When Truck Accidents Are Caused by a Truck Hitch Failure?

Truck accident claims are more complex than other crashes for many reasons. There can be different liable parties besides the driver, and several causes that lead to the accident besides driver error. One of these is truck hitch failure.

A truck hitch is a device found on the back of the truck cab; it lets the front cab pull the trailer. Pickup trucks typically have smaller ball hitches, but semi-trucks have larger, stronger ones with more working parts.

Truck hitches lie flat on the backs of the cabs, with horse-shoe-like impressions and locking mechanisms. Those locks are supposed to securely hold the trailer’s pin in place, keeping it attached to the cab. The drivers usually back up the cab until the coupling aligns with the trailer’s pin.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 50,000 accidents yearly are related to hitch failure. It is generally caused by defective equipment, driver inexperience, and poor installation. Here are some other reasons:

  • Broken locking mechanism
  • Defective brakes
  • Failing to use safety chains or using the wrong kind of safety chains
  • Negligent driving, like speeding
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Poor road conditions
  • Rusted hitch parts
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Using the wrong hitch components for the truck

Truck drivers and trucking companies must hire certified technicians who regularly inspect and repair their vehicles. Those mechanics and repair shops should be vigilant when inspecting truck hitches; drivers should not be allowed to use vehicles with damaged or defective ones.

Who Is Responsible for a Truck Hitch Accident?

Determining liability for any truck accident takes time because so much goes into a semi-truck manufacture, maintenance, repairs, and cargo loading. This is typically accomplished by third parties, like truck companies, trucking delivery companies, body shops, and other vendors.

If the truck driver involved is an owner-operator, they might be held responsible for negligent driving – those who work for trucking companies might share liability with their employers. Your truck accident lawyer will look into the driver’s background, the company’s hiring practices, and other sources of evidence like traffic cameras and police reports.

Our Washington, DC Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Handle Truck Hitch Accident Cases

Experience counts with complicated truck hitch accident cases, and you can depend on our skilled Washington, DC truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, call us at 202-331-1963 or complete our online form. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.