Big rig accidents can be caused by a number of things, from driver error or negligence to mechanical failures that affect how a vehicle handles. A mechanical failure that leads to a damaging accident may automatically seem to be the fault of the parts manufacturer, however, this is not always the case. To accurately determine fault after an accident caused by a mechanical issue, truck accident attorneys must investigate all aspects of truck repair and maintenance, even how the truck was being used.
Truck Accident Causation Can Be Multi-Faceted
Commonly, big rig accidents occur as a result of multiple factors that lead to chain reaction events. Before it is possible to determine who is at fault, truck accident attorneys must conduct a thorough investigation of the events that led to the accident, along with other important details like driver history and truck maintenance. Only when the chain of events is correctly determined is it possible to pinpoint when a mechanical part or system is at fault, either partially or completely.
When Mechanical Failure Is to Blame
If an accident investigation does reveal that causation is due to some kind of system or part failure, it is then necessary to determine why the failure occurred. Fault could lie with the party responsible for overseeing the vehicle safety on the road. It could also lie with the usage of non-quality parts on the truck that could not withstand the use stated by the manufacturer.
Research then turns to the maintenance of the truck and how the truck was being used to uncover whether discrepancies in either of these areas contributed to the issue. Investigation of the parts themselves will also be conducted to reveal whether they have been problematic in the past, or if there have been any recalls issued.
Who Is At Fault When Mechanical Issues Are Proven?
Depending on what information truck accident attorneys are able to uncover, fault could lie with multiple parties that may have contributed to the events. If a mechanical failure occurred because the truck owner did not provide required maintenance, liability may lie with the owner. Carrier companies that do not monitor the maintenance on owner-operator vehicles could also be liable. Fault might also exist with the driver if the failure was caused by misuse of the truck, such as overloading, driving too fast for tire ratings, and/or driver errors that lead to locked brakes, for example.
It is also possible that parts manufacturers may be found liable if it can be proven that big rig accidents are the result of part failure alone, with no other reason for that failure to have occurred. Still, if there is a known problem with a certain part, the manufacturer has issued a recall, and the owner has failed to replace the part, the owner might still be liable. There are many variables in every case that must be carefully weighed to accurately determine fault.
While it is easy to assume that a blown tire or non-functioning brakes are automatically due to poor maintenance or part malfunction, truck accident attorneys know this is not necessarily the case. To correctly determine fault after mechanical failure caused big rig accidents, lawyers must consider all possibilities. Anyone injured in truck accidents should work with experienced accident attorneys to achieve the best results for their case!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190