A moving vehicle requires all its parts and pieces to function properly to ensure safety for the driver and other motorists on the road. As such, manufacturers are responsible for designing and producing flawless parts and for initiating a recall when they discover parts are defective or otherwise pose a safety hazard. Consumers must be able to trust that a manufacturer is producing with safety in mind—failure to do so could contribute to accidents and fatalities on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident that is found to be the fault of a defective truck part, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
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Unfortunately, sometimes a legal case may cross into two or more specialized areas, such as truck accidents caused by faulty equipment. Truck accident cases are often more complicated than personal vehicle accidents, to begin with, because of the number of parties involved and the severity of the accident. When defective truck parts are added to the mix, a truck accident case may spill over into product liability, as well. While all crashes require investigation, an investigation into defective parts can require more time and energy following up every lead to determine who is liable for the accident.
Commercial trucking is still one of the most popular ways to transport goods throughout the United States. Metropolitan areas, including Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland, can see increased numbers of truck accidents as the number of trucks on the roads increases.
Though other factors may contribute to an accident, defective and faulty equipment is not uncommon in an accident. A study of accidents from the early 2000s showed that nearly 55 percent of large trucks involved in an accident had at least one mechanical defect or issue, and nearly 30 percent had an issue serious enough to warrant the vehicle being out of service.
Since the late 1980s, defective brakes and braking systems have been prevalent among truck accidents, though advances in braking technology have worked to lower the percentage over the years.
Though driver negligence may also factor into a truck accident, defective parts are unfortunately common and often correctable. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes it easy to keep track of all kinds of recalls so that owners and drivers can keep their vehicles safe and functional for everyone on the road.
Manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to make sure that their products are safe for consumers. Whether they are making toys, medical equipment, or truck parts, everything from product design to instructions for use must work together to create a safe user experience. Defects often fall into one of the following categories:
A successful product liability claim can prove that the product, when used properly, caused an unwarranted injury. Negligent design or manufacturing is one common cause of product liability cases wherein a company fails to uphold a standard of reasonable care in designing and/or manufacturing the product.
Another common claim is a breach of warranty, where the manufacturer or distributor promises that a certain kind of accident or injury can’t or won’t occur when the product is used correctly. If an accident or injury occurs despite the guarantee, you may be able to file a claim.
You may also be able to file a product liability claim if a company misrepresents benefits or conceals risks or defects in a product.
When it comes to defective truck parts, negligent design or manufacturing is the most likely culprit of defective equipment accidents.
Not every defective truck part is likely to cause an accident on the road. But for the ones that do, the results can be catastrophic. Commercial trucks in particular are susceptible to severe accidents if any of the following parts or systems are defective or faulty:
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to hold the product manufacturer or a distributor accountable for an accident caused by defective truck parts. Given the size and relatively restricted mobility of trucks, it is crucial that commercial trucks and big rigs have fully functioning parts. If a distributor fails to stop selling truck parts once a defect has been identified, they can be held responsible for an accident, as well. Truck accidents are known to be devastating and can often be categorized as catastrophic accidents with severe and debilitating injuries and even fatalities.
While manufacturers are responsible for producing safe products, it is possible for a truck company to be held partially liable in a defective truck part accident if the defect could have been discovered during routine maintenance. Trucking companies have a duty of care to make sure their trucks are safe and functional at all times, so missing maintenance could be negligence on the company’s part.
Finally, a truck driver may also be considered liable if he or she knowingly drives a truck with faulty equipment. All drivers, whether commercial or personal, are responsible for their vehicle safety. To drive with a known defect puts other drivers at risk.
When a defective product is recalled, the owner of the truck is responsible for taking the vehicle in for safety maintenance as soon as possible. Ignoring a recall or putting off taking the necessary safety steps could leave the truck owner or company partially liable for your defective truck part accident. An experienced product liability or truck accident attorney can help you bring claims against all responsible parties.
Additionally, just because a truck part was recalled due to safety does not mean that the manufacturers are automatically protected from a lawsuit. Especially if your accident occurred before the recall was announced or widely publicized, the manufacturer may still be liable for the accident.
Yes, when a truck part is defective, it runs the risk of causing an accident. Some defective parts are more likely to cause accidents, including faulty brakes, tires, or electrical components.
Even if a defective part isn’t the root cause of an accident, it can still make an accident more severe or cause additional injuries to accident victims.
Several parties may be responsible or share responsibility in a truck accident caused by a defective part. The manufacturer of the product could be liable for producing faulty equipment. The trucking company may also be liable for a truck accident if routine maintenance could have spotted the defect or if they continued operating the truck after a defective part was identified or recalled.
Some of the most common causes of faulty equipment accidents include brakes, tires, and electrical components. Defects in any of these crucial systems could result in the driver losing control of the truck and ultimately causing an accident.
Unfortunately, you often won’t know an accident is the result of faulty equipment or defective parts until after the fact. Though regular and routine maintenance may detect defects, you have no control over whether a truck driver or trucking company properly maintains their vehicles.
If you are involved in a truck accident, you should seek medical attention and notify authorities immediately. Your next step will be to contact an experienced truck accident attorney and collect as much information about your accident as possible. Your attorney will have the experience and the contacts to know whether your accident could have been caused or exacerbated by defective truck parts.
Other times you may be able to tell that faulty equipment played a role in the accident when the failure was very obvious, such as a truck being unable to stop despite having plenty of room, a truck spontaneously catching fire, or even a truck driver suddenly losing control of the vehicle for no apparent reason. If something about your truck accident seems odd, you should mention it to your attorney for further investigation.
Proving that a product defect makes it unsafe for its intended use can be hard to accomplish, which is why it is important that you have an experienced defective truck part attorney on your side. The lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have successfully won compensation for product liability clients who have been injured or killed due to defective truck parts.
Our team has recovered millions of dollars for victims and families injured in truck accidents and for product liability cases related to defective parts. We are ready to bring our cumulative experience to bear on your case so that you can win the compensation you are entitled to.
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t collect any fees until they have recovered in your favor. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 202-960-4596 today.
A truck accident caused or worsened by defective parts can seriously impact your life, but when you partner with Regan Zambri Long, we’ll work hard to make sure that it doesn’t define your life.