Orange County Runaway Trailer Accident Attorneys
Runaway trailer truck accidents happen more frequently than you might think. A review of news reports and court files identified approximately 540 of this type of crash in a seven-year period in the U.S., as reported by the Los Angeles Times. These accidents caused 164 deaths and hundreds of injuries to people on the roadways. The above statistics were likely understated, as some such accidents are not reported in the media or captured in electronic archives.
At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we know all too well the devastation that runaway tailors can cause. If you or a loved one have been injured by a runaway trailer, you deserve justice and compensation. Contact us at (949) 752-7474 for a free initial consultation and let us fight for you.
Trucking accidents are devastating, and, unfortunately can be caused by any number of reasons. From a distracted driver to a mechanic that didn’t pay close enough attention to a tune up, a moment of laziness can lead to years of pain and suffering for you. For your case, it’s important to know what the usual causes of trailer disconnect are. Here are the ones we see the most often:
- Overloaded trailer
- Improperly secured cargo
- Mechanical defects
- Corroded components
- Failure of the tractor’s and trailer’s brakes to work in tandem
- Lack of vehicle maintenance
- Faulty hitch
- Steep decline
- Excessive speed
- Reckless driving
- Sudden or unexpected turns
- Lack of breakaway chains
- Severe weather conditions
- Debris, rocks, or potholes in the road
- Slick or unstable road surfaces
- Improperly securing the trailer to the truck
- Failure of driver to perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection
Although runaway trailer accidents can be caused by road and weather conditions or mechanical failure, they can also result from driver error. When a truck driver takes a turn too sharply, stops too suddenly, or travels down a steep incline too swiftly, it can cause the trailer to detach. Driving errors can also lead to jackknifing or rollover, in which case the trailer can easily become detached from the tractor and go careening down the road, hitting and injuring other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The trailer of a big rig can weigh 10,000 pounds when empty, or up to 30,000 pounds when fully loaded. The average passenger vehicle weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. A collision with a runaway trailer can cause serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries for passenger vehicle occupants, and for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Examples of such injuries include:
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
Trailer disconnect accidents can have multiple potentially liable parties. Many are caused by negligence on the part of the driver or another party responsible for attaching the trailer to the truck. Drivers towing a trailer have a responsibility to check all the components of the trailer to ensure they are safe. Drivers are also required to follow state and federal regulations regarding securing the cargo and maintaining the vehicle. A driver who fails to do so, or to ensure the trailer is properly attached, may be held liable under a theory of negligence.
It may not be just the driver’s fault, however. There are many other parties that may be found to be liable during an investigation. For example, the mechanic responsible for making sure the truck is in working shape could have overlooked a mechanical issue that they should have caught easily. Or the workers that loaded the truck could have overloaded it, or loaded it incorrectly. The trailer manufacturer may have cut corners and used cheap materials, leading to a hitch failure and the resulting accident.
Liability is determined case by case. Never assume that it’s just the truck driver you can claim damages from. An experienced truck accident attorney will know to investigate the details, and find out just who is responsible for your accident.
Catastrophic injuries suffered in trailer disconnect accidents can lead to ongoing medical treatment and the need for caregiver assistance in performing routine daily tasks. Survivors may suffer permanently disabling injuries, such as neurological damage and paralysis. Our Orange County auto accident lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie will work to ensure that the parties responsible for your injuries are held accountable. We will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available, to cover your medical costs, any lost income, pain and suffering, psychological trauma, and diminished quality of life.
Our Orange County personal injury attorneys have more than 40 years of experience. Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie was officially founded in 1974. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Unlike other law firms, we will keep you fully informed on your case in real time. We offer a free consultation with no time limits and no restrictions. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to find out how we can help after a serious runaway trailer truck accident.
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