Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P.     800 - 773 - 6770
read disclaimer

Who holds for a defective truck part that caused an accident, the manufacturer of the part or truck, or trucking company?

Question: I was recentlyinvolved in an accident where a truck hit my car.  The initial assumption was that the driverwas at fault, but the insurance investigator found that there was a problemwith the truck's braking system.   Mywhole car was totaled and I sustained some neck and back injuries.  I can't afford my out-of-pocket medical expenses.  In the case where there was a problem withthe truck itself, should I bring a suit against the truck driver, the truckowner, or the truck manufacturer?

Response:  Basically, any person or company found tobe at fault can be sued for liability. If the mechanical failure was due to poor maintenance, liability may goto the truck's owner.  Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety RegulationTitle 49 – Section 396, carrier owners are legally bound to ensure that theirvehicles meet minimum safety measures.  These measures include regular inspections,repairs, and basic maintenance.  Faultybrakes may indicate shoddy maintenance or a lack of inspection.  The regulations also ascribe liability tovehicle manufacturers if the accident arose from defective parts.  Liability also expands to anyone whoseprivate or public property contributed to the accident.  Definitely check with an attorney to better determineyour rights and issues of liability.

Answered by Sharon Cullars

Additional Resources:

  • FMCSA -Title 49, Section 396 - Inspection, repair and maintenance: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/49cfr396_02.html
  • FMCSA -Title 49, Section 390 - Federal motor carrier safety regulations; general: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/49cfr390_02.html
The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you need help with a Truck Accident claim, consult an experienced trucking accident attorney from the law offices of Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P. by calling TOLL FREE: 800 - 773 - 6770 OR by filling out the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.
Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
1811 Bering Drive, Suite 300     Houston, TX 77057     Toll Free: 1-800-773-6770     Fax: 713-668-1980