Commercial trucks that transport heavy loads frequently or across long distances have more than just cargo riding on their tires. The safety of the truck’s operator and others on the road are also at stake. Tire failure can result in a catastrophic accident that could lead to severe or possibly fatal injuries for those involved. That’s why it is critical for commercial carriers to purchase the correct tires for the truck, routinely inspect them, and replace them when they are worn or damaged.
If a carrier fails to inspect and maintain it’s truck’s tires, or if the manufacturer allowed a defective tire to be sold and installed, those who are hurt in accidents caused by this negligence could be owed significant compensation. An experienced truck accident attorney can determine the cause of the tire’s failure and pursue full compensation from any parties that are responsible.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident caused by tire failure, turn to a law firm that knows how to get results for its clients. At Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, our dedicated team of truck accident attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience, and we are ready to put that knowledge to work for you. Please call (352) 275-5974 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation on your case.
What You Need to Know About Defective Equipment in Truck Accidents
When a defective piece of equipment causes a truck accident, a number of different parties could be liable for the victim’s injuries. A defective part will often mean that the manufacturer of that particular part is responsible. Other parties in the chain of distribution might be considered as well. Because parts change hands several times before being installed, they could pick up defects along the supply chain. The shipping company, the company that warehoused the part, or the distributor could also be liable for the defect.
If there is an issue with equipment that is the result of a truck owner not properly maintaining their vehicle, then the owner could be liable for improper maintenance. Similarly, a maintenance company that improperly repaired or otherwise maintained a truck can also be held liable for its errors.
Because there are so many different entities to consider, proving liability will be extremely difficult for the average person to do on their own. You will want to make sure you retain legal counsel to investigate the cause of the accident and identify any and all parties who should be held accountable.
How Faulty Brakes Can Lead to Truck Accidents
Few kinds of mechanical issues can be as consequential as brake failure. When a truck driver is unable to stop, it usually leads to collisions.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 41,000 trucks, or 29 percent, had brake problems.
If a truck’s brakes fail on one of the many highways traveled by most commercial vehicles, this often occurs while the trucks are traveling at high speeds. Brake failure under these circumstances could result in a full-speed, high-impact collision that can cause catastrophic and possibly fatal injuries.
Brake failure claims can be difficult to pursue because the parties responsible will often attempt to pass the blame on to one another to minimize their own liability. While one company may be blamed for not properly maintaining or installing brakes, it may then claim that the part was defective to begin with. An attorney can determine which entity is the responsible party and make sure all liable parties are held accountable.
How Faulty Tires Can Lead to Truck Accidents
Any kind of tire failure on a commercial truck could cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. Blown tires are a common cause of jackknife accidents that can involve several other motor vehicles.
The initial assumption when a tire fails is that a tire was defective, but many trucking companies do not rotate or change tires often enough to try to minimize their operating expenses. When tires are not properly maintained, a truck can be at far greater risk of being involved in an accident.
Tire manufacturers can be held liable when their products fail, but the companies will usually try to pass the blame on to the trucking companies for not maintaining the tires or installing them properly.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 8,000 trucks, or 6 percent, had tire problems.
How Can a Lawyer Help You After a Florida Trucking Accident?
After a commercial truck accident, an attorney will be able to help by immediately conducting an independent investigation of your crash. The lawyer will work to determine the cause of your crash, collect important evidence, and then determine which entities are liable for the accident.
Legal representation will be important because many trucking companies act very quickly to minimize their possible liability. Some companies will look to destroy incriminating records, and many companies will quickly dispatch agents to the scenes of accidents.
Representatives for trucking companies may try to get victims to sign agreements at crash scenes, but you should not sign anything that you have not had the chance to go over with an attorney. Similarly, you should always decline any invitation to provide a recorded statement to an insurance company or claims adjuster.
Many insurance companies will try to get victims to answer questions about their accidents, but these conversations are designed to elicit damaging responses from victims that ultimately hurt their claims. In other cases, insurers may pressure victims into accepting lump-sum settlement offers that are generally much less than what they are actually entitled to receive.
A lawyer can immediately take over all communication with insurance companies on your behalf. The attorney can then negotiate for a fair and full settlement or file a lawsuit if the insurer does not provide an adequate settlement.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident Caused by Faulty Equipment?
A number of different parties could potentially be liable for a defective part that causes a crash. Every case will hinge on how a part was manufactured, installed, and maintained.
Following an investigation, liable parties could include, but are not limited to:
- Truck owners
- Truck part manufacturers
- Maintenance companies
- Shipping agencies
- Cargo loading companies
It may be possible that more than one party is liable in some cases.
Types of Compensation After a Truck Accident
Many commercial truck accidents result in settlements that are negotiated to provide enough compensation for all expenses a victim has incurred or will incur in the future. Insurance companies often choose to settle these claims to avoid going to trial. However, it is important to choose a skilled truck accident trial lawyer who will be prepared to take your case to court if necessary.
Some of the common types of compensation an experienced truck accident attorney will pursue include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity for the future
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Florida also allows for punitive damages (sometimes referred to as exemplary damages) to be awarded in a very limited number of cases. Florida law establishes that a defendant can be held liable for punitive damages only if it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Get Help from Our Florida Trucking Accident Attorneys Today
Due to their size, commercial vehicle collisions often result in more serious injuries and extensive property damage than other crashes. The victims in these accidents often require a lengthy hospital stay for extensive medical care, and many injuries will require several rounds of follow-up rehabilitation that leads to thousands of dollars in medical bills. On top of these issues, many people cannot return to work for several weeks, months, or even years, and some individuals may be permanently unable to regain any kind of employment.
When another party’s negligence causes an accident, you should not be forced to pay out of pocket for your medical bills and replacement of your damaged property. If you sustained severe injuries or if your loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident caused by equipment failure, contact Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano today to get the qualified legal help you deserve.
Our law firm fights to help truck accident victims pursue every dollar of compensation that they need and deserve. We recently secured $992,000 for a client who was initially offered only $150,000 by the insurance company. This is just an example of how we go the extra mile to make a strong case for maximum compensation.
Call our experienced Florida truck accident attorneys at (352) 275-5974 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your case. When life changes, we’re there. Call us today.