Determining liability in a truck accident can be complicated. When it is not due to driver error, equipment failure is usually the cause.

Manufacturing mistakes such as defective tires, design errors, and failure to provide backing warning or object detection systems can be at fault. However, most truck accidents caused by mechanical failure occur when drivers do not properly maintain equipment. Examples include:

  • Removing or depowering front brakes, causing a truck to jackknife
  • Inadequate brake adjustments
  • Not replacing worn out tires
  • Improperly securing or distributing load, causing truck rollover
  • Defective steering mechanism
  • Improperly attaching trailer
  • Defective side or rear lighting
  • Transmission failure

Assigning Fault in Truck Crashes

Federal and state regulations now require that a certified truck inspector (usually a member of the reconstruction division of the state police) inspect a commercial truck and trailer involved in an accident before it is removed from the scene and maintain those records.

The trucking industry now uses devices similar to black boxes used in plane crash investigations to record information about:

  • A truck’s speed
  • When the driver used his or her brakes
  • How long the driver had been on the road

If you are involved in a truck accident, you must be sure that data from this high tech equipment is preserved, before the trucking company erases it as part of regular routine.

Getting information from the right sources requires knowledge of the trucking industry, so it is advisable to seek advice or representation from a personal injury lawyer.