Richmond Defective Truck Parts Attorney
Help when defective truck equipment and parts cause a crash in Virginia
Car and truck accidents happen with unfortunate regularity here in Virginia, for any number of reasons. However, when a motor vehicle accident occurs because of defective parts, the outcome of the crash can be even more severe. Defective parts can malfunction without warning, sending even the best and most cautious of drivers into uncontrollable accidents and collisions.
Truck accidents caused by defective and malfunctioning parts are complex claims, but the attorneys at Phelan Petty are ready to take your case. We have a long and successful track record of holding trucking companies and drivers in Virginia accountable when their negligent actions cause others injury and harm. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by defective parts, we can help. Contact us in Richmond today.
What are common commercial truck defects?
Just like defective auto parts, commercial trucks and big rigs can also suffer from product defects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps a current list of motor vehicle recalls and investigations. The most common defects in semi-truck parts and equipment include:
Brake and tire defects
Brake and tire problems are among the top 10 factors in large truck crashes. The brakes on a commercial truck are crucial for stopping the vehicle both safely and quickly. If any component of the braking system is in disrepair or defective, the truck may be unable to stop and cause a catastrophic accident. The same goes for tires, which when defective or not properly maintained can blow out, send debris flying, and cause crashes.
Steering systems in commercial trucks are complex, which also means there are many points at which they can fail. Any defect in the mechanism, alignment, or any other part of the steering can cause a driver to lose control of their truck and cause an accident. Steering failure can occur due to an inherent product defect, or from faulty maintenance or repair.
Faulty trailer attachments
Big rigs have two parts – the cab (where the driver sits) and the trailer (which carries the cargo). These two parts stay connected through a coupling system. However, if this system is defective or in disrepair, it is disaster waiting to happen. If a trailer separates from a cab, it can travel anywhere, out of control and collide into other vehicles as well as roll over.
Engine or transmission failure
Commercial trucks typically run on diesel engines, which require specific maintenance. When not repaired or maintained regularly, engines can develop oxidation reactions, smoke, or even seize up. Unexpected engine reactions can cause serious accidents, especially on busy Richmond highways and roads.
Semi-trucks need a lot of light – on and around the truck, as well as inside. If these lights are burned out or broken, it reduces visibility for both the truck driver and other drivers on the road. This heightens the risk for crashes, as trucks and passenger vehicles may not be able to spot each other until it is too late.
What are common injuries from a defective truck part accident?
Collisions with tractor-trailers tend to be high-impact and result in severe injuries, some catastrophic. This can include injuries like:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Burn injuries
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Loss of limb
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Because of the complexity of defective part and maintenance cases, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to uncover all liable parties involving your accident and injuries.
Who is liable in a Richmond defective truck parts accident?
Many defective parts claims will look to the manufacturer for liability. Manufacturers of any product have a responsibility to the public to ensure their products are safe to use and will not cause injury. However, other liable parties could include:
- Trucking companies, if they were aware of a recall and failed to take action
- Maintenance and repair personnel, if repairs were performed improperly
- Truck drivers, if they failed to make regular inspections or check in at weigh stations
When the injury attorneys at Phelan Petty take your case, we work to determine the cause of your accident as well as who was accountable.
How do I prove my accident was caused by defective truck parts?
Our attorneys launch an investigation into the accident that caused your or your loved one’s injuries. It is important you contact us as soon as possible after the crash while there is still time to access the evidence. Our experts can examine the truck, including data from the commercial truck’s “black box,” usually called an “event data recorder” (EDR).
Not all EDRs are alike, but they can provide valuable information leading up to the crash, including things like wheel speed, engine RPM, tire pressure, cruise control, engine usage history, maintenance history, fault and problem codes, and critical event data (like rapid deceleration or hard braking). In most cases, you will need a court order to access an EDR, so do contact us immediately before this data is lost or destroyed.
How can a Richmond truck accident lawyer help me with my case?
If you were injured in a truck wreck caused by defective truck parts, the attorneys at Phelan Petty can help. We understand that accident victims suffer massive financial expenses when recovering from their injuries, losing time off work and accruing mountains of medical bills. Survivors of large truck crashes may also experience emotional trauma and mental anguish. We work to secure compensation for all of these losses, including:
- Your lost income and future earning potential
- Cost of your current and expected future medical treatment
- Likelihood of fully recovering from your injuries
- Your pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages
We also factor in extent of your injuries and the level of negligence on the part of the liable entity or individuals, ensuring full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Defective truck part crash lawyers in Richmond, VA
The truck accident attorneys at Phelan Petty represent those injured due to defective parts. We can help you file your injury claim and seek compensation for your losses. Contact us as soon as possible after your accident so our team can start working on your case today.