The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration carefully regulates all trucking companies and their loads to make sure they are safe and secure. But what about trailers being pulled by vehicles driven by private citizens?
Nevada law stipulates that every driver is responsible for the contents of a load that is being towed on a trailer, as well as the roadworthiness and security of the trailer itself. If an unsecured load or improperly-attached trailer causes an accident, the driver is liable for any injuries or property damage that may be incurred by other motorists.
Unfortunately, such accidents are all too common. On the afternoon of August 22, a personal watercraft fell off of a trailer that was being pulled by a vehicle causing a five-car accident on Interstate 15 (I-15) near Sahara. According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, several people suffered injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital.
This trailer accident is the kind that often results in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. As with 18-wheelers, many motor vehicle accidents involving spilled contents are caused by:
- a trailer or pickup truck bed that is overloaded
- improperly secured loads
- loads that shift during transport
- traveling at an unsafe speed
- bad weather
It is also important to remember that someone other than the driver may have secured the trailer or loaded the vehicle (such as a moving company or rental firm). If this is the case, that party might also be liable for any damages caused by an accident.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the spilled contents or unfastened trailer of another motorist, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.