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Who is liable when defective parts cause an accident?

The many large semi-trucks that you see driving around Essex County provide a valuable service to the U.S. economy in transporting goods and materials across the country. Yet for all of the economic benefit that they provide, these vehicles can also pose a very real safety risk. Data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2012, nearly 108,000 people were either killed or injured in a truck accident. When such accidents do occur, immediate attention goes to what factors may have caused them.

Certain cases may reveal that defective trucks parts contributed to a semi crash. If this is case, then the question you may have is who is responsible for their failures. Determining liability when truck parts fail can be difficult. Yet at the same time, you should also keep in mind that parts typically won’t fail without a reason. More often than not, those reasons may their roots in the negligent actions or inactions of others.

When failed parts are found following a truck accident, responsibility for their presence can often be traced to one of three groups:

  • Designers and manufacturers: Part failures can often be linked to design flaws or manufacturing practices that failed to comply with safety standards.
  • Suppliers: When defects in parts are in identified, it often falls to parts suppliers to recall them from vehicles already on the road.
  • Truckers and truck companies: Often, parts fail because of simple wear-and-tear. A failure to perform routine maintenance on a vehicle may certainly be seen as negligence.

Although the information shared above should not be viewed as legal advice, it may prove useful to those investigating the possible causes of the truck accidents in which they were involved.


55 Ginty Boulevard Haverhill, MA 01830
Phone 978-374-4736, Fax 978-521-5307

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