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Decoupling Accidents can Cause Serious Injuries

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 100,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2012. Because of their unique characteristics, semi-trucks and other articulated vehicles are prone to certain types of accidents than passenger cars. When these accidents are caused by negligence, people who are affected may be able to obtain compensation for their losses. Often, there are highly technical and industry-specific issues that are contested in a semi-truck accident case, so it is important for victims to retain an attorney familiar with litigating commercial vehicle cases. The Peachtree City truck accident lawyers of the Law Offices of Shane Smith are experienced truck accident attorneys who are ready to fight for your legal rights.

Why do Decoupling Accidents Occur?

Articulated vehicles have a pivoting joint between separate parts of the vehicle. In the case of a semi-truck, a coupling device, known as the “fifth wheel,” provides the link between the truck and its trailer. When these devices fail, the trailer becomes disconnected from the truck, and has the potential to cause damage and injury. There are many potential reasons a coupling device could fail. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Defective coupling device design

  • Defective coupling device manufacture

  • Overloaded cargo

  • Improper coupling device maintenance

  • Failure to operate the coupling device correctly

  • Failure to conduct a pre-trip inspection

  • Improper installation

There are many different parties that could potentially be held liable in the event of a coupling device failure accident. They include the truck’s driver, the company responsible for the operation of the truck, the manufacturer of the coupling device, or the party responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and determine who can be held liable for your injuries and other losses.

Contact a Peachtree City truck accident attorney for a free consultation

People injured in accidents caused by semi-truck coupling device failure may be entitled to substantial compensation. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith today at (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia