When a critical part or system malfunctions on a tractor-trailer, a truck driver may lose control of the vehicle. The semi may then roll over, jackknife, veer into oncoming traffic, collide with other vehicles, or cause other types of serious accidents. A truck accident can result in multiple drivers and passengers sustaining catastrophic injuries.
Have you or someone you love been harmed in a truck accident that resulted from a defective vehicle part? If so, a defective truck parts accident lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
The trusted personal injury lawyers at Cellino Law can thoroughly investigate your truck accident case, answer any questions you may have regarding your legal rights, and help determine whether you have a valid claim to compensation.
Schedule a free case review with a member of our legal team today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (800) 555-5555.
Common Parts Defects and Mechanical Failures That Cause Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the operation of commercial vehicles on US highways. Their goal is to keep drivers and passengers safe by reducing the number of accidents involving semi-trucks and buses.
The FMCSA has specific regulations regarding the regular inspection and maintenance of large trucks. Trucking companies and their employees are required to comply with these rules. Unfortunately, in an effort to save time and money, some trucking companies and drivers fail to properly inspect their fleets and report any defects.
Hundreds of truck accidents every year are caused by defective truck parts and mechanical failures. The following are some of the most common.
Defective brakes, poor brake maintenance, and other brake issues have caused many severe truck accidents. According to the FMCSA, brake-related complications played a part in 29 percent of semi-truck accidents in the US between April 2001 and December 2003.
Design flaws and manufacturing defects may result in:
- Brakes overheating
- Brittle or leaking calipers
- Brake liners leaking
- Anti Lock brake system failure
Brake failure on any vehicle is a scary and potentially dangerous situation. However, it is especially frightening when the brakes do not function properly on a large truck weighing 80,000 pounds or more. When truck drivers are unable to brake, they will not be able to react to hazards or respond to changes in traffic.
Some people might have the misconception that since a tractor-trailer has 18 tires, it will not be a big deal if one fails. However, tire blowouts on a semi are extremely hazardous. The loss of just one tire could cause a driver to lose control of the truck.
An additional hazard to motorists is the fragments of tires that are launched into the air when the tire blows. The debris may land on the vehicle behind the truck, or an accident may occur when a vehicle swerves to avoid the tire pieces that are left on the road.
Truck tires sustain a lot of wear and tear, with hundreds – if not thousands – of miles being put on them every week. Federal and state regulations require trucking companies to inspect their tires regularly for baldness, rot, bulges, and other signs of wear.
The steering systems in semi-trucks are intricate. If even one part of the steering mechanism fails, the driver may be unable to control the vehicle and maneuver it to avoid hazards. Steering failure may be a direct result of manufacturing errors, design flaws, poor maintenance, or other complications.
Factors that contribute to steering system failure include:
- Worn power steering belts
- Fluid leaks
- Blocked hoses
- Pump malfunctions
- Contamination of powering steering fluids
Unlike some mechanical issues, there are usually warning signs that the steering system is compromised. Examples include vibrations in the steering column or difficulty turning the wheel. If the driver noted these signs and deliberately ignored them, he or she could be liable for the accident.
Additional defective equipment issues identified in tractor-trailer accidents include:
- Suspension failure
- Defective lighting
- Trailer coupling defects
- Faulty electrical systems
- Transmission failure
- Defective airbags
- Engine failure
- Defective fuel systems
- Defective windshield wipers
- Door or hood failure
Who is Liable for Truck Accidents Caused by Defective Vehicle Parts?
Establishing liability in truck accidents caused by a defective vehicle part can be a drawn-out, complex process. It is important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who you can trust to strengthen your case with expediency and efficiency.
That’s how we have successfully handled many truck accident cases at Cellino Law. Our decades of experience have taught us the most effective methods to quickly determine fault, get to the root of the case, and build a solid claim for our clients.
One or more of the following parties may be held liable for an accident caused by a vehicle malfunction:
- Truck drivers have an obligation to inspect their trucks and review maintenance logs before going out on the road. A truck driver who knowingly drove his or her truck in poor condition could be liable for the accident.
- Trucking companies need to keep accurate maintenance records, comply with all federal inspection requirements, perform any needed repairs on their trucks, and properly train their employees on how to complete inspections. Failure to do any one of these things can result in a trucking company being held responsible for a defective part truck accident.
- Technicians or mechanics may be hired by trucking companies to take care of their fleet. If a mechanic failed to properly maintain or repair a truck, that person could be found responsible for the accident.
- Truck or parts manufacturers can be held accountable for design defects, assembly line mistakes, or other errors made during the design and manufacturing process. If the designer, manufacturer, or distributor is responsible for the accident, your lawyer will help you file a product liability lawsuit.
Available Compensation After a Defective Truck Parts Accident
A truck accident can leave victims struggling with physical injuries, emotional pain, and financial difficulties. A personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses. They will review your case, determine the value of your claim, and help you negotiate a settlement.
Depending on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of your truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expense
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment
What If the Truck Accident Resulted in Wrongful Death?
Tragically, some truck accidents are so severe that someone passes away. Our compassionate legal team understands that no amount of money can compensate for the death of a loved one. However, it can take the financial burden off of your shoulders as you try to move forward during this difficult time.
If you suffered the loss of a loved one, a truck accident lawyer may be able to help your family file a claim for wrongful death damages. This could include compensation for funeral expenses, burial costs, medical expenses incurred from the accident, loss of support, and other damages.
Contact a Defective Truck Parts Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident caused by a defective part or mechanical failure, then please don’t hesitate to contact our law firm today. At Cellino Law, we are serious about helping our clients. Our legal team will stand by you through every stage of the claims process and work hard to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
We understand that you have dozens of law firms to choose from after your truck accident. Why not choose the firm with decades of experience in settling large settlements for clients? Our trustworthy lawyers have the experience, resources, and skills needed to successfully handle your claim.
Contact Cellino Law today to schedule your free case consultation. Call us 24/7 at (800) 555-5555.