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What are the Causes of Runaway Trailer Crashes? Talk With A Lawyer

Commercial vehicle operators must possess a specific set of skills in order to operate their trucks safely. Truckers in North Carolina and across the nation are required to have certain types of licensing, depending on the type of vehicle they operate. Momentary negligence while behind the wheel or a simple mechanical error can cause a serious injury collision.

When the speed of tractor does not match the speed of the trailer, a runaway trailer crash can occur. In most instances, the speed of the trailer can force the entire truck to veer out of control. In other cases, the trailer can become detached from the tractor, causing a wake of destruction along its path until it finally comes to a stop. North Carolina runaway trailer crashes often result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a North Carolina runaway trailer crash, you may be entitled to pursue legal and financial recourse for any damages from the accident, including current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and any other losses incurred in the collision.

To begin exploring your legal options, contact our truck accident attorneys today by completing the Free Case Review form on this page.

Typical Causes of Runaway Trailer Crashes

Many different factors can contribute to a runaway trailer. Some of the most common causes of this type of accident include speeding, steep declines, sudden or unexpected turns, brake failure and other vehicle defects, and overloaded trailers.


The weight of the cargo, the conditions of the road the truck is traveling on and the type of cargo that is being transported all need to be taken into consideration. Truckers need to adjust the speed of their vehicle in accordance to these factors. Many runaway trailer crashes could have been prevented if the truck had been moving slower.

Steep Declines

Trucks that are trying to slow down while on a steep decline can have difficulty with their brakes. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will have to investigate whether the road was poorly designed or if it was driver negligence and poor braking techniques that contributed to a runaway trailer.

Sudden or Unexpected Turns

When a truck jackknifes, it is not uncommon for the trailer to become detached. It is important to determine whether the need for an unexpected turn was caused by a driver who was operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. If it is discovered that driver negligence caused an unexpected turn, the trucker may be held liable for any damages from the accident.

Brake Failure and Other Vehicle Defects

A trailer can become detached when the trailer’s brakes fail to work in conjunction with the tractor’s brakes. Vehicle defects and mechanical flaws can cause the trailer to become disconnected. These types of accidents can usually be avoided through proper inspection of the vehicle before getting on the road. Runaway trailer crashes caused by malfunctioning equipment are especially tragic since they are 100 percent preventable with proper preparation.

Overloaded Trailers

Tires can blowout or brakes can fail when a trailer is loaded with more cargo than it can safely transport or is legally permitted to carry. Investigating this type of claim is important as it may be possible that the shipping company overloaded the trailer or that inspection officials were aware that the truck was overweight; two factors that could significantly affect your ability to recover fair compensation.

Contact a Knowledgeable Runaway Trailer Accident Lawyer Today

Truck accident injury claims are often complex as any number of individuals and entities may be found responsible for the crash. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who is well-versed in complex commercial vehicle litigation.

At Lewis & Keller, we understand the intricacies that may be involved in your truck accident lawsuit. If you are unsure if you have reason to file a runaway trailer claim, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a free, initial case evaluation. We will evaluate the merits of your claim and offer guidance on how to best pursue justice for your losses.

To make sure that our clients are able to afford proper representation for their injury claim, our personal injury law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not charge you anything until we are able to successfully obtain a jury verdict or settlement in your favor. If we fail to do this, there is never any cost to you.

With offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, we are committed to fighting for the rights of anyone who has suffered harm at the hands of another person or entity, whether through negligence or malicious intent, in the state of North Carolina.

For more information on the legal rights which may be available to North Carolina runaway trailer crash victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, please complete the Free Case Review form on this page.

Winston-Salem Office

285 Executive Park Boulevard
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103

Phone: 336-765-7777
Fax: 336-659-1750

Greensboro Office

204 Muirs Chapel Road
Greensboro, North Carolina 27410

Phone: 336-851-1000
Fax: 336-659-1750

Free Case Review

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