Runaway trailer truck accidents happen more frequently than commonly known. A Los Angeles Times report reviewed news reports and court records and discovered approximately 540 such accidents in the United States during a seven-year period, leading to 164 fatalities and numerous injuries. However, these figures likely understate the problem because many occurrences go unreported in the media or electronic records.

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What Are Runaway Trailer Accidents?

A runaway trailer accident occurs when a trailer disconnects from the tractor, often due to improper hitching or maintenance. Once detached, the driver loses control of the trailer, potentially causing serious harm to other vehicles, pedestrians, and structures. These accidents can result in severe injuries, property damage, and even fatalities.

Most Common Causes Of Runaway Trailer Accidents In Orange County, CA

Trailer disconnections can cause immense destruction and result from various factors. Whether it’s due to a driver’s inattention or a mechanic’s oversight during a vehicle check-up, a small error can lead to long-lasting agony and misery for the victims. 

For accident attorneys, it’s crucial to understand the common reasons behind trailer disconnections to handle your case better. The following are the most frequently observed causes:

  • Overloaded trailer
  • Improperly secured cargo
  • Mechanical problems with the vehicle
  • Rusty or worn-out parts
  • Incompatible brakes on the truck and trailer
  • Inadequate vehicle maintenance
  • Defective hitch
  • Steep roads
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Sharp turns
  • Failure to use breakaway chains
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Road hazards such as debris, rocks, and potholes
  • Unstable road surfaces
  • Improper trailer attachment
  • Neglecting to perform a pre-trip inspection

Runaway Trailer Accident Liability

Trailer disconnection incidents can have several responsible parties. For instance, drivers must ensure that all trailer components are safe by conducting a thorough inspection. They must also adhere to state and federal rules governing cargo security and vehicle maintenance. For example, if a driver fails to do so or fails to ensure proper trailer attachment, they may be liable for negligence.

An investigation may determine that several other parties have accountability. For instance, the mechanic responsible for maintaining the truck may have overlooked a mechanical issue that should have been caught. Alternatively, the individuals responsible for loading the truck may have exceeded the weight limit or improperly loaded it. The trailer manufacturer may also be responsible for using substandard materials, resulting in hitch failure and the resulting accident.

Determining liability is a case-by-case process. It is not always just the truck driver who can be held responsible for damages. An experienced Orange County truck accident attorney will look after the specifics and determine the parties accountable for the accident.

Common Injuries From A Runaway Trailer Accident

A trailer weighs thousands of pounds when unloaded, and cargo increases the weight many times. Suppose an uncontrolled trailer collides with a passenger vehicle. In that case, it can result in severe, devastating, or even deadly injuries to the car’s occupants and motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Some examples of such injuries are:

  • Damage to the head and injury to the brain
  • Paralysis and injury to the spinal cord
  • Fractures of the bones
  • Harm to internal organs
  • Loss of limbs
  • Fatality or death
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I was rear ended on the highway by a driver that was not paying attention. He didn’t even slow down. After the collision, I couldn’t even walk. Sam and his team helped me every step of the way. They made sure that I received the best treatment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them. They fought the insurance company to make sure I received full value for my car. Sam was able to get all my bills covered and on top of that held the other driver and his insurance company accountable. I received the settlement that I deserve and helped me move with my life after an accident that changed my life.
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What Should You Do After A Runaway Truck Trailer Accident?

If a runaway truck trailer accident occurs, prioritize the safety of everyone involved and call for medical assistance. Only leave the accident after you have contacted the police, as leaving the scene is illegal in most areas, including Orange County. 

It is important to obtain a police report for your case. When speaking with the police, provide only factual information about the accident and avoid taking responsibility or disregarding others’ roles in the incident. Additionally, gather evidence and information about all parties involved. Finally, seek the guidance of an experienced Orange County runaway trailer accident lawyer, such as Nordean Law, who can offer free consultation and expert legal advice.

Understanding Runaway Trailer Insurance

After a runaway trailer accident, it’s crucial to understand the different types of insurance coverage that trucking companies carry. Each type serves a specific purpose, from primary liability to comprehensive physical damage and collision coverage, motor truck cargo coverage, general liability, and non-trucking liability/bobtail coverage. Read on to learn more about these coverage options and their importance.

  • The primary liability coverage option safeguards against any harm caused to other individuals due to a truck accident and is compulsory according to state and federal regulations.
  • The comprehensive physical damage and collision coverage, on the other hand, is an insurance policy that covers the expense of replacing or repairing your truck and trailer in case of damage from various factors such as collisions, fires, theft, hail, windstorm, earthquake, flood, mischief, or vandalism.
  • Motor truck cargo coverage protects transporters from their responsibility in case of damaged or lost freight and is obtained with a maximum load limit per vehicle.
  • General liability coverage protects against injuries or property damage that might occur while on your premises, using your products or services, or due to a contract breach.
  • Lastly, the non-trucking liability coverage provides limited liability insurance for owner-operators permanently leased to an ICC-regulated carrier. This coverage offers limited liability protection when the owner-operator is not on dispatch or pulling a loaded trailer.

How Can A Lawyer Help You Gain A Fair Compensation?

Due to the severity of injuries and damages caused by a runaway trailer accident, it is essential to rely on the help of an experienced lawyer. Such a lawyer can assist in securing compensation for losses and injuries resulting from the accident. 

At Nordean Law, we have top-notch personal injury lawyers who specialize in truck accidents. We undertake several tasks, such as determining the responsible party, collecting evidence, identifying compensation for injuries, and negotiating settlements. Common pieces of evidence we gather include the following: the driver’s log book, electronic data, maintenance records, safety records, and cell phone data.

We offer free consultations and guide you through the complexities of your claim. Nordean Law is here to listen, guide, and represent you through thick and thin.

Standard Recovery Compensation in Runaway Trailer Accidents 

There is no standard recovery compensation for runaway trailer accidents, as damages vary significantly. However, several factors impact the settlement value, including economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost income, and intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, and emotional distress. 

The percentage of the fault also affects compensation. An accident lawyer can help calculate the monetary value of the loss and claim appropriate compensation.

Contact Top Rated Orange County Runaway Trailer Accident Attorney

sam nordean: orange county based personal injury lawyer

Sam Nordean has made a commitment to helping victims get back what was taken away from them. He fights for people that are injured and can’t fight for themselves.

“Going to court or negotiating a settlement is not akin to my client winning a lottery ticket. It’s about balancing the scales; it’s what they’re owed.”

In the unfortunate event of a runaway trailer accident in Orange County, it is vital to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer immediately. With the expertise and skill of a knowledgeable attorney, you can navigate the intricate legal process and fight for your right to compensation. 

Don’t delay; contact a top-rated Orange County runaway trailer accident attorney at Nordean Law today for a free consultation. We’ll guide you through your case with proper representation and help you understand your legal options. Don’t wait; call us now at 888-527-1267 and schedule a free consultation.

"We never lose sight of the pain and suffering of your recovery, not to mention emotional trauma that lasts for years."

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