A woman was hospitalized recently after her pickup collided with a boat and trailer that had become detached from a truck on a Washington highway.
According to a news report, a Vancouver man was pulling the boat on a trailer with his 1994 GMC pickup when the trailer became unhitched. The boat and trailer drifted into another lane, where it was struck by Ford pickup driven by a Portland woman. She suffered facial, neck, and back injuries in the accident. The driver who was hauling the boat trailer was cited for failure to secure a load.
Trailers pulling boats and other recreational vehicles are common in the State of Washington. With miles of coastline, large lakes, and numerous areas that are perfect for four wheeling or snowmobiling, residents and visitors frequently haul boats, four -wheelers, motorcycles, snowmobiles and jet skis on the highways. Anyone choosing to do this, however, has a heightened duty of care to other motorists to ensure that a load is properly secured. Failing to secure a trailer to the vehicle towing it can have tragic consequences.
Washington State Law on Securing Loads
The State of Washington, like most states, has a law that directly addresses the duty to properly secure a load:
(1) No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom, except that sand may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction.
(2) No person may operate on any public highway any vehicle with any load unless the load and such covering as required thereon by subsection (3) of this section is securely fastened to prevent the covering or load from becoming loose, detached, or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.
A driver who fails to secure a load may face criminal penalties for a gross misdemeanor if someone suffers “substantial bodily harm.” Of course, criminal penalties will not compensate a victim for injuries or vehicle damage. A victim may need to pursue a motor vehicle accident lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical bills, property damage and pain and suffering.
Get A Free Legal Consultation About Your Car Accident
If you have been injured in the State of Washington because a driver failed to properly secure a load, you should consult an experienced Washington State auto accident attorney. Mariano Morales Law can help. Contact the team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.