I recently pulled a 6x12 UHaul trailer from California to New Mexico during a move. The trailer didn't come with a jack, so it stayed connected to my truck start to finish, and I kept pretty close attention to it. It was never loose at any time. I drove it over 1000 miles both empty and semi/fully loaded. I dropped off most of my cargo just outside of Albuquerque, and drove the semi-full trailer back into town to finish unloading before drop off.
During the drive I hit a bump and the trailer became disconnected. It was unusually cold and snowy that day, and although I haven't yet seen the police report, I suspect that it will be written off as a weather related accident. I KNOW that it wasn't because of ice though. I have driven in some of the worst weather you could imagine, and this was really not bad compared to winters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Colorado. I tend to think that it was the slight onto a bridge that did it.
In any case, the trailer popped off the ball and started to fishtail. It was still connected by the safety chains and the swerving trailer started to pull the back of my vehicle back and forth until I started to roll. My went through the driver-side window, but I never lost consciousness. I rolled 2.5 times, landing upside down. I unbuckled my seatbelt, and crawled partway out the window before I got stuck. Luckily, someone had stopped and pulled me from the wreckage and sat me down on a snow bank. I had a large gash in my head where it had shattered the window and my left ear had filled with blood. Some snowboarder kid coming down from the mountains put his parka on me and to keep me warm and stop the blood flow. I wish I could find him to say thank you.
My scalp wound required three staples. I have been taking medication for the back and neck pain since the accident, but it doesn't help much. My back wasn't great before the accident, but now I'm in constant agony. I had paid the extra $50 for UHaul's insurance, which I was assured at the time would cover any damage to the trailer, my vehicle, and their contents, as well as medical coverage, up to $5000. When I filed my claim, however, I was informed that I was only covered for damage to the trailer and its contents up to $5000, including $500 for medical. Since it was my vehicle that rolled and not the trailer (it was obviously shaken up quite a bit, but never tipped). Since most of my property had already been unloaded from the trailer, there wasn't much to claim. The medical coverage paid out, but the $500 will barely cover my deductible for the hospital visit, and doesn't nothing for me as far as physical therapy and pain management, not to mention my SUV and its contents.
So, now I don't have a car, or many of the things I need to restart my life here. I'm completely reliant on friends and family for support, but times are hard. I believe that the clip the screws onto the ball cracked, and that the faulty equipment endangered my life and royally screwed me. I've talked to several lawyers, but the general opinion seems to be that a civil case is "risky" and the 5 grand is "not worth it". I don't really know enough about law to know if I have a case, or how to pursue it on my own. So, basically my life has been ruined by UHaul, and I can't do a *** thing about it. Thanks UHaul. Go to ***.