Trucking + Trailer Decoupling Accidents

Trucking accidents happen for many reasons.  DBJ has represented people injured because trucking companies were negligent in many ways.  The negligent acts include:   tired truckers, truckers driving longer than allowed; phony log books; faulty brakes; truckers driving while sick and even a trucker driving with his arm in a sling.

Unfortunately, there are many instances in which trucking companies are negligent and cause accidents.  Some trucking companies place profits over safety and as a result, injure or kill people.  DBJ will represent the victims of trucking accidents and help to put their lives back together.

A trailer decoupling accident occurs when a trailer becomes disconnected from the cab or towing vehicle. While runaway trailer accidents are uncommon, they are often deadly. The sudden appearance of an out-of-control trailer careening full-speed down a highway gives the other drivers little time to react and its enormous size and weight advantage crushes anything in its path.

It is important to investigate the cause of a decoupling accident in order to determine the appropriate responsible party. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Defective coupling device
  • Improper operation of the coupling device
  • Overloaded trailer/unbalanced load
  • Speeding
  • Weather conditions/ high winds
  • Trailer sway

Trucking companies are closely regulated because of the danger these enormous vehicles pose to the other drivers on the road. The commercial driver and the trucking company both have a duty to perform inspections, maintenance, and other safety practices.

However, most decoupling accidents involve light- and medium-duty trailers owned by individuals or businesses, or rented for short-term hauling needs. These trailers are typically being towed by inexperienced drivers, unfamiliar with trailer sway and the handling effects of heavy cargo. Professional and commercial drivers are trained to respond to the physics of towing a heavily loaded trailer, but regular drivers may not be cognizant of the potential hazards.

Most trailer owners are unaware of even basic safety and proper towing procedures, and few have had any training or instruction. One survey found that fewer than half of all trailer owners properly attached their trailer’s safety chains. In all 50 states, a standard driver’s license is all that is required to tow a trailer.

If you have been involved in a decoupling accident, it is imperative that you obtain legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call DBJ at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. We have a history of successful litigation in trucking cases, including:

  • $9.5 million settlement with ABC Trucking Company for the family of a 15-year-old girl who was killed as a passenger in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer
  • $6.7 million recovery for a woman severely injured in a tractor trailer accident
  • $5.2 million settlement in a tractor trailer accident that resulted in multiple injuries and the death of an 89-year-old woman
  • Shafer v Yellow Frieght – $6 million verdict
  • Many dozens of other large settlements and verdicts from trucking accidents


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