Who is liable after a trucking accident involving a faulty trailer part?
Truck accident investigations are some of the most complex cases personal injury attorneys face. The stakes are incredibly high: The heavy weight of tractor-trailers leads to crashes that often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. With high medical expenses, potential lifetime care, and pain and suffering, insurance companies always put up a fight.
In any tractor-trailer crash, multiple parties are usually involved: the driver, of course, but also the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, component manufactures or the maintenance service provider. It takes an experienced personal injury attorney who understands trucking accidents and product liability claims to handle a serious crash and all of its investigative demands.
Who is responsible after a truck crash?
After a crash, authorities investigate the circumstances that caused the accident. Authorities typically first look to errors or negligence on the part of a driver in a tractor-trailer crash. Jackknife crashes might signal speeding. Override crashes sometimes suggest the driver was distracted or drowsy.
But when the crash involves a malfunctioning trailer or connection, it’s possible that the trucking company, truck manufacturer or component manufacturer may be liable as well.
Drivers still have an obligation to maintain their trucks and rigs on the road. This means checking coupling devices to be sure they’re in good order. If a driver noticed an issue and chose to keep working, he or she may be liable, even if the accident wasn’t caused by driver error.
To hold the trucking company responsible, a truck accident lawyer must discover proof that the company knew about the trailer connection problems or didn’t provide for regular fleet maintenance. Other parties could be involved as well, including:
- The truck or trailer manufacturer: If the manufacturer produced a defective product, like a defective hitch, and failed to act, they could be held liable.
- A component manufacturer: If a maker of a truck or trailer part produced a defective item and didn’t take steps to address the issue, they could be held liable.
- A truck service provider: If the mechanic who serviced the fleet’s trucks and trailers didn’t repair or flag the faulty trailer part, they could be held liable.
Any truck crash takes serious untangling to determine who was at fault and who can be held accountable. Hitch breaks and other trailer component failures are preventable. An experienced truck accident lawyer can work to obtain the records you’ll need to mount a personal injury, wrongful death or product liability claim.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill
If you’ve been hurt in a tractor-trailer accident, you need an attorney who can obtain the compensation you deserve. At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, our team has the experience and knowledge to get the information you need from the trucking companies and their contractors. Contact us today at (478) 217-2072 for a free case consultation.