In Virginia, who is responsible if a towed trailer comes free and causes an accident? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

In Virginia and other states, the person driving a vehicle with an attached trailer has legal duties to ensure that the trailer is securely attached to the car, truck or SUV. Failing to meet those duties makes a driver responsible for any accident involving a loose trailer. Police can ticket a driver for allowing a trailer to get loose, and victims of crashes involving a loose trailer can file insurance claims with the assistance of a Virginia personal injury lawyer.

This is true for drivers of passenger vehicles, commercial trucks and even bicycles and motorcycles. It also does not matter if the driver owns the trailer or rented it. That said, a rental company that allowed a driver to leave its lot with a trailer that had a defective hitch or which lacked other legally required safety features could also be held responsible for settling personal injury or wrongful death insurance claims.