What Is a “Runaway Truck”?

A runaway truck is a truck that rolls backward or forwards due to a brake malfunction. The larger and heavier the truck, the more susceptible it is because of the sheer amount of stress placed on the brakes. Runaway truck accidents typically happen on steep roads and are caused by improper brake maintenance, manufacturing defects, and/or poor design.

Runaway trucks can pose a serious hazard to traffic, especially when the big rig is moving downhill and gaining momentum. Truckers and occupants of smaller surrounding vehicles can be severely or fatally injured in such accidents.

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What Is a “Runaway Trailer”?

A runaway or detached trailer is one of the most terrifying things that can be witnessed on the road because the driver cannot control a trailer when it escapes. The risk of a runaway trailer increases when a truck and the trailer are moving at different speeds, often on steep or winding roads. Other factors that may cause a hitch to snap include:

  • Shifting cargo in an overloaded trailer
  • Brake failures
  • Sudden shifts in speed
  • Sudden turns

Unfavorable road conditions and driver fatigue can exacerbate the chances of a trailer detachment. The dangers of a runaway trailer are similar to that of a runaway truck and can lead to catastrophic damage if there is a collision.

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Common Injuries Resulting From a Runaway Truck or Trailer Detachment

A typical passenger vehicle weighs about 4000 pounds, while a fully loaded big rig can weigh up to 80000 pounds (or 36 tonnes). Even when unloaded, a truck weighs around 35000 pounds, almost eight times the average passenger vehicle. Therefore, passenger vehicle occupants are often the most severely injured in runaway accidents.

In our experience as NY truck accident attorneys, some of the injuries we have seen from these accidents are:

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Legal Matters After a New York Truck Accident

Depending on the circumstances, liability for a runaway truck or trailer accident can fall on the trucker, trucking company, manufacturer, or other third parties depending on the circumstances. It is important to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you are a victim because the issue of liability can be complex. Once liability has been determined, the attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve. This might include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and future lost earning capacity
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Assisted living devices (e.g. wheelchairs) and home accessibility costs
  • Costs related to daily living
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering

Unfortunately, many of those involved in runaway truck or trailer detachment accidents are killed. If someone you love has died as a result of such an accident, a NYC injury attorney can help you sue for wrongful death. This type of claim can be pursued if the death was the result of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct.

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Call Our New York Truck Accident Lawyers For a Free Consultation

Injuries from a runaway truck and trailer detachment accident can be debilitating and life-altering. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we understand the importance of compensation for victims and families. As New York’s leading personal injury lawyers, you can trust us to take care of your case. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Additional Information

Our Truck Accident Case Results

$6.5 Million - Man Hit by Truck in Queens

WRSMH attorneys Bryce Moses and Ashley Jacoby obtained a large verdict for a man who was struck by a truck in Queens.

Bryce Moses, Ashley Jacoby

$3.5 Million - Young Woman Run Over By Garbage Truck

Bryce Moses represented a young woman who was run over by a garbage truck in Brooklyn that shattered her ankle in three places.

Bryce Moses

$3.3 Million - NY Truck Accident Case

The plaintiff asserted that the injuries suffered in the collision with the truck will permanently prevent her from working.

Kenneth Halperin, Philip Russotti

$3 Million - New York Truck Accident

Cliff Shapiro and another WRSMH attorney were able to settle a truck accident case for the amount of $3,000,000 on behalf of a 45 year old delivery man from Queens.

Clifford Shapiro

$2.9 Million - Vehicle Hit by Truck

Victor Goldblum successfully represented a client who underwent three surgeries as the result of injuries sustained in a truck collision.

Victor Goldblum

$2 Million - Client Rear-ended by a Tractor Trailer While Stopped at a Traffic Light

Plaintiff sustained multiple injuries when he was rear-ended by a tractor trailer while he was stopped at a traffic light.

Ashley Jacoby

$2 Million - Flatbed Tractor Trailer Backed Into Minibus

Cliff Shapiro obtained a recovery for a 32-year-old male who was in the course of his employment with Access-A-Ride when his vehicle was struck by a flatbed tractor trailer.

Clifford Shapiro

$2 Million - Rockland County Woman Rear-ended by a Semi-tractor Trailer

Luigi Izzo obtained $2 million for a client who was injured after being rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer.

Luigi Izzo

$1.8 Million - Two Clients Struck by Garbage Truck

WRSMH attorneys obtained a $1,800,000 settlement a year before trial for two plaintiffs who were injured after they were struck by a garbage truck.

Clifford Shapiro, Noah Katz

$1.5 Million - New York City Department of Sanitation Truck Accident

This motor vehicle accident involved a 43 year old woman who was rear-ended by a New York City Department of Sanitation truck.

Michael Fitzpatrick, Clifford Shapiro

$1.5 Million - Bronx Woman Injured in Truck Collision

WRSMH attorneys Clifford Shapiro, Robert Bellinson, and another WRSMH attorney were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $1,500,000 on behalf of a fifty-one year old librarian from Bronx County.

Clifford Shapiro, Robert Bellinson

$1.5 Million - Back Seat Passenger Underwent Lumbar Fusion

The plaintiff, a 29 year old male, was injured when he was a back seat passenger of a car that was sideswiped by a commercial truck which caused the car to be pushed off of the road into a tree.

Michael Fitzpatrick

$1.5 Million - Rear-Ended by a Truck at Red Light

Our client, was stopped at red light when she was rear-ended by a truck. Victor Goldblum was able to obtain $1,500,000 for our client, who required surgery as a result of the crash.

Victor Goldblum

$1.41 Million - Queens Box Truck Rollover Leaves Occupant Injured

The plaintiff, an occupant of a truck, was injured in a single vehicle accident and required surgeries to the neck and back.

Ashley Jacoby

$1.35 Million - Rear-End Truck Accident Causing Injuries

Plaintiff sustained injuries to his knee and spine after his vehicle was rear-ended by a truck.

Ryan Lawlor

$1.3 Million - Crash with Fire Department Truck

Philip Russotti and Brielle C. Goldfaden obtained a $1.3 million settlement after jury selection on a trial against the City of New York, the New York City Fire Department and an FDNY employee.

Philip Russotti, Brielle Goldfaden,William Hepner

$1.3 Million - Parked Car Sideswiped by Commercial Truck

Our client in this case was a 37-year old man who was injured when his parked school bus was sideswiped by the defendants' commercial truck.

Kenneth Halperin,

$1.150 Million - Garbage Truck Accident Case

Bryce Moses and another WRSMH attorney were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $1,150,000 on behalf of our client, a 35-year-old man from Kings County.

Bryce Moses,

$1.1 Million - Struck by Garbage Truck Which Attempted Right Turn from Left Lane

Kenneth J. Halperin obtained a $1,100,000 settlement for a man who was operating his livery cab when he was struck by a garbage truck that attempted to make a right turn from the left lane and broadsided his vehicle.

Kenneth Halperin

$950,000 - Man Rear-Ended by Tailgating Truck

Luigi Izzo successfully represented a client who suffered multiple injuries after being rear-ended by a truck that was tailgating.

Luigi Izzo

Click here to see more NY Truck Accident Verdicts & Settlements