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Tractor-Trailer Crashes Caused By Maintenance, Mechanical and Cargo Issues

Driver error is the single most common cause of commercial truck accidents. But, while mistakes such as speeding, following too closely and texting behind the wheel may be among the leading causes of truck accidents, they are by no means the only factors that can be involved. Maintenance, mechanical and cargo issues are common factors as well.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a truck accident caused by a maintenance, mechanical or cargo issue in Tifton, we can help you assert your legal rights. Depending on the specific issue involved, a variety of different companies could be liable for your injuries or your family’s loss. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the specific cause of the crash, and then we will use our experience to fight for the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

18-Wheeler Accidents Caused By Maintenance Issues

Large commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers and tankers require consistent maintenance and upkeep to keep them safe on the road. Unfortunately, trucking companies and other businesses often do not keep up with the required maintenance.

Due to the size and complexity of large commercial trucks, even seemingly minor oversights can have severe consequences. Mistakes made when performing maintenance can also lead to problems on the road. Some examples of common maintenance-related issues that can lead to truck accidents include:

  • Failure to replace worn brakes (and faulty brake jobs)
  • Failure to replace worn tires
  • Improper tire retreading
  • Failure to repair or replace worn engine and transmission components
  • Failure to repair or replace worn cargo ties and straps
  • Failure to replace burnt-out headlights, taillights, brake lights and side markers

Mechanical Issues Can Also Lead to Tractor Trailer Accidents 

Even with proper maintenance, large commercial trucks can still suffer from mechanical issues. Parts can wear out sooner than expected, and, in some cases, truck components will be defective when they leave the factory. While some mechanical issues will keep trucks from starting (allowing them to be fixed before they hit the highway), others will occur on the road—leaving the truck driver helpless to avoid potentially-dangerous scenarios.

All of the mechanical components of a large commercial truck have the potential to fail. We handle cases involving all types of mechanical issues, including those involving:

  • Accelerator and brake components
  • Drivetrain components
  • Engine components
  • Steering components
  • Trailer linkages and hitches
  • Transmission components

Trucking Accidents Caused By Cargo Issues

In addition to issues with trucks themselves, problems with trucks’ cargo loads can also cause (or contribute to causing) serious and fatal accidents. This includes both solid and liquid cargo as well as cargo stored within a container and cargo being transported on an open trailer.

While some cargo-related truck accidents involve dangerous cargo (i.e., flammable or combustible fuels or materials), most cargo-related accidents result from failing to load or secure a truck’s cargo properly. This includes errors such as:

  • Exceeding the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
  • Overloading one side of the truck (resulting in truck imbalance)
  • Failing to secure cargo properly
  • Failing to pressurize liquid cargo
  • Using inadequate cargo tie-downs or straps
  • Using worn cargo tie-downs or straps

Who Is Liable for a Tractor Trailer Accident Caused By a Maintenance, Mechanical or Cargo Issue?

Who is liable when a truck accident results from a maintenance, mechanical or cargo issue? The answer to this question depends on the specific issue involved.

There are several possibilities. In many cases, the company that owns or leases the truck will be liable. If this company has failed to adequately maintain the truck (i.e., by sticking to a routine maintenance schedule or performing repairs when needed), it may be legally responsible for the accident.

Suppose the company that owns or leases the truck relies on an independent shop or dealership to perform maintenance on its fleet. In that case, the shop or dealership could be liable if one of its employees performed negligent maintenance work. Alternatively, if the truck came from the manufacturer with a mechanical defect, the manufacturer may hold responsibility for the crash. In cases involving cargo-related accidents, the shipping company, shipping broker, and various other parties could also be responsible.

Contact Us 24/7 for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

If you need to know more about liability for truck accidents caused by maintenance, mechanical and cargo issues in Georgia, we encourage you to contact us promptly. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 229-396-5848 or tell us how we can reach you online now.