Legal Advocates When Truck Hitch Failure Causes Injury or Death
Hitch failures are catastrophic events. When loaded trailer becomes detached from its cab and goes barreling out of control, it can wreak havoc on the highway. This usually occurs when the hitch fails, due to equipment defects, improper installation, or other causes. Hitch failure accidents can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries to other motorists on the roadway.
The injuries of those who have suffered from hitch failures are severe, and require a long, difficult recovery process to heal. Even after that process comes to an end, the victims may never be the same again. While we at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC can’t undo the trauma that was inflicted on you, we may still be able to help you receive the compensation you need to get back to some sort of normalcy. If you or a loved one have been injured in a hitch failure accident, call our Denver truck accident attorneys today at (303) 502-5587. We want to help.
What Causes Hitch Failure?
In a big rig, the trailer is attached to the cab with a hitch. This hitch is vital in keeping the trailer secured to the cab, and keeping everyone else on the road safe. Unfortunately, it does fail at times. Hitch failures may occur for any of several different reasons. Factors contributing to a runaway trailer accident may include:
- Defective hitch design
- Improper installation
- Rusted components
- Failure to properly inspect and maintain trailer and hitch
- Undersized safety chains
- Safety chains not properly attached
- Emergency trailer brake cable improperly attached
- Truck overloaded with cargo
- Potholes or other hazardous road conditions
- Driver traveling too fast for conditions
- Malfunctioning brakes
Unfortunately, hitch failures also create the risk for other kids of accidents as well. When the trailer on a big rig gets loose from the cab, it can lead to other types of deadly truck accidents. Underride accidents can occur when a runaway trailer collides with a passenger vehicle, causing the smaller vehicle to run under the rear or side of the trailer. An unhinged truck trailer can cause jackknifing, in which the trailer may swing out across several lanes of traffic, causing a multi-vehicle pileup. It can also cause the truck to rollover, creating a deadly obstacle for other motorists.
What Types of Injuries Are Caused by Hitch Failure Accidents?
A collision with a loaded trailer that detaches from an 18-wheeler can cause serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries to others on the road. These trailers are several tons, and cars are no match for them. Types of injuries caused by hitch failure accidents may include:
- Severe brain injury
- Facial fractures
- Scarring, and disfigurement
- Spinal cord injury
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Fractured, broken and crushed bones
After a trailer hitch accident, it is likely that you will be left with injuries that can take months or years to heal. Even after recovery, your life may never be the same again. You can be left with high debt and have no ability to work in order to pay off said debt. That’s why it is so important that you figure out who is liable for your accident and hold them responsible.
Who Is Liable for Hitch Failure Accidents?
In order to file a personal injury claim, you need to know who to hold accountable. We cannot tell you who is at fault for your accident without knowing the facts of your case, but there are a few common parties that may be responsible. Liability for injuries sustained in a hitch failure accident may lie with several different possible places. These may include:
Truck driver: The driver may be liable if they were driving negligently, or failed to inspect the truck and trailer for mechanical issues. Hitch failure is often caused when a driver loses control of their truck. They may lose control because they were distracted, driving aggressively, or sleeping at the wheel. A driver has a responsibility to keep those driving next to them safe by driving safely. If they fail that responsibility, they should be held liable for the injuries they caused.
Trucking company: Under federal regulations, trucking companies are required to perform regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs on their vehicles to keep them in safe operating condition. When failure to do so results in a deadly runaway trailer accident, the trucking company may be held liable. On top of that, if it is found that the trucking company pushed their driver to speed or skip rest periods, and the hitch failure is a result of that, then the company may be at fault.
Truck or parts manufacturer: If a defective part or component led to the trailer becoming detached from the cab, the manufacture of the defective product may be liable for resulting injuries.
What Damages Can Be Recovered In a Hitch Failure Accident?
If you have suffered serious or catastrophic injuries in a hitch failure truck accident, you may require extensive medical treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation, and have enormous medical bills as a result. Time away from work and some degree of permanent disability can mean substantial lost wages and loss of earning potential. Serious injuries can cause tremendous pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally, limit your activities, and significantly diminish your quality of life. After a runaway trailer accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to pursue full compensation for the full extent of your losses.
Why Choose Us?
After a hitch failure accident with serious injuries, it is critical to your recovery to pursue the maximum compensation available under the law. Your best chance of prevailing in your claim for compensation is to have an experienced lawyer representing you, who has the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively handle your case.
Our Denver personal injury attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC have been successfully representing injured people for decades. Our firm was founded in 1992, and, since then, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements, verdicts, and arbitration awards for our clients. We are a full-service law firm, and will handle everything involved in your case. This includes getting you medical providers and a rental car and dealing with property damage, employment, health insurance, and credit rating issues, in addition to handling your claim against the at-fault party. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a hitch failure accident, call us today at (303) 502-5587 to schedule a free consultation with no obligation.