Who’s Liable If I’m Injured by a Swinging Trailer?A swinging trailer incident occurs when the back end of a trailer begins to move side to side as the trailer is pulled down the road. As this happens, the trailer can cause damage to other vehicles, even leading to serious collisions that could cause injury to other drivers. There are various reasons why this could happen. Like all truck and trailer equipment, proper maintenance and upkeep are often to blame.

There are numerous situations where you, as the victim of a truck accident, may be able to recover damages from your losses. At Larson Law Firm P.C., our dedicated team of truck accident attorneys can help you determine who is responsible and what your damages are. Reach out to us for a free consultation to discuss your case with our Minot truck accident attorney.

What is truck sway?

Truck sway, or swinging, occurs when a truck, RV, or other vehicle being towed by another vehicle begins to sway or move side to side on the roadway instead of being pulled safely behind the lead vehicle. A truck tail swing may also occur when a trailer truck turns a corner. This is the amount of swing that the truck has during the turn.

In all situations, the truck driver is responsible for maintaining proper control over the vehicle. If that trucker fails to do that, and it causes injury or losses to anyone else, they may be held liable for the losses you have incurred.

Truck sway is not inevitable. With good skills behind the wheel and a properly maintained vehicle, this type of swing is not likely to happen. Collisions may be avoidable in those situations.

What causes a swinging trailer?

The following are some of the most common causes of trailer swings or sway and what can be done to prevent them.

Uneven weight distribution

One of the most common causes of swinging is uneven weight distribution. For example, when there is too much weight at the rear of the trailer, this puts a lot of pressure on those axles. This can lead to more back-and-forth movement, much like a pendulum.

In this situation, proper loading can avoid this problem. If a third party loaded the trailer, that party could be held responsible for the losses you have. Also notable, manufacturers should provide very specific insight into the weight limitations and proper distribution methods to minimize this risk.

Poor trailer design

Another common cause of significant swing occurs when the trailer’s design allows for it. This means if the wheels do not align properly or are not designed to last, it can lead to an increased risk of accidents occurring. Trailer swing can lead to snapping, too, which may be due to the poorly manufactured components of the trailer.

In this situation, the driver may not have done anything to contribute to the problem. Rather, the manufacturer of the truck or trailer, or the hitch and other components, may be responsible. In these situations, that party could be held liable for your injuries.

Exceeding the weight limit of the trailer

In some situations, poor loading is not the problem, but a lack of understanding of the weight limit for the trailer can be. The more weight on the trailer, the harder it is for that weight to be maintained evenly as the vehicle moves forward. This makes it much harder to control.

Most trailers have well-defined weight limits that drivers must follow. If that weight limit is unknown or inaccurately provided by the manufacturer, the manufacturer could be responsible for the losses. Other times, the losses could occur as a result of the loading team or truck driver not paying attention to the actual weight being placed on the trailer.

What can be done to minimize these risks?

There are various steps that truck drivers, manufacturers, and trucking companies can take to minimize the risks of truck sway or swinging occurring. Some examples include:

  • Ensuring the right hitch is being used to tow the vehicle properly.
  • Ensure the trailer is loaded properly to minimize any risk of the sway from occurring.
  • Be sure there is ample training for drivers to ensure that if sway begins to occur, the driver can manage the situation properly and minimize the risk of injury.

Let our Minot truck accident attorneys help you determine who is to blame

To determine liability in your case, our Minot truck accident lawyers work to gather information and evidence to determine who is to blame. To do this, we may:

  • Discuss your case with witnesses to determine what they saw
  • Provide requests to manufacturers about the components and construction of these systems
  • Gather information on other cases like your own that have led to similar accidents that may indicate a widespread problem
  • Use accident recreation software to determine what occurred and why
  • Use police reports and other data to determine the fault

There are numerous routes that our attorneys can take to determine who is responsible. This could be the truck driver. However, in many cases, the trucking company, the manufacturer, or the repair shop is more likely to be to blame. Let us help you find out who should pay for your losses.

At Larson Law Firm P.C., we can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove your losses and determine who is responsible for the injuries you have. This allows us to work to obtain fair and full compensation for you based on liability. Call our injury attorneys in Minot, Fargo, or Bismarck or complete our contact form to set up a free consultation. We handle all types of truck accidents involving truck and trailer equipment.