“I was driving behind a semi-truck on the highway when a part fell off the truck and flew into my car, injuring me. What are my legal rights?”
I’m Katelyn Holub, a personal injury attorney practicing law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today we’ll take a look at the topic of being injured by a part that flew off of another vehicle. We recently received a question from a listener who was following a tractor-trailer on a highway when his vehicle was struck by a drive shaft that fell off of the semi-truck in front of him. His medical bills continue to mount and he would like to know his legal rights.
Over the years, we have represented several people injured as a result of parts flying off a tractor-trailer. When parts strike a vehicle after flying off a semi-truck, devastating injury and/or death can occur.
In these types of situations, the key issue often boils down to negligent maintenance of the semi-truck or the manufacture of a defective part (aka products liability).
With regard to negligent maintenance situations, regulations at the state and federal level require that tractor-trailers undergo regular maintenance and safety checks before being driven on our highways. If not properly maintained, parts like drive shafts can come loose and ultimately fall off tractor trailers—becoming a dangerous flying projectile for anything in its path. Not only does the flying projectile part from the truck pose a danger to others on the road, but also the truck itself, as it can jack-knife or otherwise lose control because of it.
Our attorneys are familiar with the detailed maintenance standards that apply to tractor-trailers and the trucking industry. Our knowledge enables us to lead an effective investigation into what went wrong, which, in turn, equips us to craft more compelling arguments to hold those responsible for the harm to account for the damages done.
Another issue that sometimes comes up in these types of cases is whether the manufacturer of a vehicular part failed to safely design or make the part. We’ve all heard of recalls for various auto parts over the years. For example, there have been big airbag and tire recalls in the recent past. Well, sometimes semi-truck parts fail as a result of improper design or manufacture, regardless of how well the truck was maintained.
The bottom line is that these types of cases require thoughtful analysis and investigation in order to determine who to hold accountable for injuries, such as the truck driver, trucking company, and/or manufacturer of a vehicular part.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at +1 (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.