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Can I hold a commercial vehicle operator liable for sudden mechanical failure?

Commercial vehicle safety is a very important issue when it comes to the overall goal of increasing highway safety. Because of the size and weight of most commercial vehicles, the potential risk to both passengers and other motorists is significant. Readers are fairly used to seeing headlines about truck accidents, commercial bus accidents, and school bus accidents, and know that these accidents can have serious consequences in terms of injuries and fatalities.

Commercial vehicle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, of course, and not all of them are due to moving violations, driver fatigue or distraction, though these are common causes. In some cases, there are equipment failures which cause a commercial vehicle operator to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident.

Two common situations are where a commercial vehicle loses a wheel due to a mechanical failure and where the vehicle’s brakes fail, though there are other possibilities. What about liability in these cases? Can a commercial vehicle operator be held accountable when their vehicle suffers a mechanical failure?

Although it is always best to work with an experienced attorney to ensure updated knowledge and accurate application of the law, the ability to sue a negligent commercial vehicle operator often depends on whether the equipment failure could have reasonably been predicted given the circumstances of the case. In other words, did the commercial vehicle operator act or fail to act in such a way that mechanical failure was foreseeable?

In our next post, we’ll continue with this topic and offer some comments on how an experienced attorney can help an accident victim pursue the strongest commercial vehicle accident case possible. 

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