Truck Manufacturer Negligence | Defective Design

For heavy trucks such as 18-wheelers, dump trucks, sanitation vehicles or box trucks, even one small manufacturer or design defect can cause a devastating crash. When a commercial vehicle defect causes a serious injury or fatal accident, the lawyers of Block O'Toole & Murphy can help the victim or their family seek justice and recover compensation for their losses. Our firm will tirelessly pursue justice and seek to hold truck part manufacturers accountable for introducing defective parts into the marketplace.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, call 212-736-5300 for a FREE case review. We can determine whether the crash was caused by a defective truck part or poor vehicle maintenance and pursue a claim against the individual or entity responsible for the crash.

Types of Truck Defect Claims

Our lawyers handle a variety of truck defect cases, including those stemming from:

  • Design defects
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Faulty brakes
  • Tire defects
  • Weak load straps
  • Defects in cab/trailer coupling systems
  • Faulty locks
  • Failure to replace recalled or defective truck parts
  • Poor truck maintenance
  • Product recall claims

When a truck accident was caused by a defective part, the manufacturer can be held accountable. If the dealer or trucking company was aware of the truck defect and ignored it, they can also be found liable for any resulting injuries. When a company sells a defective product or a driver operates a commercial vehicle with faulty, recalled or poorly maintained parts, our attorneys will file a claim against them for damages to ensure that our client is properly compensated for their injuries and subsequent losses.

Product Liability Claims for Defective Equipment

When a defective truck or piece of equipment causes an injury, the injured party may pursue a product liability claim. There are three general categories of product liability claims:

  • Design defects - Sometimes dangerous defects are inherent in the design of a product. These products are dangerous even if they are manufactured, installed and used correctly. Plainly, the design is a bad idea and dangerous to the public on its face.
  • Manufacturing defects - Sometimes the design of a product is safe, but an error occurred in the manufacturing process. These tend to show up in batches of a product that contain a defective part or faulty workmanship. This is not as infrequent an occurrence as one may suspect.
  • Marketing defects - Marketing defects occur when there are risks associated with use of the product, but the operating instructions do not contain adequate warnings about these risks. Manufacturers and distributors are responsible for warning consumers of any dangers.

In the event of a severe truck crash, a thorough investigation involving vehicle engineers, performance specialists and accident reconstructionist experts may be required to determine how and why the crash occurred. A thorough analysis may reveal that the serious crash was the result of a defect in the design, manufacturing or design of a truck.

Poor Truck Maintenance

Federal trucking laws require truck drivers to inspect their vehicles daily to ensure safe operation. By law, drivers are prohibited from driving commercial vehicles which are in poor condition. When a driver fails to comply with these regulations, they can be held accountable for any resulting injuries. To determine whether a driver followed federal truck regulations, we can obtain and examine vehicle maintenance records, inspection reports and driver logs.

Who Is Responsible for Defective Trucks on the Road?

The trucking industry is highly regulated and complex, which means that multiple parties may hold legal responsibility for an accident caused by a defective truck. Responsible parties may include:

  • A company that manufactured the truck or any defective equipment
  • A retailer that sold the defective equipment, particularly if the equipment had been recalled
  • A trucking company that allowed an unsafe truck to remain on the road
  • A driver who failed to inspect and identify any apparent defects
  • Anyone responsible for inspecting or maintaining the vehicle

Even when it is clear who is at fault, responsible parties will often do everything possible to minimize the amount of damages they must pay. Trucking companies, manufacturers and their insurers all have extensive experience and significant resources devoted to defending against accident claims. Typically, when our clients are still in the hospital fighting for their physical recovery, these responsible parties are already gathering evidence to undermine valid injury claims. It is critical that anyone seeking compensation after a truck accident act quickly and reach out to experienced and tenacious legal team.

Product Recalls for Defective Vehicles

In some cases, a truck manufacturer may issue a mass recall of vehicles known to have a defective part. If a defective vehicle part involved in a recall causes you to be injured in a truck accident, there may be grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. If a truck manufacturer issues a recall, they are responsible for alerting customers about which vehicles have been affected, but the responsibility to notify truck owners does not end there.

When a truck recall is issued, other parties such as a car dealer or trucking company are also responsible for informing vehicle owners of the defect. For example, if a car dealership were to sell a vehicle that was in the process of being recalled, the dealership could be liable for any accidents that the defect causes. Similarly, if a driver contacts a trucking company to replace a part, and there is a manufacturer recall in effect for that vehicle, the trucking company has a legal obligation to inform the driver of the recall.

Broadly speaking, truck manufacturers that are forced to issue a recall must make active attempts to share the news with customers. Once that news has been shared, however, other professionals down the supply chain may have a legal obligation to share that news with truck owners who they serve. Otherwise, they could be held legally responsible for any truck accidents the defective part causes, even if they were not responsible for creating the initial defect.

Contact Block O'Toole & Murphy for a Free Consultation

At Block O'Toole & Murphy, our experienced truck accident lawyers have a history of success taking on trucking companies. Since 2012, no other New York law firm has obtained more results exceeding $1 million than Block O'Toole & Murphy. In addition to a command of trucking and liability laws, our attorneys have experience communicating the extent of a client's injuries to juries and judges. This allows us to maximize the compensation available to our clients.

Our results in truck accident cases include:

  • $14 million for a motorcyclist who experienced catastrophic injuries in a crash with a truck
  • $6 million for a bus passenger who required several surgeries after the bus was hit by a flatbed truck
  • $5 million for the family of a woman who was killed after being struck by a commercial garbage truck
  • $3.8 million for a driver injured in a fall caused by a defective pull out step on his truck

If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a large truck, do not let financial concerns stop you from getting the legal help you need. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation so there is no cost to learn more about your options after an accident. Our firm accepts cases on a contingency basis, which means we don't get paid until we've recovered compensation for you.

Call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to receive a free case evaluation from one of our experienced attorneys. We are proud to represent clients across Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, upstate New York and New Jersey.