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How to Proceed After a Detached Trailer Causes You Harm


With spring on the horizon, we are sure to start seeing many Missouri residents hitching their boat trailers to the back of their vehicle and heading out to the lake.


Take care when riding alongside any vehicle with an attached trailer. These are not only difficult to maneuver but also pose a risk of coming undone, especially at high speeds. When this happens, there is a sudden non-moving obstruction in the middle of the roadway that can cause a serious accident. If you were injured in an accident involving any type of trailer, contact a Missouri car accident attorney immediately. If it turns out that the trailer was not attached properly, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

How Accidents with a Trailer Hitch Happen

An accident with a trailer hitch is almost always the result of one of these circumstances: The hitch was not fitted properly onto the ball, there was no locking mechanism or it was not working properly, safety chains were either not in place or not attached correctly, the trailer load was back heavy allowing the tongue to come loose, or any one of the safety components had a design flaw. If the cause of your accident can be traced back to a fatal error in the design of the trailer hitch, then you may have a products liability case. Your Missouri car accident attorney will conduct a full investigation into the details of your crash before deciding the best way to pursue payment of damages for your injuries.

Using Extra Caution While on the Road

The driver of the SUV or pick-up that is pulling the trailer needs to be extra cautious while out on the ride. Sudden maneuvers or large bumps can cause even a properly attached trailer to come undone. This means driving slowly with tail lights and brake lights that are in good working order. If a trailer pulls away from the vehicle at a high speed, the damage it can do can be catastrophic.

There is a case where the velocity of a detached trailer was so strong that it sliced through the door of the vehicle and decapitated the driver. Recently in Franklin County a driver suffered from a serious leg fracture after a trailer became detached and caused a major roadway accident. The owner of the trailer agreed to a $387,500 settlement to cover the cost of his medical bills as well as the plaintiffs lost time from work.

Finding Evidence of Negligence

Just like in any car accident case, those involving a trailer need to show evidence of negligence in order to be successful. Insurance policies cover the damage caused by a trailer, so it is likely that the policy carrier will be fighting hard to avoid a payout. It is important that you contact a Missouri car accident attorney as quickly as possible after your accident. He will need time to go over the crash and look at the trailer and hitch to determine exactly what the cause was. Once the cause has been established, you can be sure he will work hard to help you receive compensation.

Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.

Photo credit:  ScaryComputer

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Updated: May 10, 2024