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Truck Hitch Failure and Runaway Trailer Accident Lawyer
When a hitch fails on a vehicle or trailer being towed, the results can be catastrophic with severe injuries and fatalities. In some cases, a hitch failure can be the result of a defective design, improper installation or driver inexperience. When a hitch fails, the trailer or towed vehicle separates from the hauling vehicle, which can cause it to break free and crash into oncoming traffic. Statistics maintained by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) indicate that an estimated 50,000 towing accidents occur every year. In 2007, there were more than 21,000 injuries, and 450 fatalities caused directly or indirectly by a towing accident, including those caused by a hitch failure.
What is a Runaway Trailer?
How to Trailers Become Unhitched?
- Manufacturing or design defect
- Malfunctioning locking mechanism
- Defective trailer tongue or coupler
- Rusted component
- Reckless driving behavior including traveling at excessive speed
- Failure to use safety chains properly
- Inadequately sized safety chains connected between the towed trailer and hauling vehicle
- Overweight cargo
- Hazardous road conditions including ice, sleet, and snow
- Malfunctioning brakes
Who Is At Fault After a Trailer Hitch Fails and Causes an Accident?
- Vehicle Operator – Driver error is a leading cause of most runaway trailer accidents. Negligence can include distracted driving, improperly securing cargo, failing to adequately maintain the towed vehicle, trailer in tow and all connecting components.
- Hitch Manufacturer – In many incidences, the hitch fails because of a design or manufacturing defect. In these cases, the hitch manufacturer might also be held legally liable to pay every victim and surviving family members financial compensation for their damages and losses.
- Cargo Loaders – Often, the towed vehicle is loaded too heavy at a capacity far beyond its maximum allowable weight. The excess weight can cause the vehicle to sway, or place unacceptable stress on the trailer hitch and connecting components.
- Government Road Maintenance Crews – Poorly designed roadways and improperly maintained street surfaces can cause hazardous conditions for vehicles and trailers in tow. If it can be shown that negligence resulted in a poorly maintained road, a skilled attorney can file a claim for additional compensation against state agencies and local road maintenance crews.
How To Prove Fault for the Runaway Truck or Trailer?
Contact a Texas Truck Accident Attorney For Trailer Hitch Accidents
Attorney, John D. Pascoe and the Pascoe Law Firm, is responsible for the content on this website, principal office and only office located in Friendswood, Texas. Servicing: Alvin, Angleton, Atascocita, Austin, Bay City, Bacliff, Baytown, Beaumont, Bellaire, Brazoria County, Brookside Village, Brownsville, Clute, Conroe, Clear Lake, Clear Lake Shores, Chambers County, Corpus Christi, Channelview, Cypress, Dallas, Danbury Dickinson, Deer Park, East Houston, El Largo, Freeport, Friendswood, Fresno, Fort Bend County, Fort Worth, Galveston, Galveston County, Greenspoint, Gulfgate, Harris County, Hitchcock, Houston, Houston Heights, Huffman, Humble, Huntsville, Harlingen, Jefferson County, Katy, Kemah, Lake Jackson, La Marque, La Porte, League City, Laredo, Liberty County, Manvel, Memorial City Houston, Midtown Houston, Missouri City, Montgomery County, Montrose Houston, McAllen, Nassau Bay, North Houston, Orange, Pasadena, Port Bolivar, Port Arthur, Pearland, Richmond, Rice Village, River Oaks, Rosenberg, Rosharon, Rio Grande Valley, Santa Fe, San Antonio, San Leon, Seabrook, Shoreacres, Sienna Plantation, South Houston, Sugar Land, Southbelt Ellington, Spring, South Padre Island, Texas City, Taylor Lake Village, The Woodlands, Tiki Island, Tomball, Victoria, Uptown Houston Galleria, Webster, West Columbia, West University Place, Weihmar, and throughout Texas.