Understanding Trucking Accidents
While there are plenty of cases regarding 18-wheeler accidents caused by intoxicated or tired truck drivers, sometimes an 18-wheeler accident is caused by mechanical failure in the 18-wheeler itself.
Statistics exist which show that as many as one in three accidents involving 18-wheelers involve some sort of mechanical failure. Defective tires may lead to a blowout and a truck swinging uncontrollably into a car on the road. Defective brakes may lead to an inability to stop and an 80,000-pound rig hurtling into a stopped car. A defective trailer hitch may lead to the entire trailer of a truck detaching and hitting an automobile. Mechanical failures often lead to the loss of control of the rig, which is dangerous for anyone nearby.
18-wheelers are large, complex machines with many parts. These parts are often used for many hours a day while pulling many tons’ worth of cargo; as such, they wear out quickly. Trucking companies are supposed to keep 18-wheelers well maintained and safe through regular service and inspections by qualified service providers. Unfortunately, some of these trucking companies fail to maintain their fleet. This may be due to poor organization within the organization, incompetence, or attempts to “cut corners” to save money. Whatever the reason, truck owners that do not stay current with maintenance of their fleet expose themselves to liability for their oversight.
What is more, sometimes an individual component in a truck was negligently made and is defective. When this occurs, the victim has a new entity that they can pursue – the manufacturer of the defective component. In addition, if the manufacturer of the defective component somehow realized that the component was failing and was not safe to have been used, it may have issued a recall on the component. Just like many automobile owners, truck owners may ignore the recalls and fail to have the truck serviced in response. If this is the case, the truck owner was negligent and may be held liable for failing to take action.
There are several ways by which a victim may support a products liability claim. A responsible trucking company will keep track of maintenance records and receipts, which can be obtained in preparation for a lawsuit. What is more, some trucks are equipped with a “black box” event data recorder on a truck, which monitors and records information regarding the systems present on an 18-wheeler, such as the engine status, the status of the brakes, and other similar information. The “black box” can also be obtained while preparing for a lawsuit, and can, in many cases, help reveal what exactly caused the mechanical failure to occur on the truck.
If you been injured anywhere from Beaumont to Houston to San Antonio to El Paso or absolutely anywhere in Texas we can help. Call Carabin Shaw at 1.800.862.1260