Accidents that involve trucks are more likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities due to their size and weight. But unlike car accidents where the driver usually gets sued, there may be other options for trucking accidents.
Though driver error typically takes the blame for most motor vehicle accidents, like cars or trucks, other contributing elements can cause the crash and injuries. Among these factors can be motor vehicle defects.
There are multiple ways of pursuing damages involving a trucking accident. In case you or a loved one suffered an injury because of a crash with a large truck, you can consider filing a lawsuit. But what are your possible legal options if a motor vehicle defect causes such an accident?
Defining Motor Vehicle Defects
Motor vehicle defects are any flaws found in a motor vehicle resulting from the manufacturing process. In most states, a motor vehicle is legally defined as any vehicle propelled by mechanical power and used to transport passengers, property, and/or cargo. Generally, it can include trucks, cars, buses, and motorcycles.
For legal proceedings, though, a motor vehicle defect only refers to those faults that cause safety hazards or lead to injuries of its operator or passengers. Aesthetic flaws, such as a bad paint job, may not be used to file a lawsuit for vehicle defects.
Common Motor Vehicle Defects
The following are common motor vehicle defects you should check not only for lawsuit claims but also for your protection. Though these defects may lead to significant settlements, your safety should be your priority.
Brake System Failures
It is one of the most common defects in a vehicle, often leading to deadly truck accidents. Brake failures occur for several reasons as they are made up of many moving parts that should work together correctly to bring you safely to a stop. In many cases, though, brake failures are the outcome of a design or manufacturing defect of one or more vehicle parts.
The probability of injury or death is higher if your vehicle has a structural defect and gets involved in an accident. Every vehicle must have a safety cage that is often the first line of defense for people involved in a crash.
Unfortunately, manufacturers sometimes take shortcuts in vehicle design, development, and testing, which generates vehicles with significant structural weaknesses. Though structural defects often happen due to negligence, they can also be the result of some automotive companies trying to cut costs.
Safety Equipment Defects
Safety equipment can prevent an accident and protect the driver, passengers, and other persons involved in the crash. However, any fault in this safety equipment can increase the risk of injury in a motor vehicle accident.
Manufacturers can be held liable for faulty safety equipment, such as defective seat belts, airbags, and child restraint systems. Though each manufacturer’s vehicle safety equipment is required to meet specific standards, occasionally, this equipment can carry serious manufacturing and design defects.
You should also watch out for defects, such as acceleration issues, tire blowouts, steering system errors, door latch failures, and many others. Often, manufacturers will recall specific parts found in your motor vehicle. It is your responsibility to see that those recalled parts are replaced as soon as possible, usually for free through your car’s manufacturer.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto or a truck accident and believe your injuries are the result of motor vehicle defects, you can take legal action.
Addressing Motor Vehicle Defects In Truck Accidents
The presence of any defect mentioned above may result in several liabilities. However, it’s only possible if the defect is discovered as the cause of a victim’s injury or death in an accident. It’s also a complicated process that requires time, resources, experience, and expertise.
Product Liability Claim
If you’re the injured party of a defective truck or piece of equipment, you may pursue product liability claims that are generally categorized as design, manufacturing, and marketing defects. A thorough analysis by different experts, such as vehicle engineers, performance specialists, and accident reconstructionists, may reveal which category of defects the crash belongs to.
Responsible Parties for Defective Trucks
Multiple parties may hold legal liability for an accident caused by a defective truck. These responsible parties may include the manufacturer, retailer, trucking company, driver, and maintenance staff of the vehicle.
But since trucking companies, manufacturers, and their insurers are already experienced, they will often do everything to minimize the amount of damage they must pay. Thus, it’s crucial that if you’re seeking compensation after a truck accident, you reach out to an experienced legal team.
If you happen to live in the cities where the likelihood of deadly truck accidents is high, you might want to set up connections with a legal team even before anything happens. For instance, California has a proportionally high number of large-truck fatalities. In case you live there, and someone you know has been injured in a crash, it’s best to ask one of the California truck accident lawyers to represent their case.
The same applies to Manhattan, Brooklyn, or other places in New York, where distracted driving is particularly a problem. If you live in these areas and get involved in a truck accident, it’s best to consult with experienced New York truck accident lawyers. They know which types of claims your case has and who’s liable for your injuries and losses.
Getting involved in an accident is a serious matter. Whether it is caused by motor vehicle defects or a driver’s negligent behavior, you must know your rights as victims. You deserve to be compensated for any harm or injury that it may cause you. Thus, never hesitate to consult with the experts so you’ll get the right compensation.