Who is At Fault for Defective Truck Equipment in Maryland?June 12, 2023
In some instances, the truck accident that injured you is not the truck driver’s fault. A defective part could be to blame for the accident. When that happens, you might be able to sue the manufacturer in a products liability lawsuit. Our lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help.
Defective Truck Equipment and Safety Risks
Weighing up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded, trucks require precision in both maintenance and on the driver’s part. Even the slightest defect in a part could mean the truck is at grave risk of an accident. Here are some defective parts that could potentially cause an accident:
- Fuel pump
- Trailer hitch
Defective tires and steering could cause a truck to roll over. If the brakes are defective, the truck may not be able to stop in time and could rear-end the car in front. A defective hitch could cause the trailer to decouple from the cab.
Maryland Laws and Regulations
Maryland and the federal government have extensive truck safety laws. Federal regulations require the trucking company to inspect and maintain trucks routinely. They must be in a roadworthy condition.
There is a requirement that “every vehicle shall have a service braking system that will enable the driver to bring the vehicle to a safe stop.” The Maryland Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program will routinely inspect vehicles to ensure they comply with requirements. However, not every vehicle is always inspected, increasing the risk that a defective part can cause an accident.
Fault and Liability in Defective Truck Equipment Accidents
The most common way for a defendant to be found at fault in a products liability case is when the product is defective. Defects include:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Marketing defects
In addition, you could also seek to hold the defendant responsible for negligence or under breach of warranty.
Maryland law allows you to pursue anyone within the “stream of commerce” who had a role in making or selling the defective part. Potential defendants can include:
- The company that manufactured the truck that contained the part.
- The company that manufactured the part itself.
- The dealer that sold the truck to the trucking company.
- The outlet that sold the individual part.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents can be complex because there are many potential causes. You need to act quickly after the accident to take steps that could put you in a position to obtain financial compensation if someone else was at fault.
Your first step after a truck accident should be to contact an experienced lawyer. They must move quickly to obtain the evidence they need to prove fault. Otherwise, evidence could disappear. In the discovery process, your lawyer could get proof at the scene or obtain it from the trucking company or the parts manufacturer.
You should get as much medical help as you need as soon as possible. It is the best thing for your health, and prompt medical treatment can also help your legal situation. You would need to wait to file a claim until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Contact Our Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, our determined Maryland truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help you fight for financial compensation. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or message us online to schedule a free consultation. You owe us nothing unless we win.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.