Truck Accidents Caused by Mechanical Defects or Malfunctions
A semi-trucks are massive vehicles designed to haul heavy cargo over long distances. Because of this, they are subject to much more wear and tear than passenger cars, especially when the truck is towing a trailer. If a critical part or system in a semi-truck fails at the wrong time, or if the part is defective, there may be nothing a truck driver can do to prevent a crash. And because of how much bigger trucks are than most other cars on South Carolina roads, they can cause massive devastation if they collide with another vehicle.
If you have been involved in a South Carolina truck accident caused by a mechanical defect or malfunction, contact Evans Moore, LLC immediately. Our South Carolina truck accident attorneys have been working together for more than ten years, and in that time, we have recovered more than $50 million in awards and settlements for our clients. We have also earned national recognition for our efforts, including being named to the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 list by the American Society of Legal Advocates. We will aggressively defend your rights and work to see that you are fairly compensated for your physical, emotional, and financial injuries from a truck accident. For a free consultation, call us or reach out to us online.
Mechanical Defects vs. Malfunctions in South Carolina Truck Accidents
While mechanical defects and malfunctions can both have catastrophic consequences for semi-truck drivers and others on the road, it is essential to understand how they are different and how they happen. A mechanical defect means something is inherently wrong with how a truck part was designed or made. When a truck part is defective, it will not work correctly and is more likely to fail and cause an accident.
A mechanical malfunction happens when a part does not work as designed or experiences a sudden, catastrophic failure. Malfunctions are generally the result of wear and tear over time or a lack of proper maintenance. In some cases, though, a malfunction may result from a defect. Ultimately, a serious mechanical defect or malfunction can throw off a truck’s handling, cause the driver to be unable to stop or lead to other issues that can cause a crash.
Common Types of Mechanical Defects and Malfunctions in Semi-Trucks
Some of the most common mechanical malfunctions or defects that can cause a truck accident in South Carolina include:
- Defective or worn brakes
- Faulty brake lines
- Defective or worn brake discs
- Defective or worn brake pads
- Defective, missing, or broken lights
- Defective, missing, or broken mirrors
- Defective tires/tire blowouts
- Defective transmission systems
- Defective horns
- Defective or worn suspension systems
- Defective or worn steering systems
- Defective, worn, or improperly installed hitches and coupling devices
Who Could Be Held Liable for Truck Defects and Malfunctions?
Several parties may be liable for a truck accident caused by a mechanical defunct or malfunction, including:
- The truck driver – Trucking regulations require drivers to regularly inspect their vehicles for worn, broken, or defective parts. If the truck driver fails to note a damaged or faulty part and have it repaired or replaced, they might be liable for an accident.
- The trucking company – The trucking company could be held liable for a truck accident if maintenance workers fail to maintain a vehicle that’s part of their delivery fleet.
- Truck and parts manufacturers – If a truck accident is caused by a defective part, the company that made or designed the part can be held liable for a crash, provided you can prove the existence of a design or manufacturing defect.
- Maintenance crews – It is up to truck maintenance crews to help keep these vehicles in good working order and take care of any repairs that need to be made. If a maintenance team fails in these obligations, they could be at least partly responsible for a crash.
Common Injuries from South Carolina Truck Accidents
A major mechanical malfunction or defect can cause a truck to careen out of control and hit other vehicles on the road, leading to significant injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- External head and face injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Severed, crushed, or amputated limbs
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Injuries to internal organs
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Joint injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Psychological distress
- Wrongful death
Compensation in a South Carolina Truck Accident Case
A truck accident can lead to devastating physical injuries, severe psychological distress, and costly medical bills. With help from an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer, you may be able to demand compensation for:
- Medical bills, including the cost of future care
- Lost wages and diminished future earnings
- The cost of any home renovations you may need due to a disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Damaged personal property
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The steps you take immediately after a truck accident can significantly impact the amount of compensation you recover later on. Here is what you need to do after the crash:
- Call 911 to report the accident and alert emergency medical personnel
- Get the truck driver’s name, employer, phone number, address, commercial driver’s license number, license plate number, personal insurance information, and company insurance information
- Document the accident by taking pictures of the crash site, your injuries, and the damage to all the vehicles involved
- Look around for eyewitnesses or security cameras that may have seen the accident
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible
- Hold on to all your medical records and receipts, so you have a record of your financial losses
- Do not give any statements to any insurance companies
- Hire a truck accident lawyer right away
Statute of Limitations in South Carolina Truck Accident Cases
In most cases, you have three years from the date of a truck accident to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, your case will be automatically dismissed, so make sure you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Truck drivers, parts manufacturers, and other parties could be held accountable when their negligence causes a mechanical defect or malfunction. If you have been injured in a truck crash caused by a defect or malfunction, call (843) 995-5000 or visit our contact page for a free consultation with one of our South Carolina truck accident attorneys.