While truck driver negligence is a leading cause of 18-wheeler accidents, it is by no means the only factor to consider when seeking compensation for accident-related injuries. There are a variety of other factors that can cause dangerous truck accidents as well, including truck and trailer defects.
When a defect causes an accident, the manufacturer, dealership and certain other companies can all face “strict liability” for the victims’ losses. This means that proof of negligence is not required. The following are all common examples of defects that can lead to serious accidents and entitle victims to just compensation:
- Brake, wheel and tire defects
- Chassis defects
- Defective cargo straps and other cargo-securing equipment
- Defective aerodynamic components
- Electrical system defects
- Emergency system defects
- Engine and transmission defects
- Lighting defects (including faulty brake lights)
When seeking to prove that a truck or trailer component was defective, it is important to conduct an investigation as soon as possible. Evidence at the scene may help prove that a defect was to blame, or a lack of other causes may suggest a need to look further into the possibility of a truck defect. In either case, securing evidence at the scene is critical, and your attorneys may need to take action quickly in order to prevent other evidence of the defect from being destroyed.
When is a Truck Component Considered “Defective”?
In order to be considered “defective,” a truck component must (i) be in a condition not contemplated by the user, and (ii) create an unreasonable risk of harm when used for its intended purpose. Product liability law – the law governing cases involving product defects – focuses on the condition of the product at the time it is sold. If a truck’s brakes fail because they were inadequately maintained or a shop installed them incorrectly, then this would most likely give rise to a negligence claim against the trucking company or the shop rather than a product liability claim against the manufacturer. On the other hand, if the brakes failed prematurely due to an issue with their design or manufacture, then this would give rise to a claim for a product defect.
More Information about Truck Defect Claims
Product liability cases are complicated, and securing just compensation requires years of experience in high-stakes litigation involving major manufacturers. In these articles, our attorneys have summarized some of the key information truck accident victims need to know about seeking compensation for product defects:
- The Strict Liability Rule for Product Defects
- Seeking compensation for Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Schedule a Free Consultation at Morrow & Sheppard LLP
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident in the Houston area, one of our lawyers will be happy to meet with you personally to discuss your legal rights. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at the law offices of Morrow & Sheppard LLP, please call (800) 489-2216 or get in touch with us online today.