Trucking accidents can have a number of causes and can result in life-changing injuries or
even death. Equipment failure is a leading cause of many truck accidents,
but these accidents can frequently be prevented by appropriate maintenance,
inspections, and testing. When trucks are not properly maintained, they
can break down, creating dangerous situations.
Common causes of equipment failure include:
- Companies neglecting correct maintenance schedules.
- Dispatching trucks with known mechanical problems.
Loads that are
overloaded or improperly loaded.
- Drivers failing to stop as needed, perform regular inspections, or overriding brakes.
- Drivers failing to use hazard lights when necessary
Common Types of Truck Defects
Any component of a truck can break, but certain parts are more prone to
failure. Often, these parts are subject to frequent use and stress, and
can wear out if they are not appropriately maintained. These components include:
Brakes: The truck’s brakes often are under constant wear. If they are not
properly adjusted or maintained, they can fail. Because of the heavy weight
truck brakes handle, it is critical that they are in top shape. Brake
failures can result in rear-end accidents and
Tires: The tires of a truck also handle incredible amounts of weight. They can
go flat, blow out, or suffer tread separation, which can cause the driver
to lose control of the truck. Tires should be changed routinely with high-quality,
Lights: Burned out or broken lights can pose a risk. Truck lights help drivers
navigate and increase the visibility of the truck and trailer at night.
If the truck driver is unable to see in the darkness or other drivers
don’t see the truck, accidents can result.
Mirrors: Mirrors are crucial for truck drivers to safely navigate through traffic.
Without mirrors, the driver has an extremely limited view, and can easily
run other cars off the road or side swipe them.
Liability for Equipment Failures
If a defect causes a trucking accident, it is important to determine which
party might be liable for the accident. There are many parties involved
in trucking accidents, and assigning responsibility to the right party
can be challenging. Your lawyer can help you investigate the details of
your accident and uncover who is at fault.
Parties involved in your accident may be:
The truck driver: If the driver didn’t report defects, failed to inspect the truck,
didn’t adjust the breaks properly, or drove carelessly, they may
be responsible for your accident.
The trucking company: The company must maintain trucks, train drivers in their operation, and
ensure safe loads. If they do not, they may be held liable for accidents.
The manufacturer: The manufacturer(s) of the truck an all its parts have a duty to ensure
that every component is well designed, carefully manufactured, and that
adequate instructions for use and precautions are clearly marked. If it
is discovered that a mistake in manufacturing caused the accident, the
manufacturer(s) can be held responsible.
Frequently equipment failure can be caused by faults in the manufacturing
process. There are several ways a manufacturer can contribute to equipment
failure and accidents. Manufacturers can be held responsible in three ways:
Manufacturing defects: A specific copy of a product leaves the manufacturer in an unsafe state,
such as a single part missing a screw. These flaws usually are due to
an error in the manufacturing process.
Design defect: The design of a product is dangerous, and every copy of the part manufactured
to this design’s specifications is faulty. The parts manufactured
are faulty by nature of the design, not due to a mistake in the manufacturing process.
Failure to warn: Maintenance directions and other warnings are intended to ensure that
the truck and all its components are appropriately maintained and used.
These warnings can include instructions for proper use, warnings, and
directions for maintaining or replacing components, fluids, or filters
to keep the vehicle in condition.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you should get representation
from our dedicated, experienced Austin
personal injury attorneys. Our team has more than 60 years of collected experience, and
we are committed to being a voice for injured victims. We can help you
prove liability in your accident, and we will fight for your needs. At
Komie & Morrow, LLP, our clients are our primary concern.
Contact our offices today to begin your claim with a
free case evaluation.