Truck Trailer Disconnect Accidents

Knowledgeable Truck Accident Lawyers in the Los Angeles Area

If a trailer disconnects from a cab, the resulting accident can have a devastating impact on people around the vehicle. A disconnected trailer can run away, crossing lines of traffic and crashing into multiple vehicles before coming to a stop. Any one of those vehicles can then crash into other vehicles, causing more injuries and fatalities. If you are injured or a loved one is killed due to a truck trailer disconnect accident, you should consult a skillful Los Angeles truck accident attorney.

Harm Caused by Truck Trailer Disconnect Accidents

If a trailer disconnects from a cab, everyone around it is at risk. The reasons for a trailer to disconnect can include improper maintenance, an overloaded trailer, badly secured cargo, or a lack of override or under ride guards. In some cases, there is a mechanical defect. In other cases, there is a faulty hitch, corroded components, excessive speed, missing breakaway chains, a faulty tire, or an inadequate attachment. These conditions can cause the trailer to disconnect when there is a pothole in the road.

A runaway trailer is likely to be considered at least partly the responsibility of the truck driver. Truck drivers are required to make sure that their vehicles are in good working order, and this includes the connection between the trailer and the cab.

You may be able to recover damages from the truck driver by proving that they were negligent. You will need to show that the driver owed you a duty of reasonable care, breached this duty, and actually and proximately caused your injuries. If the driver violated a safety regulation or law in connection with the disconnect, there may be a negligence per se claim that you can pursue.

However, an individual truck driver may not have sufficient insurance coverage to address all of the people who were injured by the runaway trailer. Assuming that the driver was in the course and scope of employment, you may also be able to recover damages from the employer by establishing vicarious liability. This is important because a trucking company typically has more coverage to pay damages than a single driver. In an accident involving multiple people who were catastrophically injured (or killed), it is important for your attorney to figure out whether there are options beyond a simple negligence lawsuit against a truck driver.

Sometimes the trucking company may also be directly liable for a truck trailer disconnect. For example, it may have employed someone who was supposed to check the connection but did not on the day of the accident. Or it may have negligently hired or supervised a truck driver who did not understand his responsibility in checking this connection. You can hold a trucking company directly liable under a theory of negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training.

Sometimes a third party is to blame for poor maintenance and a bad connection. The bad connection could cause unsecured cargo to be thrown across the freeway, or it could cause the truck to jackknife. You will likely need to show that the third party was negligent in maintaining the connection or fixing a known problem. There are also rare instances in which a manufacturing defect is to blame. In such cases, it is possible to pursue a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Consult a Truck Crash Attorney in Los Angeles

Not all attorneys understand how to recover damages after a tractor-trailer accident. It is crucial to retain an experienced truck crash lawyer from the start, perhaps especially when there are multiple unrelated victims of an accident and multiple claims made on a single insurance policy. If you were injured in a truck trailer disconnect accident that you believe was somebody else's fault, you should consult a lawyer. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys can evaluate the circumstances surrounding a motor vehicle collision to determine whom to hold accountable for your injuries. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form. We also represent victims in Riverside, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino.

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