Truck’s Safety Equipment Failure Blamed for Man’s Death
A 39-year-old Boynton Beach man was killed after the underride guard of a commercial tractor-trailer failed. Federal law requires that all commercial trucks that clear a certain distance from the ground have rear underride guards to prevent smaller vehicles from becoming wedged beneath them.
Typically, in an accident with a car and a truck that does not have an underride guard, the windshield is crushed beneath the weight of the truck resulting in a very high fatality rate. For that reason, Congress added rear underride guards as mandatory safety equipment. In this case, however, the underride guard failed and the man was killed.
Who is Responsible for This Accident?
Just about anyone who was involved with the underride guard in any way is named as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the plaintiff’s family. This includes the trucking company that failed to ensure their vehicle was safe before it went out on delivery, the company that manufactured the underride guard, the company that installed the underride guard, and more.
That a functioning underride guard would have saved the victim’s life is not in question. That the underride guard failed is not in question. But why it failed is still up in the air. The only thing certain at this point is that the trucking company is liable for failing to inspect the vehicle before it went out on delivery or having inspected the vehicle, allowing it to go out on delivery with an unserviceable underride guard.
What’s less apparent is whether or not the underride guard was intrinsically defective or whether or not it wasn’t installed properly. The company that manufactured the underride guard may have the best case against the plaintiff if they have safety tested their guards and the guards passed the safety tests.
It is common in the early stages of a lawsuit for the plaintiff to name every possible party. In cases where the investigation doesn’t turn up sufficient evidence that one party was negligent, their name can be dropped from the lawsuit. However, we know that the trucking company that owned the vehicle whose underride guard failed will not be dropped from this lawsuit.
Further complicating matters, the lawsuit against the trucking company and the company that manufactured the underride guard are filed under different theories of liability. While the trucking company lawsuit is a traffic liability action, the lawsuit against the manufacturer of the underride guard is a product liability suit. Depending on what the investigation uncovers concerning the underride failure, both parties may be liable or only the trucking company is liable for failing to ensure their vehicle was safe.
Talk to a Miami Trucking Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve sustained serious injuries in an accident with a commercial truck or lost someone you love, you can hold the company accountable for their negligence. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation.