Driver error is by far the largest contributor to truck accidents in the United States, but this does not mean that truck drivers are solely liable for accidents. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it is entirely possible that the manufacturer of the truck shares some of the blame.
Many truck accidents are caused by tire blowouts, defective brakes and failure of other truck components. Proving that a manufacturer is responsible for injuries caused by defective truck components can be complicated.
Generally speaking, there are three different ways a manufacturer can be held liable for truck accident injuries:
- Manufacturing defects. When a specific piece of equipment leaves its manufacturer in a defective state, injury can result. Usually, these defects occur due to some error or flaw in the process of constructing a truck component. For example, a truck accident may occur because a vital piece of the truck left the manufacturer without a necessary screw. All it takes is one small defect for disaster to strike.
- Defective design. When every copy of a product contains a flaw or error that makes it dangerous, accidents can occur. Perhaps the most catastrophic design errors occur in fuel tanks, which can rupture and combust during an accident if they are not designed properly.
- Failure to warn. Some products are inherently dangerous, so the manufacturer is required to display visible warnings on the product. If the product is not marked properly, this can lead to disaster. An example of this might be a brake component that must be replaced every 50,000 miles. If the manufacturer does not mention this requirement on the product’s packaging, the manufacturer can be held liable for injuries caused by the product’s failure.
Our lawyers can seek the assistance of forensic experts to reconstruct accidents, as well as look through records of repair and manufacture to determine if some party other than the driver might be at fault.
Next week, we will continue this series on truck accident liability.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)