Truck Accidents: Lowboy Trucks
With tractor-trailer trucks being involved in most truck accidents leading to serious injury or death, an important factor to consider is the cargo and the trailer. There are many types of trailers designed to carry different kinds of cargo. Lowboy trailers are notable because they are designed to carry very heavy, often awkward loads and may be difficult to handle for inexperienced drivers.
If you or a loved one were involved in a tractor-trailer accident with a lowboy truck, you may be facing medical bills, diminished earning ability, and potentially a lifetime of disability.
The Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC truck accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. stand ready to help you. Please call or email us today to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Lowboy Truck?
A lowboy truck is either a single body truck or a combination tractor-trailer truck built low to the ground to ease the loading of heavy or awkward cargo. The lowboy design also lowers the trailer’s center of gravity, making it less likely to tip over in the wind or in going around corners.
Some types of cargo commonly put on a lowboy trailer include:
- Backhoes, bulldozers, and other construction equipment
- Heavy military vehicles
- Airplanes, airplane parts
- Heavy machinery
- Prefabricated houses
The load on a lowboy truck is sometimes distributed evenly across the trailer. Still, other times is located in the middle of the trailer, giving it a very different load profile for turning.
Risks of Lowboy Trucks
All large truck accidents are extremely dangerous, especially when smaller passenger vehicles are involved. However, because lowboy trucks are specialized, not all drivers are experienced driving them. Because the load is different in character and responds differently to turning and braking, an inexperienced driver may be involved in a tractor-trailer accident, either from losing control of the vehicle or performing a maneuver that causes the cargo to shift.
There is an additional risk associated with the tractor pulling it with lowboy trailers. If a tractor is not rated or maintained to haul the loads commonly placed on a lowboy trailer, a driver may find he cannot maneuver the trailer or stop it when necessary.
Causes of Lowboy Truck Accidents
Many different factors can contribute to a lowboy truck accident. Some of the most common causes include:
One of the most common causes of lowboy truck accidents is mechanical or brake failure. If a truck’s brakes fail, it can be very difficult for the driver to stop the vehicle, leading to a serious accident.
Another common cause of lowboy truck accidents is driver error. Truck drivers are often under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines, which can lead them to take risks on the road. If a truck driver makes a mistake, it can result in a serious accident.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions are another common cause of lowboy truck accidents. If a road is not maintained correctly, it can be difficult for a truck to navigate, leading to an accident.
Unfamiliar Road Problems
Unfamiliar road problems can also lead to lowboy truck accidents. If a driver is not familiar with the area, they may not be able to navigate the roads properly, leading to an accident.
Shifting of Cargo
Depending on the cargo, the load on a commercial truck must be appropriately blocked, braced, tied down, and secure. If it is not correctly loaded, the cargo could shift and fall off the truck causing jackknife accidents.
Types of Lowboy Truck Accidents
There are many different types of lowboy truck accidents. Some of the most common include:
- Rear-End Accident – A rear-end accident occurs when commercial trucks rear-end another vehicle. These accidents are often caused by driver error or poor road conditions.
- Side-Impact Accident – A side-impact accident occurs when one truck hits another vehicle on the side. These accidents can be very serious, and they often result in injuries to the occupants of the vehicles.
- Rollover Accident – A rollover accident occurs when a truck overturns. These accidents are often caused by mechanical failure or driver error.
- Jackknife Accident – A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s trailer swings out and hits another vehicle. These accidents are often caused by driver error, poor road conditions, or improperly loaded cargo.
Common Types of Injuries in Lowboy Trailer Accidents
Large truck crashes can result in various injuries. Some of the most common include:
Can I Sue For My Injuries After a Lowboy Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a lowboy truck accident, you can sue for injuries suffered due to the accident. However, it is important to understand that these cases can be very complex, and it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
Who is Liable For a Lowboy Trailer Accident?
Many different parties could be liable for a lowboy trailer accident. Some of the most common include:
- Lowboy truck driver – Lowboy truck drivers may be held responsible for your injuries if their negligence caused the accident. This includes speeding and fatigued driving.
- The trucking company – Trucking companies must follow federal regulations for all commercial vehicles. If they fail to abide by those regulations or were negligent in hiring or supervising the driver, they may be liable for your injuries.
- The trailer owner – If the truck was not maintained correctly and the accident was caused due to the lack of maintenance, the owner of the trailer may be held liable.
- The manufacturer of the trailer – If the trailer was defective, the manufacturer might be liable for your injuries.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Truck Accident Cases?
If you are successful in your truck accident case, you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries. Some of the most common types of damages that are recovered in these cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have been involved in a lowboy truck accident, it is important to seek legal assistance right away.
Contact a DC Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a tractor-trailer accident with a lowboy truck, the Washington, DC personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. can help.
Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.