When Is a Vehicle or Parts Manufacturer Liable for a Truck Accident?
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on January 23, 2019 in Truck Accidents News
Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure the products they release work properly and are safe for long-term use. This is especially true for manufacturers that produce parts used in semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles. An accident involving a semi-truck can result in devastating damage, and manufacturers can be held liable if the cause of the collision was a defective vehicle part.
After a truck accident, many victims are confused and unsure of how to proceed with their claim. If you need qualified legal guidance through the claims process, contact Lynch Law Firm today. Our New Jersey truck accident lawyers will provide you a free, no obligation consultation.
When is a Truck Considered Defective?
A defective vehicle is one that is unreasonably dangerous due to a flaw or deficiency in the design, manufacture or marketing of the vehicle. A defect in a semi-truck, such as defective tires or sudden acceleration, can result in the vehicle crashing, when otherwise the event would not have occurred.
Commercial vehicles should perform in a manner that the public is protected from unreasonable risk of an accident, according the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Vehicle Code. This includes semi-trucks that are equipped with defective parts that affect the vehicle’s performance or increases the risk of an accident.
Additionally, trucking companies and drivers that own semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles are required to perform routine maintenance inspections on vehicles before long-haul drives. If a truck fails the inspection, it should not be approved for road use.
Common Types of Defective Truck Parts
There are several types of defective parts that may cause vehicles to malfunction or operate in an unreasonably unsafe manner. Some of the most common types of defective truck parts include:
- Brake systems – A semi-truck’s brake systems serve a critical function in how the vehicle operates. If a semi-truck’s brake system is compromised, the driver may not be able to stop soon enough to avoid an accident. Brakes can become defective due to normal wear and tear and lack of maintenance. Problems with brake hoses, lines or drum brakes can cause brakes to stop working or perform worse because they have cracks or overheat.
- Tires – Because semi-trucks frequently travel long distances, tires must be routinely inspected for wear and tear. Blowouts can occur when tires are worn out or not properly inflated. Poor vehicle maintenance may also play a part in accidents caused by tire blowouts.
- Steering mechanisms – Semi-trucks’ steering mechanism controls the direction in which the vehicle travels. Defects in a truck’s steering mechanisms can affect the vehicle’s steering wheel, gears, ball joints, hydraulic lines, power-steering pump or tie rods. If the driver cannot properly steer the vehicle, he or she may be unable to avoid an accident.
- Fuel tank – A defective fuel system can cause the truck to catch fire and result in serious burns to victims. These accidents may result because of defective fuel lines or pumps, a problem with the truck that prevents the leakage of fuel, an unregulated additive to the fuel tank or a design defect involving the placement of a fuel tank.
Proving the Manufacturer Is Liable
When a truck accident is found to be caused by a defective part, the truck’s manufacturer may be held liable for the resulting damages.
Proving a manufacturer is liable for a truck accident can be complicated. Our attorneys may need to conduct an extensive investigation of the semi-truck involved in the collision. This includes reviewing the truck’s maintenance records and vehicle inspection and performance reports. Likewise, documents from the truck’s manufacturer detailing the parts used to construct the vehicle and any possibly known defect associated with those parts will also be evaluated.
If our attorneys find that the truck’s manufacturer knew or had a reason to believe the parts it used to construct the vehicle were defective, we will work to hold it accountable for any injuries or deaths that resulted from the truck accident.
Contact the Lynch Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it may be in your best interest to work with an attorney to recover the compensation you need.
Lynch Law Firm’s trusted New Jersey personal injury lawyers understand how to build an effective case against a negligent truck manufacturer. We will work to build a case on your behalf that proves your claim and helps hold the at-fault party liable for your injuries and losses.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Our attorneys will review your claim and help you determine if you have a case against a negligent manufacturer. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for you.
Call (800) 518-0508 today.