Denver Trailer Hitch Failure Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents are nothing like a standard auto collision. While crashes between cars can be debilitating, when a truck collides with another vehicle or pedestrian, it is completely disastrous. This is especially true when a truck’s trailer hitch fails, causing the driver to lose all control over the trailer. With nothing to stop it, the trailer is free to crush all surrounding cars, destroying them and injuring the occupants.
If you have found yourself the victim of a runaway trailer, you are probably in desperate need of help. From the injuries to the medical bills to the mental trauma of being involved in such a devastating accident, a runaway trailer collision can be hard to move past from. But we at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. are strong advocates for truck accident victims and, if your injuries were caused by a negligent truck company, then we will not stop until they are held accountable for their actions. With years of experience working with truck accident victims, we can offer you the legal support you need. There is no charge for an initial consultation and we do not accept a single dime of your money unless we win you a settlement or jury verdict. To talk to a skilled Denver trailer hitch failure accident attorney, call our firm at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free (877) 433-3906 today.
The hitch is what connects the trailer to the cab. It allows the driver to keep the trailer in control, despite the trailer weighing tens of thousands of pounds. The hitch is one of the most important parts of the truck, but unfortunately, this piece of machinery, which should always be in peak condition, can fail. While all auto parts naturally wear down over time, hitches should constantly be inspected to make sure they are strong and fully operational. A broken or defective hitch is almost always caused by human error and negligence.
Common ways that a trailer hitch could fail include:
- The hitch was designed defectively
- The hitch was manufactured defectively
- The trailer was overloaded
- The driver was speeding
- The hitch became overly rusted
- The brakes failed and the hitch came loose
- The driver did not slow down properly
- The driver took a turn too quickly
Trailer hitch failures can also lead to other kinds of truck accidents, such as rollovers, jackknifes, and underrides. Each of these accidents can cause extreme damage, both to other vehicles and the people inside.
All truck accidents are dangerous. The average truck weighs upwards of 80,000 pounds, with most of that weight being found in the trailer. If the hitch fails, and the trailer comes loose or is allowed to swing to the side, such as with a jackknife accident, then the resulting accident could be disastrous. The trailer can run over and crush nearby passenger vehicles. On top of that, with no cab to control the trailer, it could rush down the road for hundreds of feet, only slowing down as it hits other cars.
Understandably, the injuries that victims of these kinds of disasters sustain are debilitating. We have worked with many truck accident victims in the past, and in our experience some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Brain damage
- Spine injuries
- Severe burns
- Crush injuries
- Loss of limb or amputations
- Deep lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
It is also possible that a trailer hitch could result in death, be it at the scene of the accident or at the hospital. Even a more “minor” injury from this list of possibilities will likely have a heavy impact on your life. From the lengthy recovery period to the high medical bills to the emotional trauma that such an accident causes, a runaway trailer is likely to completely reshape your life. One of the best ways to try and get your life back on track is to file a claim against the responsible party. But just who can be considered liable?
Like with all auto accidents, there are multiple parties that could be found to be at fault. A proper investigation is needed to determine responsibility, which includes talking to witnesses, interpreting data, and even recreating the accident. The process can take time. However, in our experience, there are a few parties that are most often at fault for trailer hitch failures.
The truck driver: If the driver did not properly inspect the hitch, drove recklessly, or allowed the truck to become overloaded, then they would be the one considered at fault.
The trucking company: The company is responsible for making sure that trucks are driven, loaded, and inspected properly. If the company neglected to do this, or the purposefully pushed its driver, loading crew, or mechanics to commit negligence, then it would be considered responsible for any resulting accident.
The loading crew: Oftentimes, crews are hired to load trucks up, whether they be logging trucks, cargo trucks, or fuel trucks. If these crews overload the truck, be it on purpose or by accident, then they would be the ones responsible for the hitch failing.
The mechanic: Trucks experience a lot of wear and tear due to their time on the road. This means that they have to be inspected by a mechanic often and regularly. If the mechanic fails to run a proper inspection, or they neglect to replace a defective hitch, then any resulting hitch failure would be their responsibility.
The manufacturer: If the company who manufactured the hitch or the trailer neglected to run proper quality control tests, and the hitch was defective and failed as a result, then the manufacturing company may actually be the ones responsible for your injuries.
After determining who is liable for your accident, you will have to calculate just how much you want from your settlement. To do that, you should start with your economic damages. Economic damages include any kind of financial losses that you have suffered due to the accident. You can calculate this by holding on to any medical bills, receipts, quotes from your mechanic, and old pay stubs. Once you have all the pertinent documentation, you can add up the sum of each, and the resulting number is the very minimum that you should ask for. When it comes time to ask for this compensation, be sure that you have included:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost job opportunities
Once you have your base settlement amount from your economic damages, you can then go on to decide how much you want in non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover all physical and emotional costs associated with the accident. After all, it isn’t just your wallet that is impacted by a truck accident. Non-economic damages can be a little harder to calculate, as there is no way to put a price on physical or emotional pain. However, by speaking with medical, financial, and legal experts, you may be able to determine the general amount of money a claim would include. Common kinds of non-economic damages to claim for include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lowered quality of life
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment
That being said, getting a proper settlement without a skilled lawyer by your side will be difficult, if not impossible. Trucking companies and their insurance providers want to offer as little in compensation as possible, because it will hurt their bottom line. They do not care about what is right, only about their profits. However, with a strong and determined attorney, you can get the compensation you deserve.
We at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. often work with the severely injured, so we know just how devastating these accidents can be. We also understand how difficult it can be to get insurance companies and trucking companies to hand over the proper compensation that their victims deserve. However, none of our attorneys are afraid to go up against insurance or truckers, no matter how big their company is. To get the legal aid of a strong and dedicated Denver truck accident attorney, give Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. a call at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free (877) 433-3906.