivers do not have their commercial driver’s license (CLD).
U-Haul parking lot crashes do happen. They commonly occur when a driver:
- Is backing up and rams into a vehicle
- Misjudges a turn and strikes a vehicle
- Does not check their blind spots before moving
- Misjudging how long it takes to break such a large vehicle
U-Haul vehicles can cause extensive damage to a parked car.
U-Haul drivers do have insurance coverage
Drivers who rent U-Hauls have to have valid driver’s licenses. However, their personal insurance will likely not extend to their U-Haul rental, as most insurance policies exclude cargo truck rentals. Many people do opt into one of U-Hauls’ insurance protection plans.
If your vehicle is struck by a U-Haul in the parking lot, damages will only be covered if the driver purchased the Safemove Plus protection plan through the company. With this coverage comes their supplemental liability coverage that safeguards the driver’s own personal insurance policy for up to $1 million in damages.
Without this policy, it can be difficult to recover compensation for your vehicle’s damages. As the driver’s personal insurance will likely not cover your losses, you may have to rely on your own insurance coverage. Please know that if you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist protection through your policy, your insurance provider will likely try to deny the claim.
How long do you have to file a claim?
If your vehicle has been damaged by a U-Haul truck in a parking lot, you need to be aware that there is a limited amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation. When we turn to Washington law, we can see that the property damage statute of limitations is three years from the date the incident occurred (Wash. Rev. Code § 4.16.080(2) (2020)). This gives property damage victims a three-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver.
However, it is important to point out that this statute of limitations has no bearing on any insurance deadlines related to the case. All insurance carriers involved in a vehicle collision, even one in a parking lot, are going to require that the incident be reported very soon after it occurs. This typically means within a day or two.
Steps to take after a U-Haul strikes your vehicle in a parking lot
If your vehicle has been struck by a U-Haul in a parking lot, there are various steps that you can take in order to ensure that you are properly compensated for what happened. As soon as you notice that the incident occurred, you need to quickly assess the situation and call local law enforcement. If the Incident was severe enough to cause any injuries, dialing 911 is certainly appropriate. Additionally, if the driver tries to flee the scene, you can call 911 to get an emergency response from the police.
These types of incidents need to be treated just like any other vehicle accident that occurs on the roadway. If you are able to do so safely, you should use your phone or any other type of camera to take photographs of everything at the scene. This can include damage to any vehicle, injuries, debris, license plates, and more.
If there were any eyewitnesses to the incident, you need to get their names in contact information. If the U-Haul driver remained at the scene and if they are being cooperative, you need to get their name, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
If the police do come to the scene and fill out an accident report, you need to be sure that you ask the officer how to obtain a copy of the report. The accident report is usually a vital piece of information that insurance carriers will use when determining fault and whether or not to pay compensation.
We are here to help you through this
If your vehicle has been struck by a U-Haul truck while it was parked, you should consider seeking legal assistance. These insurance claims can become incredibly complicated and, if you are not careful, you could end up with no way to pay for the damages to your car. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we are ready to get to work on your case. Let us investigate all aspects of what happened so we can secure the compensation you need for all damages. When you need a Seattle truck accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-529-0842.