While many truck accidents are caused by driver mistakes, some result because of defective parts on vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, almost 30 percent of accidents involving large trucks happen because of part failures. Identifying the parties who are responsible in cases involving defective components can be complicated. Victims may need to get help from expert witnesses who can demonstrate the link between the failed part and the accident’s cause. A truck accident lawyer may work with experts and investigators to help to prove liability and causation.
Common Truck Component Defects
There are a number of different defects that can lead to serious truck collisions. The FMCSA reports that brake failures are one of the leading causes of accidents related to defective parts. Other component defects that may lead to accidents include lighting problems, door and hood failures, wheel defects, engine or transmission failures and attachment system failures. Any of these defects may lead to serious accidents involving the trucks alone or other vehicles.
In cases involving defective parts, there are three primary categories of defects. These include design defects, manufacturing defects and maintenance issues. Components that have design defects are parts that have problems in their initial designs, causing them to not function as intended. Parts that have manufacturing defects are made incorrectly, causing them to fail. Poorly maintained parts can also lead to failures and accidents. Companies are supposed to routinely inspect and maintain their trucks. When they fail to do so, the companies may be liable for resulting lawsuits. Some companies contract out their repair and maintenance work to third-party contractors. In those cases, the third-party repair and maintenance companies may be named as the defendants in resulting lawsuits.
People who are seriously injured in truck accidents may suffer both economic and noneconomic losses. By filing lawsuits against the responsible parties, they may recover compensation for both. The amount of damages that might be available in a case will vary depending on the losses and on what happened. Before agreeing to accept proposed settlements, it is important for people to understand how to correctly value their claims. Determining the potential claim value should include calculations of past and future medical costs, past and future lost earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement and others. A truck accident lawyer may help to value a claim by calculating damages in the various categories.