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Who Is At Fault If You Are Hit By A Loose Trailer?

There are many hazards on the road, but one of the most common is rarely discussed. Every year thousands of people are injured in accidents caused by loose and runaway trailers. Trailers can weigh thousands of pounds, especially when overloaded. Coupled with high speeds and unpredictability, they can be extremely dangerous if they come loose.

How Common Are Accidents From Loose Trailers?

A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that there are around 53,000 trailer accidents a year leading to 450 deaths and 21,000 injuries. The reason trailer accidents are so common in Florida, is because trailers are generally unregulated. As a result, some professional trucking companies take shortcuts because there are rarely any legal consequences for having an inadequately attached trailer. Another factor is that most people do not know how to connect a trailer to a hitch properly or how to drive when the hitch is attached. Thus, it is very common for a trailer to come loose from a private vehicle.

What Causes Trailers To Break Loose?

There are several factors that can cause a trailer to become loose. The most common reasons include:

  • Improper Attachment: If the trailer is not hooked up correctly to the trailer hitch or if the hitch is improperly installed on the vehicle, trailers can easily come loose.
  • Speeding: Trailers add excess weight to a vehicle so when a driver is speeding they will often underestimate the time they need to stop or make a turn and the trailer can break loose.
  • Sudden Turns: Sudden turns are very dangerous with trailers. The trailer may become overstressed and come loose or the turn isn’t wide enough causing the trailer to hop a curb or median and then come loose.
  • Declines: Declines are an issue for inexperienced trailer drivers because they can easily underestimate the weight and dimensions of the load. On steep declines, it is very easy for vehicle to suddenly stop, causing the trailer to break loose.
  • Overloaded Trailers: Overloaded trailers can cause problems in two ways. First, they make it more difficult for the driver to manage the trailer. Then secondly, the can tax the hitch, wheels, and other components. In both cases, it’s very easy for a trailer to come loose.
  • Broken Components: Components that are rusted, cracked, or worn can often break during the pressures of driving. When this happens, trailers tend to come loose from the hitch.
  • Manufacturer Or Design Defect: Even in cases when the driver has exercised caution and the trailer has been properly connected, a trailer can still break loose as a result of a manufacturer or design defect that caused the trailer to be unsafe before it even hit the road.

Who Is Responsible For An Accident Caused By A Loose Trailer?

In the case of a loose trailer, determining liability can be a pretty complicated process. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there can be one or more parties liable for the accident including:

  • The driver of the vehicle
  • The trucking company
  • The cargo loaders
  • The manufacturer of the hitch
  • The manufacturer of the trailer

What To Do If You Are In An Accident With A Loose Trailer

Loose trailer accidents are very complicated because there are so many people that may be liable. Insurance companies know this and will often bounce the your case back and forth between the different parties. This can be really frustrating if you have medical bills stacking up or need to get your vehicle fixed so you can get back in the road. That is why if you are ever hit by a loose trailer, you need a personal injury attorney. A good attorney, like our experts at , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, & Walsh will conduct independent investigations into the accident to determine who is at fault. Then we will negotiate with the right insurance company to get you a fair settlement fast.

If you’re one of the thousands of people who have been injured or lost property due to a loose or runaway trailer call us today. We have over 150 combined experience in Florida helping people just like you get the settlement they deserve for their injuries. Call us today!

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Who Is At Fault If You Are Hit By A Loose Trailer?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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