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633 W 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642.

2323 S. Voss Rd, Suite 244
Houston, TX 77057
(832) 592-1260.

Date Modified: March 25, 2023

Defects in trailer hitches or failure to properly install a hitch often lead to fatal or catastrophic injuries. Failing to install a trailer hitch or error can result in trailers separating from towing vehicles. So this causes it to break free and collide with oncoming traffic.

Our law offices commit to representing individuals suffering severe harm in trucking accidents. Also, we are world-famous for protecting their legal rights. Our law firm offers a free consultation to discuss your legal traffic incident claim.

When Trailers Come Loose

The truck after it got a trailer hitch coming loose accident on highway
The truck after it got in an accident on the highway and lost its load from a defective trailer hitch

Trailers can come loose and detached from all types of vehicles. In particular, big rigs, trucks, pickup trucks, flatbeds, and sports utility vehicles are at risk. But marketable products and camping trailers are also known for this.

A host of fatal injuries happen because of defects in trailer hitches or because they weren’t properly attached. Perhaps the safety chains weren’t as secure as they should’ve been, or the electric brakes are faulty.

Unfortunately, when truck drivers are transporting cargo, they may end up at the center of runaway trailer accidents because of these mistakes. Runaway trailers often smash into at least one motor vehicle in oncoming traffic.

All kinds of vehicles may see a trailer detached at some point, including:

  • Dump truck
  • Big rigs
  • Pickup trucks
  • Flatbeds
  • Sports utility vehicles
  • Camping trailers.

Even marketable products are known for this. Our Los Angeles office is dedicated to representing those who may have suffered severe injuries from serious accidents of this nature. Not only is our legal team famous for representing numerous clients across personal injury cases and product liability lawsuits, such as defective design cases, but we also offer a zero-fee guarantee for the initial consultation. Discuss your traffic incident claim with our expert attorneys today!

Why Might a Truck Driver Have a Trailer Detach?

Here are some of the most common reasons for a trailer hitch getting detached from a truck in Los Angeles County:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Inadequately designed locking mechanisms
  • Defective vehicle or trailer parts
  • The maintenance crew failed to secure the locking mechanism securely
  • Failure or improper use of safety chains
  • Towing more weight than the trailer hitch and ball are meant to carry
  • Improperly attached or absence of trailer brakes.

Who Are The Common At-Fault Parties?

There are parties commonly held at fault when a trailer detaches from a motor vehicle. They include truck drivers and operators or drivers of other cars towing the trailer. And if a wreck occurs, truck drivers can get held liable. But often, employers of the driver may also get held responsible.

The others that be responsible are the person or party responsible for the installation of the hitch. So manufacturers are liable when there is a flaw causing a defect in the snare.

Even truck rental companies may be liable. So these include U-Haul, Budget, and the maintenance crew or employee. They can all become defendants.

Defective Equipment And Parts?

Faulty equipment and parts are the cause of accidents. Because of this, a detached trailer can result. The defects can get divided into three categories in product liability lawsuits.

  • Defective Design: The faulty design of the product can become established. This is done by showing the hitch manufacturer could have used a less lousy design. But plaintiffs must show that defendants failed to implement the manufacture of conception when they knew it could be safer.
  • Manufacturing Defects: These are flaws occurring during the manufacturing process. So if the hitch is different than the original design and distributed, it will have the propensity to fail.
  • Defective Labeling: Defective labeling can include the failure to warn of dangers. But these also may get associated with the intended use of the product.

Depending on the circumstances a law firm may discover after a runaway trailer incident, different parties could be held liable, including:

  • Truck drivers
  • Those driving other cars towing the trailer
  • Employers
  • Manufacturers
  • Truck rental companies.

Any of these parties could become defendants for accidents caused by runaway trailer accidents. Depending on the police report and other investigation elements, in Los Angeles, CA, the law tends to direct attorneys.

What Injuries Are Common In Hitch Detachment Accidents?

Some injuries are both severe and shared in this type of collision, including:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries.
  • Facial fractures.
  • Other fractures and broken bones.

Unfortunately, these accidents are often synonymous with pedestrian fatalities since unsuspecting citizens may be inadvertently struck at any time.

Recovering Damages

The goal is to recover compensation for the injuries suffered in this type of motor vehicle accident. These get collected from the liable party. Plaintiffs become entitled to damages for their losses, including:

  • Health and medical costs are paid out of pocket.
  • Medication expenses.
  • Rehabilitation costs.
  • Future medical expenses.
  • Recovery of lost earnings and reduction of future lost income.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. But this is separate from the compensation award. Punitive damages get awarded when defendants are egregiously reckless.

What About Wrongful Death In Loose Trailer Collisions?

When a person gets killed by a runaway trailer, the family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. So this gets filed against the liable parties. And this gets done under the California Wrongful Death Code of Civil Procedure. So this section outlines what family members may bring this type of action.

But it gets brought against the negligent or careless party. So the spouse of the victim, domestic partner, children, stepchildren, the issue of deceased children can seek money. Also, in the absence of immediate family members, less immediate family members may sue.

How Do You Go About Consulting A Detached Trailer Hitch Attorney in California?

Did you get harmed or lose a loved one in an accident involving a defective trailer hitch or runaway trailer? If so, we offer a free no-obligation consultation. So now, you can explore your legal options. Last, Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC can be contacted toll-free at (213) 596-9642.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
Animation of injury lawyer, Michael Ehline Animation of injury lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Top Injury lawyer, Michael Ehline, Esq.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.