The number of truck accidents that occur each year continues to rise. Most people assume these accidents are the fault of the truck driver. But there are actually times where the driver actually isn’t to blame. Mechanical failure is one of the most common causes of truck accidents.
This is just one of the reasons why a truck accident case is one of the most complex types of personal injury cases there is. If you’ve suffered an injury due to a collision with a truck, you’re going to need an experienced attorney. Sand Law has a team of attorneys who can work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve – and navigate the complexities on your behalf.
Types of Mechanical Failure That Result in Truck Accidents
Yes, there are more inexperienced truck drivers on the road than ever before, due to a shortage of people who are qualified to handle big rigs. But even the most experienced drivers can’t keep control of their truck when something goes wrong mechanically. These are just a few examples of mechanical failures that can have devastating consequences.
- Brake failures. The brakes are among the most important components of any vehicle – they’re even more critical on a commercial truck, one that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When the brakes on a truck fail, the results can be horrible.
- Tire failure. There are times where a blown tire is the trucking company or truck driver’s fault, since it’s their responsibility to make sure a big rig’s tires are in good working order before any trip. But tires can also blow out due to a manufacturer’s defect.
- Steering failure. Power steering is a must when it comes to keeping control of a commercial truck. When it suddenly goes out, maintaining control can become impossible. The driver and trucking company may have checked the steering before the truck ever hit the road, but it failed due to manufacturer negligence.
How Can Mechanical Failure Cause a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are incredibly dangerous, of course, and can occur due to a number of different types of mechanical breakdowns. Here are some of the issues that take place on a regular basis.
- Transmission failure. The transmission makes it possible for the truck to be able to go up a hill, shift gears and adjust speeds.
- Windshield wiper failure. A sudden windshield wiper failure can make it impossible for a driver to be able to see during heavy rain or snow.
- Rearguard failure. The rearguard is a device that is designed to prevent an underride accident. If it fails, a passenger vehicle can be pinned under the rear of a truck and then dragged.
Who’s Liable for a Truck Accident Caused by Mechanical Issues?
Any sort of trucking accident can have a profound impact on injury victims, leaving them with a lifetime of debilitation. Those victims have to deal with incredible expenses, including medical bills, lost wages and many other types of financial losses. In order to obtain compensation to cover those losses, people will need the help of a personal injury attorney to determine all possible liable parties.
For example, the manufacturer of a mechanical component that failed could face liability if it knew, or should have known, that a malfunction was possible. But if a failure occurred due to wear and tear, the truck driver and trucking company could be held liable. They’re responsible for thoroughly inspecting a rig before it’s allowed to get on the road.
There are instances where all of those parties could share liability. Say the manufacturer produced a truck with faulty brakes. If the driver or trucking company knew about the defect, yet chose to do nothing about it, then the manufacturer, driver and trucking company could all be found to blame.
How to Prove Mechanical Failure in a Truck Accident Case
Again, a trucking accident can be a very complex type of personal injury case. All of the potentially at-fault parties will be represented by very powerful professionals, such as adjusters and attorneys. All of them will work as hard as they can to either reduce your compensation dramatically, or to deny your claim altogether.
That’s why it will be so important for you to have a skilled legal representative on your side. An experienced attorney will be more than ready to take on insurance companies, trucking companies, and anyone else who tries to deny an injury victim full and fair compensation.
Types of Evidence Used
How will an attorney go about doing that? By gathering rock-solid evidence to prove the fault of all potentially liable parties. There are many ways to go about doing this, including the following.
- Performing a thorough investigation into the accident, starting with the accident scene.
- Obtaining police reports.
- Gathering witness statements.
- Obtaining footage from any nearby cameras that might have caught the accident.
- Obtaining “black box” data from the truck to see what type of mechanical failure – or failures, may have contributed to the truck accident.
Proving that mechanical failure occurred is a very challenging undertaking – one that will be impossible without the help of a skilled legal representative.
Steps to Take After the Accident
The aftermath of a trucking accident is traumatic, to say the least. It might seem that there’s no way an injury victim could have the wherewithal to take the steps needed to make sure they have the strongest case possible. But if you can keep your head and do the following, that could greatly increase your chances of getting what you deserve.
- Call 911 and get whatever medical attention you need immediately.
- If you can, take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as possible.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney ASAP After Your Accident
Sand Law attorneys have a great deal of experience handling truck accident cases, and we’ve also achieved a long track record of success. Schedule a free case review by contacting us online or calling 651-291-7263.