A truck manufacturer can be liable for causing an accident if it’s proven a defect existed in the vehicle and/or parts. Additionally, it must be shown that the defect is what directly or indirectly caused (or contributed to) the crash.
Establishing Manufacturer Liability in a Truck Accident Case
Many truck accidents are caused by driver error. It can be either that of the truck driver or another driver involved in the accident. But there are some cases where equipment problems are to blame for the crash. Even then, the trucking company isn’t necessarily off the hook when it comes to liability. Accident victims might argue that the company failed to ensure the truck was safe to operate on the roads.
The first thing that needs to be proven is the defect itself. It could be brakes that fail, tires that blow out, or a malfunctioning steering system. Whatever the situation, claimants would have to show that something went wrong in the design or manufacturing of the part or truck itself. An expert may be able to help analyze the part to determine the exact source of the problem.
The second thing that has to be established is liability. Oftentimes there is more than one party responsible.
A variety of parties could be held reliable, the manufacturer of the truck:
- trailer; and/or
But it might also include an automotive supply shop, repair center, shipping company, truck dealer and others.
As noted, the trucking company might be liable as well, especially if it failed to perform adequate inspections and maintenance to ensure the truck was safe for travel. It’s important that accident victims explore liability with help from a truck accident attorney.
Third, the defect must be connected to the accident. Just because something is wrong with a truck’s parts doesn’t automatically mean it caused an accident. Broken windshield wipers that were never used wouldn’t impact a collision caused by the truck driver running a red light, for example.
However, if the driver lost control of the truck and it’s later discovered the steering system was faulty, then it might. Or if the driver was unable to stop the truck and it’s found the brakes had failed, it can point to defective equipment as the cause of the accident.
Lastly, the accident victim must have suffered injuries and damages. Even if something was wrong with the truck, when someone walks away from an accident with nothing more than a bruise and no property damage, it wouldn’t warrant pursuing a claim against the manufacturer. However, when the injuries are serious then it would be worth seeking legal advice for help taking action against the manufacturer.
Your Next Step after a Serious Truck Accident: Talk To an Attorney
Because of the complex issues that can arise in truck accident cases, it’s critical that victims in Bensalem speak with legal counsel after the accident. Those injured in this type of collision oftentimes face a lengthy road to recovery with medical bills that can escalate. The individual may be unable to work for an extended period of time. There are also other damages such as mental anguish or disability. One never knows what may manifest at a later date.
An attorney can help determine the viability of a claim, and can also find out if the accident was caused by something more than truck driver negligence, such as a defective part. Contact Cordisco & Saile LLC to set up a consultation: call us at 215-642-2335 or fill out our contact form.