What Kinds of Mechanical Failures Can Cause Truck Accidents?


Large commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks and tanker trucks can be seen driving on Florida’s roadways at any time of day or night. While these vehicles are responsible for transporting and delivering essential goods and materials to consumers across the country, they also expose the general public to a risk of serious injury. According to a fact sheet1 published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 100,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks during 2012. Additionally, 73 percent of the people who sustained these injuries were occupants of the other vehicle rather than the truck.

The vast majority of truck accidents are caused by driver error. There are some truck accidents, however, that occur because of some type of mechanical failure. This mechanical failure can either involve the semi-truck involved in the accident or another vehicle. In either case, Florida law2 may allow individuals who are injured in truck accidents caused by mechanical failure to recover for both the economic and non-economic losses they sustain as a result of the accident. Because of the legal complexities involved in many truck accident cases, victims should discuss their options with an experienced Clearwater truck accident lawyer as soon as they can after being involved in an accident.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.

Florida Products Liability Law

The area of law that allows people to recover for injuries caused by defective consumer products, including motor vehicles, is known as products liability law.3 Generally, products liability cases fall into one of three broad categories:

  • Claims based on defective design – In these types of cases, some design defect caused a product to be dangerous as it was designed. Generally speaking, this type of defect affects all instances of a particular product. In the context of motor vehicles, a common examples of design defects include SUVs that are prone to rollovers or pedals that are placed too closely to one another.
  • Claims based on defective manufacture – These kinds of claims arise when a particular product was defective manufactured and that defect results in some sort of injury. Examples of defective manufacture could include using substandard materials or shoddy workmanship.
  • Claims based on defective marketing – Defective marketing claims are also referred to as “failure to warn” cases. They involve products with some type of non-obvious danger that could be easily mitigated by providing the consumer with a simple warning.

These claims can be based on a variety of legal theories, including negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability. You attorney will carefully review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a claim.

Common mechanical failures in modern vehicles

A modern car or truck is made of literally thousands of parts that have the potential to fail and cause an accident. Some of the more common vehicle parts that can fail and cause serious accidents include the following:

  • Brakes – A vehicle’s brakes are among the most critical parts required to operate it safely. When they fail, it may make it impossible for a driver to slow down or stop. Semi-trucks have very complicated braking systems that require significant maintenance to keep functional. Many parties could be responsible for brake failures, including vehicle manufacturers, trucking companies, mechanic’s shops, or even drivers themselves.
  • Vehicle lights – Vehicle lights are essential for ensuring that other drivers can see the vehicle, especially at night. In fact, federal regulations require certain conspicuity requirements for semi-trucks and the trailers that they tow. If a driver failed to observe these regulations, it may be sufficient to establish legal liability.
  • Steering mechanisms – Being able to control the direction a vehicle is travelling is essential for its safe operation. If a steering mechanism fails, serious accidents can occur as a result.
  • Tires – Tires are a vehicle’s only point of contact with the road surface and can have a significant impact on vehicle performance. If a tire is defective, it may cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle, potentially resulting in a serious accident.

Contact a Clearwater, Florida truck accident lawyer today to schedule a free consultation

Individuals who have been injured in truck accidents that they believe may have been caused by a defective vehicle or defective vehicle equipment should retain legal counsel immediately. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756



1 http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf
2 http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/
3 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/products_liability