Although mistakes made by a truck driver or another motorist are commonly the cause of accidents, there are other circumstances that may be contributing factors to a truck accident and in some cases they could be the direct cause of a crash.
For instance, equipment that is defective – especially parts such as brakes, steering, trailer attachment and turn signals – can be the reason for a truck accident. This can make determining liability a little more complicated in some cases.
Liability for Defective Equipment in a Truck Accident
The reason(s) the equipment is defective will help establish who is liable. For instance, let’s say the brakes on a truck fail because they weren’t properly designed. In this case it might be the manufacturer who is responsible.
Another example is a repair shop that could be held liable for injuries in an accident if it was found the brakes weren’t properly installed. If another party is responsible for attaching the trailer to the cab, it could be liable if it wasn’t done correctly and it became detached.
Many times it is the trucking company that oversees the inspection and maintenance of the trucks. The drivers should also check over the truck before getting behind the wheel.
Let’s say the taillights were out. No one notices and the driver hits the road. After having to make a sudden stop, the vehicle traveling behind isn’t prepared because the lights aren’t working and ends up slamming into the truck.
Although most rear-end accidents are the fault of the driver who is behind, in this circumstance, the truck driver might be held at least partially responsible for not having functioning taillights. And since the trucking company employs the driver, it may be liable as well.
Other dangers regarding truck accidents are cargo that isn’t properly secured or that shifts to cause the accident. These types of cases can make proving fault difficult, which is why legal counsel should be sought.