Runaway Trailer Accidents / Negligent Hitch Failures in NYC
We’ve all seen vehicles towing trailers, horses, or other vehicles behind them. Take a drive on just about any road in New York (especially on the Interstates), and you’ll likely encounter a few.
Regular, everyday drivers routinely hitch boats, storage trailers, and other vehicles or devices to the backs of their cars and hit the road. It’s certainly an efficient way of transporting heavy cargo without paying a lot of money. But the people doing the hitching are not professionals and they don’t necessarily know what they’re doing.
Sometimes, these hitches fail or otherwise come undone while traveling down the road. At high speeds or on crowded roads, you can imagine the catastrophe that might transpire.
Runaway trailer accidents and other negligent hitch failures can cause incredible devastation. Some are even deadly.
It happens more often than you might think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 50,000 towing accidents in the United States every year. In fact, during 2007, negligent hitch failures and similar towing accidents were responsible for more than 21,000 injuries and 450 deaths.
Runaway trailer accidents are serious, and their victims deserve compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for denying claims in these cases, even when they have an obvious responsibility to pay. Often, victims are unable to make headway with the insurer until they bring an experienced NYC auto accident attorney on board.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand how runaway trailer accidents happen and how to effectively maximize compensation for victims after the fact. We are dedicated to holding careless parties responsible for negligent hitch failures and achieving justice for those who are injured as a result.
Common Causes of Runaway Trailer Accidents
In some of these cases, the root causes are as simple as sloppy hitching. In others, the fault is more technical and may even lie with a manufacturer or third party instead of the trailer’s driver.
Common causes related to the driver and his or her installation of the hitch include:
- Hastily installed hitches
- Failure to carefully inspect hitch for safety and stability before operating at high speeds
- Failure to follow instructions when installing hitches
- Rusting components within the hitch
- Using very old hitches
- Towing overweight cargo
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Failure to properly apply the appropriate safety chains
- Hazardous road conditions
- Highway obstructions
- Inclement weather.
Common causes related to a manufacturer include:
- Defect in the design or production of the hitch
- Inadequate instructions or safety warnings in the sale of the hitch
- Failure to recall or address known safety problems with specific hitches
- Defective trailer tongues or couplers
- Malfunctioning brakes.
In some towing accident cases, local governments or other third parties may also share in the liability.
Talk to an Experienced NYC Auto Accident Attorney at Kaplan Lawyers PC
If you’ve been injured by a runaway trailer or a hitch failure in New York, an experienced NYC auto accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve — even if an insurance company is putting up a fight. Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC to get started with a free, no-obligation case review today.
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