Atlanta Runaway Trailer Accident Lawyer
Large commercial trucks, whether they are called tractor trailers, semi trucks, big rigs, or 18-wheelers, are a class of vehicle all to themselves. At a maximum of 80,000 pounds, they are the biggest and heaviest vehicles that regularly travel our roads and can only do so while obeying certain state and federal regulations. Their operation is more complicated than everyday passenger cars and requires a commercial driver's license (CDL). These road giants, unfortunately, also have the ability to cause complete destruction and devastation in the case of a crash. One of the common types of large truck accidents, especially in uneven terrain, is a runaway trailer accident.
A truck crash is considered a runaway trailer accident under two conditions, both of which typically involve inconsistent speed or momentum. A runaway trailer occurs when the speed of the trailer does not match the speed of the truck. This usually results in the truck veering out of control, or, in some cases, the out of control trailer detaching from the truck. There is no stopping a detached, out of control trailer. The results of such a crash can be deadly and involve multiple vehicles.
In most cases, a trucker can avoid a runaway trailer situation by adjusting their speed and driving pattern to reflect the current conditions of the road. A responsible, alert, and experienced operator knows how to navigate steep declines and how to drive safely in inclement weather. If a trucker drives unsafely, whether by violating traffic laws or speed limits or not taking the current conditions into account, he or she may be held liable for any resulting collisions. If the driver is aware of defects or overdue maintenance and drives the big rig, he or she may also be held liable in the event of a runaway trailer crash.
The Trucking Company
If a truck owner or trucking company manager knowingly orders an unsuspecting truck operator to drive a tractor trailer that is known to have defective or worn brakes, or other hazardous defects, then the trucking company or the truck's owner can be held directly liable for the crash. Likewise, if the trucking company fails to perform the necessary maintenance and a truck in disrepair causes a crash, the company may he held directly liable. The trucking company is also usually liable for the acts of its employees.
The City or State
If a road or highway is damaged or in disrepair with cracks and potholes, or is in a dangerous condition, such as having fallen rocks, trees, or other debris on the road, and the condition is not fixed in a timely manner, the city or state agency that is responsible for maintaining that road may be held responsible if the hazardous conditions cause a runaway crash.
Runaway trailer accidents have a number of potential causes, which would determine liability. Many of these causes overlap with those of jackknife accidents.
Some common causes include:
- Speeding, or other driver negligence;
- Steep declines;
- Hazardous roadways;
- Brake failure, or other mechanical/equipment defects;
- Sudden turns or braking; and
- Overloaded trailer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash that was caused by the negligence of another, you have the right to pursue compensation for losses and damages in civil court. At Grant Law Office, our knowledgeable Atlanta big rig accident lawyers will examine the details of your accident to determine fault and advise you on the best course of legal action. Contact us today for a consultation at (404) 995-3955 or toll-free at (866) 249-5513.
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