How Truck Defects Cause Crashes
According to research published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the primary cause of crashes involving large commercial trucks is error or misconduct on the part of the truck driver. While the truck driver can be held liable after many truck crashes, it is important to recognize that the driver is not always to blame. There are other occurrences that may lead a truck to crash.
Sometimes, a truck will crash because a part on the truck malfunctioned. Some parts may malfunction because they were not properly maintained and they were overly worn. However, even some new truck parts can malfunction if they were defective from the start. If a defective part causes a truck accident, it is not the driver who should be held accountable but the company that manufactured and sold the defective part.
Truck accident cases against corporate manufacturers can be significantly more challenging for a number of reasons. First, proving that a part was defective can involve technical investigation and testimony from experts who can identify and explain defects. In addition, large manufacturing companies often have legal teams ready to fight against liability in any way possible. These companies have the resources to intimidate injured accident victims with the idea of trial and often refuse to agree to a fair settlement.
After a truck accident, you should always seek help from a law firm that regularly handles complicated trucking cases. It is critical that your attorney is able to identify the true cause of your truck accident to ensure a legal claim is filed against the correct party or parties. It is also important that the law firm you hire has the resources necessary to take on large companies in the litigation process, including settlement negotiations and trial if needed.
If you have been injured in a collision with a large commercial truck, please call the highly skilled truck accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group to discuss a possible case today.
Malfunctions that may Cause Crashes
There are some parts of a truck that may be defective and that may malfunction but never result in a crash. However, other parts have a high risk of causing a crash if they suddenly stop working properly. The following are some examples of important truck parts that may be dangerous if they are defective:
Brakes – It is obvious that brakes are a highly important part of any type of motor vehicle, as they allow a vehicle to slow down and come to a stop when necessary. If brakes are defective and suddenly fail, a truck driver will have no way to slow the truck down if there are obstacles or vehicles in its path. This can lead to a highly destructive crash.
Tires – Tires keep traction with the road and trucks that are driven for long periods of time at highway speeds must have tires that are in good working condition. Tires must be able to withstand road conditions and weather conditions. If a tire is not up to a certain standard and blows out on the highway, it is difficult for a truck driver to maintain control of the vehicle and may crash.
Axles – A traditional 18-wheeler has five axles, all of which are important to keeping the truck level with the necessary suspension to control the vehicle. If an axle malfunctions because it is defective, it can result in a loss of control and an injury-causing accident.
Coupling device – The coupling connects the tractor of a semi-truck with its trailer. A coupling should keep the trailer behind the truck with enough movement to allow for turns and curves. When a coupling fails, one of two dangerous situations may occur. First, the trailer may jackknife, swinging out into a neighboring lane until it is past perpendicular with the truck. The trailer may also come completely unattached and it may result in a runaway trailer. In both situations, any motorists in the trailer’s path may be in serious danger.
Trailer door – Trailers holding cargo should have properly functioning doors with necessary latches to keep them closed. If either a latch or the door itself is defective, it may pop open while the truck is in motion and cargo may spill out of the trailer. This can either directly hit vehicles behind the truck or may create obstacles in the road with which other motorists may collide.
Fuel tank – If a fuel tank or any of its supporting parts are defective, it presents a serious risk of fire or explosion. This means that even if a truck is involved in a relatively minor collision, the resulting fire could cause catastrophic injuries.
In order to hold a manufacturer accountable for your truck accident injuries, you must prove that the manufacturer was negligent under the legal principle of products liability. Products liability law dictates that companies have a duty to manufacture products that are reasonably safe for their intended use and, if there are certain risks, the company must provide adequate warnings of such. You can prove negligence of a manufacturer by demonstrating any of the following:
- The truck part was designed with inherent defects
- The truck part was assembled incorrectly to make it defective
- There were no warnings of possible risks of the part
As you can imagine, proving such claims can be highly technical and requires the use of experts who understand the engineering of truck parts and how it could go wrong.
Find Out how a Florida Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You Today
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756