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Defective Car Parts: A Manufacturer’s Grave Fault

Any kind of accident is a always traumatic experience for anyone, and there is no telling what extent of damage there will be, as well as what physical injuries the victims will sustain and how serious these injuries will turn out. Such will be greatly affected by the types of vehicles involved in the accident and the speed of these vehicles before collision. Thus, a bigger and faster moving vehicle will definitely cause greater property damage and worse injuries to the victim.

Besides the physical injuries, however, the victim is sure to be subjected to financial burden also as the injury will require medical treatment, the cost of which depends on the severity of the injury. And if the victim will not be capable to render work during recovery period, that means lost wages, putting him/her and his/her family in a more overwhelming stressful situation.

Often, car accidents occur due to the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of the driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top four causes of accidents are drunk-driving, speeding, driver error (like failure to use signal lights or failure to buckle-up) and driving distractions, such as texting while driving, which is the leading type of distraction among young drivers in the US.

The causes of accidents mentioned above are all driver mistakes, making them easily preventable as they are all under the control of the driver. But there are also other causes of accidents that fall outside the driver’s control; and since these are not obvious to the driver, the risk of accident is increased, while the extent of damage and severity of injuries, greater.

Such other causes are defective car parts or poorly manufactured vehicular parts, like a defective braking system, airbag, child seat, seat belt and/or headlight or signal lights; then there is also the possibility of tire tread depth that falls short of government standard. These defects can be due to something that the manufacturer failed to do or something that the manufacturer did, but which is not supposed to be part of the manufacturing process.

Car defects are quite harder to prove. Despite the driver’s statement that a particular part failed to function properly, evidences that will prove the veracity of the driver’s words will be required. If proven, however, then the manufacturer of the defective car part will have a lot to answer for, including compensating the victim for his/her present and future accident-caused financial concerns, besides recalling the defective part, so as not to put other lives in danger.

Defective Truck Tires: Another Cause of Road Catastrophe

To be able to drive an 18-wheeler truck or any type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV), drivers will need to possess a level of skill, knowledge, physical abilities, and experience that is higher than the level needed in operating non-commercial vehicles. This is to ensure that CMV drivers are capable of handling their vehicle well, especially during very bad weather conditions, when roads are not totally safe, or during emergencies.

While car accidents can potentially damage vehicles and cause severe physical injuries, just imagine what sort of injury and damage an 18-wheeler would cause if it collides with other vehicles or rams any object along its path. Other than having qualified drivers to handle their trucks, however, trucking companies must also make sure that every truck in their fleet is properly maintained and in good condition, before these are taken for cross-country drives.

Reports to, and studies by, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that driver training and the 11-hour maximum driving duty imposed by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), have contributed in reducing the number of truck accidents due to driver fatigue and exhaustion. The driver’s condition is not the only cause of truck accidents, however; occasionally, vital truck parts, like brakes and tires, which are poorly manufactured and which are actually more dangerous as these can easily make the driver lose total control of the vehicle, are the reasons for the most damaging accidents involving trucks.

To ensure safe and good tire performance, the Department of Transportation has mandated a minimum tread depth requirement for truck tires. Tires that fall short of the DOT’s requirement are recalled and posted on the department’s official website.

The manufacture of defective and low-quality tires is a case of manufacturer negligence – an act that requires the negligent party to compensate any person who might be injured in an accident due to the defective product. On its website, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., also strongly points out the duty of the irresponsible liable party, in this case, the manufacturer, in giving financial compensation to the victim who will be faced with sudden financial woes forced upon him/her by the accident.

In the case of the truck driver, besides the right to sue the manufacturer for damages, he/she may also be entitled to receive financial assistance through the Workman’s Compensation Insurance benefits if the accident occurred during the performance of his/her job. Part of the coverage of the workman’s comp includes the injured driver’s medical expenses and lost wages due to inability to report for work.