California’s roads are covered with trucks, including thousands of utility trucks. These trucks service public and private organizations while helping deliver electricity, water, internet service, construction equipment, and more.
So what happens when a utility truck crashes into you on the road? Are they more or less liable than, say, a big rig trucking company? And if the truck is owned by a municipality, are you just out of luck?
These are excellent questions and Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers are here to provide answers. We’ve helped many of our clients handle utility truck crashes and make successful claims.
A Typical Utility Truck vs. Commercial Truck
Utility truck drivers are both like and unlike other truck drivers, you’ll encounter. Generally speaking, they’re expected to obey traffic laws and drive safely like anyone who uses California’s roadways.
However, they operate on behalf of public utilities, private companies, and contractors. Due to the nature of their work, they’re allowed to idle and park in otherwise restricted areas. In this way, they’re a bit like garbage trucks that are permitted by law to use no parking zones.
Utility truck drivers don’t typically transport passengers, so they aren’t expected to have the same level of training and certification as an airport bus driver, for example. This means utility truck drivers face less stringent regulations and usually have a lower level of driving skill than many other truck drivers on the roads.
The utility trucks themselves are also in an in-between category. They’re generally larger than a standard pickup truck or SUV, but much smaller than a semi-truck. Like big rigs, they’re required to be equipped with certain safety features like extra lights and backup alerts.
There are More Utility Trucks Than You Might Think!
You might be surprised to realize that there are hundreds of different types of utility trucks sharing California’s roads. Here’s a list of various types of utility trucks you’ll see out there.
- Telephone company trucks
- Electric utility trucks
- Cable trucks
- Water company trucks
- Internet and satellite service trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Recycling trucks
- Construction vehicles like bulldozers and cranes
- Heavy equipment transport vehicles
- Lawn care trucks
- Street cleaners
What Happens When You Collide With a Utility Truck?
Just like anyone else on the road, a utility truck driver can do something negligent and cause an accident. They could drive aggressively, drunk, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They could also just make a driving mistake that ultimately causes harm.
After an accident with a utility truck, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. But it’s not always easy to get the right entity to take responsibility, and in some ways, it’s even more difficult than a private trucking company claim.
Utility trucks are often owned by local municipalities and government contractors who try to avoid expensive accident claims that will cost taxpayer dollars. Plus, they’re used to getting a certain amount of leeway because they’re providing much-needed public services.
Still, this doesn’t make a utility truck driver immune from responsibility for hurting someone. As the injured party, you can start a claim against any entity, public or private, that is responsible for the vehicle and driver who hurt you.
That’s why it’s so important to accurately pin down who owns the truck and employs the driver. Then you’ll need to track down their insurance carrier and determine how much coverage is available and applies to your accident.
Here in California, if a government entity is involved in a personal injury accident, special rules apply. Claims against governments have a shorter deadline under the statute of limitations, meaning you can’t wait too long to file a claim or you’ll miss your chance.
Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers ASAP and we’ll help you figure out which parties are involved in your utility truck crash. Let’s put the blame where it belongs and pursue the compensation you deserve!
We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including utility truck accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.