Can I Sue for Wrongful Death if a Detached Trailer Killed My Family Member?
Yes, if the facts support your wrongful death claim against a semi-truck driver, you can sue that driver and the company that hired him if a detached trailer killed your spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece or nephew. Any money recovered in a settlement or verdict will be shared by the family according to provisions in the law and a court order.
Our truck accident lawyers have successfully handled cases like yours. Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Eric Hageman, and Brendan Flaherty are our lead lawyers for our commercial truck cases. You can click here now or call 612-338-0202 to contact them.
Who Can the Family Sue?
If a trailer detaches from the hauling vehicle, crash victims and their families have claims for money damages against the owner, the owner of the vehicle pulling the trailer, and, if there is a defective design, the manufacturer of the defective part.
Our law firm recently recovered over $40,000,000.00 for clients injured by a defective product and $3,000,000.00 in another case for a man who was injured in a crash with a vehicle that was later recalled. It is not necessary for there to be a recall of a product to win a product liability lawsuit.
When our lawyers investigate an accident, they gather and preserve evidence, analyze it, and build a winning case. Parts can include a hitch receiver, draw bar, ball mount, trailer tongue, T connector, sway control, bearing, and coupler. Every part must be gone over carefully to determine if the parts were defective in design, in manufacturing or in maintenance.
Investigation of Trailer Hitch after Crash
Our lawyers look for answers to the following questions:
- Was the hitch fitted properly on the ball?
- Was the locking mechanism is in place and working as it should have?
- Were safety chains used and in working order?
- Was the bulk of the load in the rear, causing the tongue to come loose and the trailer to detach?
- Was there a flaw in the design of the the hitch, locking mechanism or safety chains?
- Did lack of or poor maintenance cause a trailer hitch malfunction?
Trailer Accident Examples
- An accident in Minnesota resulted the deaths of a father and his three-year-old daugher. A Dodge Ram pulling an empty flatbed was heading eastbound on Highway 16 near Rushford, MN when the trailer detached and hit a car that was traveling in the opposite direction.
- A pickup was pulling an empty flatbed when it came loose, crossed the median and sliced through a Ford Explorer near the driver’s side rearview mirror. The driver of the Ford Explorer was decapitated.
- A hitch came loose and flew through the windshield of an Oregon man’s car while his 6-month-old son was in the back seat. The hitch broke the man’s arm and narrowly missed the child. It was so heavy it bent the steering wheel and tore a hole in the top of the car.
- A trailer came loose, crossed the center line of the highway and hit an oncoming vehicle. One canoe broke free and plunged through the windshield of the car, killing the man driving the car.
- In a deadly combination of both driver negligence and a defective hitch, a boat became detached and hit another car, killing the driver. The driver of the vehicle pulling the boat was also drunk, and his swerving caused the boat to hit a curb, which allowed the defective hitch to detach.