Semi-truck accidents are often devastating for everyone involved. The average weight of a semi-truck is about 80,000 pounds, and the average weight of a car is 5,000 pounds. When the two collide, the car often takes the brunt of the damage.
If you were recently injured in a trucking accident, you are likely working with an injury attorney to gather evidence to establish fault. When the accident is caused by mechanical failure or careless maintenance rather than driver negligence, the case can become much more complicated.
What constitutes mechanical failure and careless maintenance in a semi-truck accident?
As a car owner, you know that no vehicle is perfect. As the car ages, parts wear down and eventually fail. The same goes for semi-trucks. Some of the most common types of mechanical failures that cause accidents include:
- Brake failure
- Unhinged trailer
- Faulty tires
- Broken lights
While mechanical failures take many forms, they are all preventable with proper maintenance and inspection. Your truck accident attorney will gather evidence to prove that the truck should not have been on the road at the time of the accident.
Who is liable in a trucking accident involving mechanical failure?
Once the mechanical failure is identified, the next step is to prove who failed to conduct the proper maintenance and inspection. Most of the time, fault rests on the trucking company, the driver, and the truck manufacturer.
- Trucking Company: Federal and state governments have regulations in place that require truck inspection. If companies ignore these rules, they are putting trucks on the road that should not be there. If an accident occurs because the company ignored the rules, the trucking company is liable to you for your injuries.
- The Trucker: Similar regulations are in place for truckers. They are usually required to have their trucks inspected or perform their own inspections before hitting the road.
- Truck Manufacturer: If the mechanical failure is a direct result of the manufacturing process, the company that produced the truck may be liable for the accident.
In many states, fault can be shared amongst all of the defendants. For example, a trucker may be liable to you for driving his semi-truck carelessly and the trucking company may be liable to you for not conducting proper maintenance.
Accidents in the trucking industry are highly complicated, especially when there are numerous parties involved. Remember that the best way to navigate these cases is to work with a truck accident lawyer. They will help prove your case by placing fault on the proper person and/or company.