Collisions between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles often result in serious and fatal injuries. When a truck accident occurs due to defective equipment, injured victims can claim compensation for injuries and punitive damages through a product liability lawsuit. Manufacturers, the engineers that designed the defective part, and even the trucking companies in charge of the fleet, may be liable for your injuries.
Types of Defective Truck Parts
A defective truck is one that has a design or manufacture flaw in its performance, construction, parts, or material. Manufacturers and distributors of commercial trucks and parts are mandated by the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety to provide a vehicle that protects the public from an unreasonable risk of harm. When a truck has a defect that poses or causes a risk to the public, a product liability lawsuit can be brought against those responsible for the defect.
The most common types of truck defects are found in the design or manufacturing of steering components, fuel systems, accelerators, tires, electrical wiring systems, air bags, brake systems, and lights. In certain cases, the defects can be the result of improper installation, or assembly of such parts in the exhaust system or the body and frame of a truck. Liability can fall on the manufacturer, distributor, or engineer of the product, or on a combination of these individuals
Strict Liability Product Lawsuits
In a strict liability product lawsuit, the plaintiff does not have to prove carelessness or negligence by the defendant. Under this legal standard, the plaintiff must prove three things. First, that the product was in a defective condition. Second, that the defect was unreasonably dangerous. And third, that the defective product caused physical injury to the user or consumer. The defect in a product can be related to its design, a mistake in the manufacturing process, or a failure to warn the consumer or user of a potential risk.
In addition to compensation for injuries that includes hospital bills, lost wages, prescription medication, and other expenses resulting from the injury, truck accident victims may be able to claim punitive damages in a strict liability product lawsuit. Punitive damages are brought against the defendant as a form of retribution. Plaintiffs suing for punitive damages can obtain additional compensation as a way of punishing those responsible for their injuries. Punitive damages also send a message to other manufacturers and distributors that financial penalties can apply to defective products.
In recent litigation, punitive awards have sometimes reached millions of dollars. Depending upon the severity of the injury or loss resulting from the defective truck accident, plaintiffs have received large punitive damages settlements as part of their compensation package. The idea behind a
punitive award is to afford the victim enough compensation to return to the same quality of life that they had before the accident occurred. If you are injured in a truck accident, it is always wise to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer that can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you claim the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Help Victims Injured in Defective Truck Accidents
If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced team of Columbia truck accident lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden at 803-929-3600, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.
Our six South Carolina office locations serve clients throughout the state, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumtner County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangebury County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.