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Hitch Failures/Runaway Trailer

Syracuse Lawyers for Injuries and Wrongful Death Arising Out of Hitch Failures

18-wheeler trucks and other types of commercial trucks are usually composed of both a trailer and a cab. The truck driver sits in the cab. The trailer is attached to the cab with a hitch. The hitch is a crucial part of a properly maintained truck. Without it, the trailer may become detached such that the tractor separates from the trailer. Everyone on the road is at risk of colliding with the runaway trailer. Left with nobody to maneuver it, the trailer can easily destroy everything in its path. There may be multiple parties to blame for a runaway trailer. They may blame each other or accident victims. A runaway trailer can collide with multiple vehicles leaving numerous injuries and fatalities in its wake. You are best served by retaining a plaintiff’s firm with a strong reputation. If you were injured as the result of a hitch failure or runaway trailer, you should give the seasoned Syracuse truck accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano a call.

Hitch Failures and Runaway Trailers

Hitch failures may be the result of:

  • Lack of driver training
  • Overloaded cargo
  • Speeding
  • Rusted parts
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Defectively designed hitch
  • Defective brakes.

Injured truck accident victims in Syracuse achieve the best results in hitch failure cases when they are represented by seasoned trial attorneys who understand how to navigate these challenging cases and investigate who to hold responsible. Insurers for a truck driver and trucking company may send accident reconstruction experts to the scene to examine debris, skid marks, and other evidence. It’s important to retain an attorney who works with credible experts and understands the importance of obtaining and preserving evidence.

Truck Driver Liability

You may be able to hold a truck driver liable for injuries you sustain as a result of a hitch failure. Suppose, for instance, a truck driver didn’t conduct a proper inspection of the truck and trailer prior to setting out on the highway, and the hitch fails, resulting in an accident in which you are paralyzed. In order to hold him responsible for your paralysis, we’ll need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) he owed you a duty to use reasonable care when inspecting the hitch, (2) he breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) the hitch failure caused your injuries, and (4) actual damages.

Often, however, there are multiple injured people and family members of decedents claiming against a truck driver’s insurance policy. Insurance coverage may be exhausted quickly. It’s important to look at whether others are also to blame for the hitch failure.

Trucking Company Negligence

In some cases, a hitch failure is the result of a trucking company’s negligence. For instance, it could be the result of a company that doesn’t adequately maintain its vehicles and trailers. We would need to establish negligent maintenance. A hitch failure could also be the result of a trucking company’s negligent hiring, supervision, or training of a truck driver. A trucking company may also be held vicariously liable for its truck driver’s negligence in the course and scope of employment.

Product Liability

Hitch failures may be the result of design or manufacturing defects. When a hitch or other part of the truck is defective, it may be appropriate to pursue a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer. These lawsuits may be pursued under a theory of strict liability; we would need to prove a defect caused your injuries, rather than showing that the truck manufacturer owed you a particular duty of care, which he breached, thereby causing your injuries.


We may be able to recover damages on your behalf if you were injured or a loved one was killed as a result of negligence resulting in a hitch failure or runaway trailer. Compensatory damages could include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
Choosing a Truck Accident Attorney Who Seeks the Best Results

Hitch failures may have devastating consequences for you and your family. It’s important to choose your law firm wisely. You should choose a firm that has good client reviews and a record of wins. Our Syracuse trial lawyers belong to the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Our reputation and experience precede us in negotiations with trucking companies and their insurers. We represent truck accident victims in Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Oswego, Lowville, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Herkimer, Binghamton, and Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 833-200-2000.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY