How Dangerous and Defective Parts Can Cause Trucking Accidents
Commercial trucks have many moving parts. The complexity and size of these vehicles means when they suffer from mechanical breakdowns, the impact on other road users can be more serious than if a car fails.
If a big rig is defective, there can be a number of victims. In 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia, for example, a truck came apart and parts flew into the air killing an 8-year-old boy in another vehicle and injuring two others.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks may happen for a considerable variety of reasons. Driver error, improper loading, inadequate maintenance and defective parts are all examples of negligence that can result in serious accidents and injuries to other motorists and the drivers themselves. Claims related to defective or malfunctioning truck parts can be very complex.
Commercial trucks are made up of numerous different parts that have the potential to be defective. Some parts that may be defective and result in an accident include:
- Steering columns
- Trailer doors
Two of the most common failures relate to tire blowouts and brake failures. When these parts fail on a tractor-trailer, the consequences for other drivers can be serious. A driver may lose control and crash into other vehicles or objects in its path. There have also been cases in which other motorists have been killed by flying truck tires. When a coupling malfunctions, a trailer can jackknife or even become completely detached from a semi-truck. There have been cases on which runaway trailers have caused havoc at high speeds. Even the failure of parts such as doors can be serious, because a load can spill onto a highway, causing more accidents to take place.
Who is responsible in trucking products liability cases?
If a truck part was defective due to its design or a fault in the process, the manufacturer of that part should be held liable for any injuries caused by that part. If the truck part malfunctioned because it was badly maintained or did not receive the maintenance it required, the trucking company which is responsible for maintaining vehicle could be held liable. These cases are complex and require experts and a detailed investigation.