Pascoe Law FirmHitch Failure Runaway Trailer Accident
Principal office located in Friendswood, Texas.
Available to service League City, Webster, Pearland, Galveston, and the surrounding areas within Texas.
Truck Hitch Failure and Runaway Trailer Accident Lawyer
What is a Runaway Trailer?
How to Trailers Become Unhitched?
Every hitch failure accident is unique and determining responsibility can be challenging. Trailers become unexpectedly unhitched from all kinds of vehicles including semi-trucks, heavy rigs, pickups, flatbeds, SUVs, moving vans and others. Most common types of hitch failure accidents involve:
- 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?
While responsibility for the accident may appear cut and dry, when a trailer hitch malfunctions or fails, there may be additional parties also at fault. Individuals and companies that can be held legally liable for the accident could include:
- 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.