Towing and Recovery Companies' Duties
As treacherous as deadly roadway accidents can be, the responding towing and recovery companies and their drivers have a duty to ensure that their presence does not put the motoring public at risk of further injury or damage.
Keeping Safe: What Towing and Recovery Companies Should Do at Crash Scenes
As a truck accident lawyer, I've seen too many cases where the towing or recovery company failed to properly respond to a crash scene. At worst, their omissions or missteps by the responding towing company can lead to further injury or death; at the least it can result in the destruction of key evidence in the victim's fight for justice against the negligent truck driver, trucking company, shipper or other responsible party.
The following are safety practices and precautions that towing and recovery companies should follow when they respond to road crashes. By adhering to this guidelines, towing and recovery companies will help keep the public safe and properly preserve the crash evidence.
- All on-scene towing and recovery personnel should wear high visibility clothing.
- Towing and recovery companies and personnel must remove vehicles or debris from the scene as soon as possible after warnings are properly placed.
- In order to safely move damaged vehicles and proper, towing and recovery companies must have proper equipment such as winches, chains and other hardware. This equipment and hardware should be properly maintained and in good working order before arriving on the scene.
- Once warning signs and markers are properly placed at the scene, and the vehicles and debris have been safely cleared, all vehicles and debris recovered must be properly stored to avoid later damage or injury.
Properly Storing Damaged Vehicles for Evidence
Failure to follow the above safety procedures can lead to distasterous results, even long after the crash has been cleared up. For example, damage to a vehicle’s wiring can lead to a fire hours or days later. Therefore must be disconnected prior to storing often by cutting the battery lines.
Further damage to the vehicles inside or cargo areas can leave the vehicle’s interior and contents exposed to the elements. Therefore, these exposed areas must be properly protected by tarps, wraps or crash wraps.
With proper tools, equipment and training, towing and recovery companies -- and their staff -- can safely remove vehicles and debris from the scene of a crash without causing more damage or harm to others beyond what has already taken place.
At Whiting Law Group, my fellow personal injury attorneys and I are dedicated not only to our clients and to their fight for justice, but also to the safety and well being of the wider community. All of us working together can make our highways and roads safer for everyone.