What You Should Know About Rental Truck Accidents in Georgia
What You Should Know About Rental Truck Accidents From a Georgia Car Accident Attorney
Many of us have used U-Haul and other rental trucks to move from one home to another, or to transport large items that do not fit in a normal passenger car, SUV, or truck. Depending on the size of the rental truck, it can be difficult to maneuver if you do not have a lot of experience driving large vehicles. However, most of the rental trucks available to customers are designed to function as any other SUV, truck or van would, and does not require a specific skill set or specialized driver’s license.
What to Keep in Mind
One thing that many people should think about when renting a moving truck is the possibility that an accident may happen. U-Haul, as well as other moving truck companies, do offer optional insurance coverage to help in situations where an accident happens. According to U-Haul, the most common incident they see with moving trucks is damage resulting from rocks hitting the windshield.
However, more extensive accidents do happen, where people can suffer serious injuries. In such cases, injured individuals may or may not have the ability to recover compensation under the moving truck company’s insurance policy. Additionally, many auto insurance policies do not cover damage or injuries associated with moving truck accidents. Therefore, when deciding to rent a moving truck such as U-Haul, it is important for drivers to understand the following: (1) whether their car insurance policy covers accidents involving moving trucks, and (2) whether purchasing a supplemental insurance policy from the moving truck company would be sufficient to cover damage and personal injuries associated with an accident.
Does Car Insurance Cover Injuries Associated with Moving Truck Accidents?
As briefly stated, not every auto insurance policy provides coverage for property damage and injuries resulting from a moving truck accident. Additionally, U-Haul and other moving truck companies do not require customers to purchase supplemental insurance. There are insurance policies available to customers, but they are optional, and there are limitations on what is covered. Many standard policies generally will provide coverage for rental vehicles, but you should check with your insurance agent before renting any vehicle to be certain, instead of relying on your own belief that you are covered.
Many times, supplemental insurance policies may be purchased at an additional cost, but often when customers buy such insurance, they are unaware of the legal significance in doing so.
Georgia’s motor vehicle financial responsibility statute, O.C.G.A. § 33-34-4, like many other jurisdictions, requires that all vehicles operated and registered in the State of Georgia have liability insurance. Rental companies, although not exempt from this law, have the benefit of O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102, which reverses the usual order of priority of insurance coverage so that any coverage that the renter has is primary and the required coverage on the rented vehicle is secondary or excess coverage. Jordan v. Spirit Rent-A-Car d/b/a CarTemps, USA, 555 S.E.2d 734 (Ga. App. 2001). This means that as a general rule, if you have been hit by someone driving a rental vehicle, the driver's personal auto insurance would be primary and the required coverage on the vehicle itself would be secondary, assuming that the at-fault driver's personal policy covers claims arising out of accidents involving rented vehicles. Not every policy does. Alternatively, if a person purchased supplemental rental coverage, that coverage would be primary and the personal policy would be secondary. The reason why this is important is that in certain automobile accidents involving a rental vehicle, more than one policy for a given driver my apply. Hopefully, this information is helpful to you and your family if you plan on renting a vehicle in Georgia soon.
Our attorneys have a great deal of experience representing victims of automobile accidents that occurred either while they were driving a rental vehicle or, rather, if they were injured in an accident caused by someone who was driving one. We make it a priority in each case to investigate ALL avenues of coverage in an effort to maximize the value of our clients' cases under the law.
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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation to learn about your legal rights as well as what steps can be taken to protect those rights. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 35 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Our attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over 35 years.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333