If you’ve spent any time traveling along Washington mountain highways, you have most likely noticed them: runaway truck ramps. These are provided for trucks that get into a very scary situation: when the trailer begins to go faster than the tractor to which it’s attached. Situations like this are extremely volatile, and all it takes is seconds for catastrophe to occur. Trailers can become detached, and will take out all that’s in front of it until it comes to rest. Imagine more than 80,000 pounds barreling at you. Assuming you can survive being in its path, you will have experienced a terribly traumatizing event, not to mention the property damage that resulted. These are some of the most horrific kinds of wrecks one can imagine, and yet they do occur on Washington roads.
If you’ve been involved in an accident because of a runaway semi truck, you will need someone to help you hold the trucking company accountable. These are nearly always preventable accidents, which means that someone, at some point, or many people at many points, were negligent or careless. These mistakes put in motion an accident waiting to happen, until it did. As the victim, you are due compensation for your losses, in hopes that they weren’t so deadly that they can never be truly compensated.
Call Bill Coats Law today, at 360-303-0601. Bill offers free consultation about your case, and will honor you with honest, empathetic counsel every step of the way.
Factors that can contribute to runaway trailer wrecks:
- Speeding: Truck drivers not only have to honor the posted speed limits, some of which hold different maximum limits for trucks versus other cars. They must adjust their speed to the type of cargo they are hauling, and be especially mindful of roadway conditions, such as snow, ice, rain, and high winds. We in Washington have some beautiful mountains, but with too much momentum, the trailer can get ahead of its tractor, to catastrophic effect.
- Steep Declines: Trucks simply need more territory in which to stop. It takes even longer when they are hauling very heavy loads. If they must stop faster than the truck is able, it can cause the trailer to have too much momentum to stop in time, and may slow down slower than the tractor it’s attached to. On a steep decline, this becomes more likely.
- Overloaded Trailers: Trucks have their limit to what they can handle, like so many things in life. Stress is defined by some as the demand outweighing the system’s ability to meet it. If tires become stressed from too much weight, they can blow. If brakes have too much weight to stop in too short a time, they can lock up or fail.
- Brake Failure: A semi tractor trailer’s braking system is complex and requires a lot of moving parts to work together. If part of them fail, it can begin a chain reaction of failures that can result in a runaway trailer.
- Other Mechanical Defects: The myriad parts that keep the trailer and its tractor connected may fail, or come apart. If this is due to defects in these parts, or if they were not inspected properly before the truck was given the okay to travel, fault can be found.
Determining Liability for a Runaway Trailer Accident
As you can imagine, a runaway trailer crash will include many aspects that need to be thoroughly investigated to prove liability. Claims may be filed against multiple parties who bear some of the responsibility, between the trucking company, the truck owner, the company that loaded the trailer, or the parts manufacturer who made and sold a defective part.
Getting Fair Compensation
It’s likely, in a runaway truck accident, that there are several ways victims were harmed. This means that there is a high potential for financial compensation to be awarded in those ways. For example, victims can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If someone was killed in this type of wreck, the family of the deceased can be awarded money for lost future wages, funeral expenses, and other related losses.
Don’t hesitate to call Bill Coats Law immediately if you have been injured, or someone close to you was hurt in a runaway truck accident. You have a right to legal representation in the process of getting compensation for your losses. The resources, support and knowledge Bill Coats provides for his client makes the difference in finding a fair and full settlement. Call Bill Coats Law today, at 360-303-0601 or fill out this form online.