How Mechanical Failures Influence Truck Accident Cases
Approximately ten percent of trucking accidents are caused by the truck itself, rather than by poor decisions made by truckers or other drivers. However, that doesn’t mean that those accidents weren’t preventable—on the contrary, the majority of mechanical failures in any vehicle, trucks included, can be avoided with proper maintenance and inspections. If you were caught in a truck accident caused by mechanical failure, the chances are that someone is at fault, though who’s to blame can vary.
Mechanical Failure in General
Mechanical failure generally refers to any flaw in a vehicle that causes an accident. This can be explicit, such as a brake outage causing a truck to careen into another vehicle, or subtle, such as a brake light failing to alert another driver that a truck is stopping, resulting in a rear-end collision. Due to the sheer size and mass of their vehicle, truckers have more responsibility to keep their automobiles safe than other drivers, as trucking accidents are exponentially more lethal. Mechanical failure can take a variety of forms, but some of the more common types include:
- Brake failures
- Loss of steering
- Blown out tires
- Tires falling off
- Burnt out headlights
- Malfunctioning brake lights or turn signals
- Lack of truck trailer lights
Although some mechanical failures are spontaneous or impossible to detect in the course of regular inspection, most are preventable, and with legal pressure, an experienced lawyer can usually prove that careless maintenance occurred.
Where Fault Lies
After an accident involving mechanical failure, the question of where the fault lies can be more complex than some would think. Though truckers are sometimes liable for these types of failures, as long as they follow company and federal regulations, they likely won’t share any blame or be asked to compensate you for your damages.
- Truckers are expected to either have their vehicles independently inspected or to do inspections themselves and must follow both company policy and federal regulations. Even in a case where the trucker’s driving decisions didn’t cause the accident, their maintenance decisions during the inspection process could render them liable regardless.
- Trucking Companies, like all motor carriers, are required to inspect and maintain their vehicles before allowing them onto the road. They also have to enact proper policies for their employees, so in cases where a trucker follows a policy that fails to regulate inspections, the company will shoulder most of the blame.
- Truck Manufacturers are rarely to blame for mechanical failures, but in cases where these failures stem directly from the manufacturing process and defects, the manufacturer will be at fault.
Settling Trucking Accidents in Phoenix
Because of the severity of trucking accidents and the challenge that can come with attributing a mechanical failure to a specific source, securing a fair settlement after a trucking accident can be challenging. If you’ve been involved in an Arizona trucking accident as a result of mechanical failure, we at Escamilla Law Group strongly recommend scheduling a free consultation with a truck accident attorney to start discussing how best to secure your compensation. Call us today at (623) 321-0566 to see how we can help you.