The average semi-truck travels 45,000 miles per year, with long-haul trucks topping 100,000 miles per year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Trucks are driving those miles while hauling tens of thousands of pounds, which can place significant stress and strain on the vehicle’s complex parts and systems.
Each year in Georgia and across the country, accidents involving commercial vehicles cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. Defective or worn parts cause many of these accidents. A single issue with a system or component, like a faulty brake shoe, malfunctioning hydraulic system, or worn tire tread could put everyone who shares the road with the vehicle at risk.
We have the right to expect that truck drivers and the trucking companies who own and operate commercial vehicles will inspect and maintain the vehicle. We also rely on the companies that sell trucks and truck parts to design, manufacture, and ship parts that are free of defects.
If any of these parties fail to identify and correct hazardous issues and allow the vehicle to hit the road, people who are hurt in a resulting accident could have the right to take legal action to hold them responsible.
The Georgia truck accident attorneys of Spiva Law Group know how to handle defective parts claims. We are ready to perform a thorough investigation of your crash, identify if a defect or maintenance issue caused the accident, and work to identify and hold any liable parties responsible for the injuries you’ve suffered.
We will not be intimidated by big companies and their attorneys. We’ll fight to seek every dollar of compensation you’re owed. Call us to schedule a free consultation with our team today.
Common Truck Defects
Tractor-trailers and other trucks are heavy vehicles with complex systems that must be routinely maintained to be safe on the road. The responsibility for this often falls on the driver, the motor carrier, third-party maintenance companies, and the parts manufacturers.
Some common causes of truck defects include:
- Design defects. Sometimes the design of a part is inadequate to its function, and that can lead to system failure.
- Manufacturing defects. A part can be built incorrectly, using substandard materials, or not built precisely to specifications.
- Lack of warning. Some parts are dangerous even when installed correctly. Manufacturers must provide adequate warnings to ensure the part is used safely.
If any of these defects led to a severe injury crash, the parties responsible for the accident could be held accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys can work to identify who is liable for the defect and take decisive action to seek compensation on your behalf.
Truck Systems and Their Risks of Defects
Routine inspections and maintenance must be performed to identify any potentially hazardous defects. It is the responsibility of the truck’s owner and the operator to address any defects before allowing the vehicle to transport cargo. Some common defects that could lead to a devastating accident include:
- Defective Brakes – If brakes do not work correctly, the truck can become a massive projectile on the road. Several different parties could be liable for an accident caused by defective brakes, including the manufacturer in the event of a design or manufacturing flaw, or the truck owner or maintenance company if the brakes were not inspected and repaired as needed.
- Tire Blowouts – If a tire has a manufacturing defect or if the tread has become worn, a dangerous blowout could occur. Especially at highway speeds, a blowout could have devastating consequences for anyone nearby. Drivers should inspect their tires before every trip, and failure to do so could lead to a catastrophic accident.
- Hydraulic Systems – Many of the essential systems in a commercial vehicle depend on complex hydraulic systems to function correctly. Motors, hoses, and other parts keep these systems running, and a single failure in any part could cause the entire system to fail.
- Steering System Failure – If the steering system is defective, the operator could quickly lose control of the vehicle.
- Engine Failure – Engine failure could lead to a catastrophic accident. This critical system must be inspected and maintained, yet accidents still occur frequently due to truck engine issues.
- Hitch/Coupling Failure – Semi-trailers are connected to trucks with couplings commonly referred to as hitches. If the coupling fails while in transit, the trailer could jackknife or become disconnected while in motion.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo – If cargo isn’t loaded onto the truck properly, it can shift during transport. Brakes can malfunction or be affected, and restraints can snap if the truck is overloaded.
- Failure to Secure Cargo – Cargo that is not secured with straps and tie-downs could easily fall off the truck or shift and cause the truck to be imbalanced.
Who Is Liable for Accidents Caused by Defective Trucks in Georgia?
When you hire Spiva Law Group to handle your truck accident case, determining liability will be one of the first and most important tasks. There are many possible causes of the trucking accident, even if it can be definitively traced to a mechanical defect.
Is the trucking company at fault for pushing maintenance schedules or failing to maintain the truck? Did they buy inferior parts to save money? Did they hire a maintenance vendor for their fleet? Was maintenance performed recently? If so, what systems were worked on and when? What parts failed? Is there any indication the parts had design or manufacturing flaws?
It is possible that several parties could share liability to varying degrees, and it is vital to know who they are so they can be named as defendants in a civil lawsuit. The degree of liability is also significant, because any damages resulting from the lawsuit will be assigned to each defendant according to their degree of liability.
How Can Spiva Law Group Help Me?
Our first contact with you after a truck accident will be essential. We want to get the full story of how the accident occurred. We want to know what your injuries are, what trucking company is responsible for the truck, what you saw and experienced right before the crash. Did it look like the driver was having difficulty controlling the truck?
The trial lawyers of Spiva Law Group represent clients on a contingency basis. When you hire us, you won’t pay us anything upfront, and we’ll front all of the costs of representing you and handling your case. We won’t charge you anything unless and until we recover compensation on your behalf. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a thing.
We treat our clients with dignity and respect, building trust through timely and frank communications, and never losing sight of you as a person, not a case file. Call us today or contact us online to schedule your 100% free, confidential consultation.