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When the Truck Driver Isn’t Negligent but the Company or Manufacturer Is

truck accident being looked at

Truck accidents are often attributed to driver negligence, but what happens when the fault lies elsewhere? Many devastating truck accidents in Florida occur not because of driver error but due to negligence by the trucking company or the manufacturer. These incidents can be just as tragic and complex, leaving victims and their families struggling to understand who is responsible.

Imagine a scenario where a truck’s brakes fail on a busy highway, causing a catastrophic accident. The driver did everything right, but the company’s lack of maintenance led to this disaster. Or consider a situation where a faulty truck part, known to be defective by the manufacturer, results in a fatal crash. These are not isolated incidents and can result in wrongful death cases that leave families devastated and seeking justice.

The Role of Trucking Companies in Wrongful Death

The federal government heavily regulates the trucking industry, and trucking companies must adhere to strict safety standards. When a company violates these regulations, it can be held liable for accidents. Common ways trucking companies contribute to accidents include:

Inadequate Maintenance and Inspections: Trucking companies are legally obligated to maintain their fleets in safe working order. Regular maintenance and thorough inspections are crucial to ensure that all parts of the truck are functioning correctly. Neglecting this responsibility can lead to mechanical failures such as brake or tire malfunctions, which can cause severe accidents.

Overloading and Improper Loading of Cargo: Companies often overload trucks or fail to secure cargo properly to maximize efficiency and profits. However, overloaded trucks are harder to control and take longer to stop, increasing the risk of accidents. Additionally, improperly secured cargo can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unstable and potentially leading to collisions.

Unrealistic Schedules and Driver Fatigue: To meet tight delivery deadlines, trucking companies may pressure drivers to stay on the road longer than legally allowed. This can lead to driver fatigue, which significantly impairs a driver’s ability to focus, react, and make sound judgments. Fatigued drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents due to their diminished capacity to operate their vehicles safely.

Lack of Proper Training: Truck drivers require specialized training to handle large vehicles and hazardous materials safely. When companies fail to provide adequate training, drivers may not be fully equipped to deal with challenging driving conditions or emergency situations, increasing the likelihood of accidents. In these cases, a wrongful death attorney can help investigate whether the trucking company failed to meet its responsibility to ensure drivers are properly trained.

Negligent Hiring: Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire qualified and safe drivers. This includes conducting thorough background checks and ensuring that drivers have clean driving records. When companies hire drivers with a history of violations, accidents, or insufficient qualifications, they put everyone on the road at risk.

The Role of Manufacturers in Florida Truck Accidents

Truck manufacturers also play a critical role in ensuring the safety of their vehicles. They are legally obligated to design and produce trucks that are safe to use and free from defects. When manufacturers fail to meet these standards, they can be held liable for any resulting accidents. Here are some common issues involving manufacturers that can lead to truck accidents:

Defective Truck Parts: Trucks are complex machines made up of numerous components. If any of these parts—such as brakes, steering mechanisms, or tires- are defective—it can lead to catastrophic failures. For example, a brake defect can prevent a truck from stopping in time, causing a collision. Similarly, a tire defect can lead to blowouts, resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle.

Faulty Design: Design flaws can compromise the safety and stability of trucks, even if all parts are functioning as intended. For instance, a design that makes a truck prone to tipping over or a cab structure that fails to protect the driver in a crash can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Design defects can be particularly dangerous because they affect all vehicles of that model. In these cases, a wrongful death lawyer can help you determine if a manufacturer is liable.

Failure to Recall or Address Known Issues: When manufacturers become aware of defects or safety issues, they are obligated to issue recalls and address these problems promptly. Failure to do so puts all users of the affected trucks at risk. For example, if a manufacturer knows about a defect in the fuel system that could lead to fires but does not issue a recall, they are negligently endangering lives.

When manufacturer negligence is to blame, experienced wrongful death attorneys can help families seek justice.

Legal Tips for Families of Wrongful Death Victims

Losing a family member in a truck accident is a shocking experience, 

  • Preserve Evidence: Keep all documents, photos, and records related to the accident. This includes medical records, police reports, and any correspondence with insurance companies.
  • Statute of Limitations: In Florida, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Missing this deadline can forfeit your right to seek compensation.
  • Avoid Discussing the Case: Do not discuss case details with anyone other than a wrongful death attorney. Insurance companies and opposing parties may use your statements against you.
  • Consult an Attorney: Hire an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and help you build a strong case.

We Can Help!

If your family has been affected by a wrongful death due to a trucking company or manufacturer’s negligence, it’s crucial to act quickly. Preserve all evidence, avoid discussing case details, and consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, our dedicated team of Miami wrongful death lawyers will leave no stone unturned in seeking justice for your loved one. Call us today for a free consultation at 305-371-2692 and let us help you navigate this challenging time. Reach out now to ensure your family’s rights are protected and to get the compensation you deserve.