Truck accidents due to equipment failure: who is liable?

Accidents with commercial trucks, such as semi, can be particularly deadly, and one of the main causes of these accidents are not truck driver error, nor oversight from drivers of smaller cars. In fact, a large number of large truck accidents occur due to problems with the truck, such as a mechanical failure or problems with specific parts.

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) study shows that 29 percent of accidents occur due to brake problems, six percent of accidents happen because of tire problems, and four percent of accidents occur from cargo shifts in the trailer. Other possible problems due to vehicle or equipment failure are issues with the steering, engine and attaching the trailer.

Who is liable?

In accidents where neither driver is necessarily responsible for the accident, how can you receive compensation? Who is liable for the accident? It can be difficult to determine this as there can be more than one possible culprit. Possible liable parties include:

  • Manufacturer of the part that failed (ex. Brake manufacturer or engine manufacturer)
  • Individual(s) responsible for general upkeep and performance checks
  • Company who owns the truck
  • Individual(s) or company that loaded the cargo into the trailer

When you get into an accident with a semi-truck or other large commercial truck, it can be confusing, as many find it difficult to determine who is at fault. However, knowing the reason for the accident can help you obtain compensation from the right party.

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