Louisiana & Texas Personal Injury Lawyers
Defective Vehicle Products

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Defective Vehicle Parts

Discover Who’s Liable & How to Recover When Faulty Vehicle Parts Cause Crashes

Safe driving can go out the window when vital vehicle components fail. In fact, when any critical part or system malfunctions, it can be scary and incredibly difficult (or impossible) for drivers to maintain control of vehicles. If that causes crashes and injuries, victims may have legal options to make the negligent parties pay and bring them to justice.

At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we have successfully represented negligence victims for more than 20 years. Skilled, strategic, and compassionate, our truck accident lawyers know how to go up against tough opponents in and outside the courtroom — including negligent manufacturers, vehicle makers, and others. And we are highly effective at winning and securing full, fair compensation when it matters most.

If you need answers about a potential claim involving defective vehicle parts, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here for you, ready to help 24/7.

Call 888-492-5532 or Email Us for a Free, Confidential Consultation 24/7.

Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers has recovered millions in all types of defective parts cases. Your claim and recovery could be our next victory.

Click on a link below to jump directly to a section and learn more about the cases, lawyers, and compensation that can come into play when defective vehicle parts cause accidents.

What Vehicle Parts Are Most Prone to Defects?

For big rigs (and passenger vehicles), the two most common pieces of equipment to fail on the roads — and cause deadly wrecks — are the (sources: FMSCA and NHTSA):

  1. Tires
  2. Brakes

The following takes a closer look at how and why tires and brakes fail on the roads, followed by a look at other vehicle components that can also be defective.

Defective Tires on 18-Wheelers

Tires are the number one vehicle component to fail on 18-wheelers (and passenger vehicles). That makes sense considering the facts that tires are the only component in constant contact with the roads. In fact, while tires can get tons of wear and tear on newer roads, on older, rougher roads, tires take a real beating.

When those tires have defects, the risk of a big rig crash can skyrocket. Generally, tire defects arise due to:

  • Design flaws: Flimsy belt wedges, missing cap plies, and insufficient skim stock in rubber can lead to greater risks of tread separation, belt separation, and premature tire failure.
  • Manufacturing errors: Trapped air or water pockets in the rubber, as well as liner cracks and foreign materials in rubber, can seriously degrade tire durability. That can result in tread separation and other forms of tire failure.

Defective Brakes on Truck

As the second most common vehicle component to fail and cause crashes, brakes can also have design flaws and manufacturing defects. When that happens, these problems can result in major risks, like (but not limited to):

  • Brakes overheating
  • Leaking brake liners
  • Brittle or leaking calipers
  • Brake pad problems
  • Failures of antilock braking systems

Brake failures like these can make it challenging to slow down or stop big rigs. Sometimes, these problems can even pull trucks off course, increasing the risk of rollovers and other wrecks.

Other Defective Vehicle Components

Following tires and brakes, the truck components that are most likely to fail on the roads and cause crashes are shown in the table below (sources: FMSCA).

Chart showing "Ranking of Most Common Defects" and "Percentage of Defective Truck Parts compared to fatal wrecks"


“Unknown” is marked when the wreckage is too extensive for investigators to determine exactly which part(s) failed. Please note that:

  • Trucks experience equipment failures at twice the rate that passenger vehicles do (source: FMSCA). Since 18-wheelers are on the roads for longer periods than the average passenger vehicle, it makes sense that their equipment would be more vulnerable to failures.
  • It’s not always easy to determine when vehicle part failures contributed to big rig crashes. This usually takes follow-up investigations and the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Who’s Liable for Truck Accidents Caused by Defective Vehicle Parts?

Liability depends on the underlying cause of the defect or failure. Essentially, questions like the following need to be answered to start figuring out liability:

  • Why did the defect exist or what exactly caused the part to fail?
  • What could and should have been done to prevent that defect or failure?
  • Who could have prevented it?

Generally, parties that may be at fault for these problems and 18-wheeler accidents can include (and may not be limited to):

  • Designers: Those who design flawed equipment, systems, or vehicles can be liable when those dangers cause crashes.
  • Suppliers: If poor-quality or contaminated materials contribute to vehicle equipment failures, the suppliers of those materials may be among the at-fault parties.
  • Manufacturers: Whether cutting corners, making assembly mistakes, or otherwise erring during the manufacturing process, manufacturers can be liable when their errors contribute to traffic accidents.
  • Distributors: If vehicle parts are known to be unsafe or recalled, any distributors that continue to circulate these items could be risking liability as well.
  • Technicians and/or repair shops: When vehicle equipment failures are caused by installation or repair errors, parties like technicians and/or repair shops could be liable as well.
  • Vehicle owners: Whether owner-operators or motor carriers, the parties that own vehicles can be liable if their failures to maintain 18-wheelers result in malfunctions and wrecks. For example, failing to replace worn equipment on trucks could create liability for big rig owners if that equipment ends up contributing to wrecks.

How Do I Know If Defective or Faulty Parts Caused My 18-Wheeler Accident?

It usually takes careful investigations, expert analysis, and an experienced truck accident lawyer to determine — and prove — that defective parts caused an accident. In fact, defective parts cases can be some of the more complex 18-wheeler wreck claims to pursue. That’s because:

  • Evidence of defective parts can be complex: It may take data from electronic logging devices, motor carrier records, manufacturer records, and a whole lot more to establish defects and the negligence involved. In many cases, it takes work to obtain and preserve this evidence, as well as experts to interpret and explain it.
  • Companies tend to fight these claims hard: Some have teams of defense attorneys, ready to aggressively fight any claims brought against a company. These lawyers focus on fighting these claims day in and day out, so they can be some of the toughest opponents to face.

The bottom line — talk to a truck accident attorney at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. We can help you determine if defective parts were a factor in your truck accident and, if so, who’s liable.

When Should I Talk to a Lawyer?

The sooner, the better. The truth is there’s not much time to file a case, and it doesn’t get easier to win the longer you wait — it can get harder. Evidence can disappear, negligent parties can gain a key upper hand, or you could lose out on the chance to file (if the filing deadline passes).

When you talk to a truck accident lawyer at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, however, you can immediately get important answers. And you can secure the advocacy you need to set your potential case up for success.

What Happens When I File a Defective Parts Claim?

No two cases are exactly alike, so what happens after you file depends on the specifics of your claim. This is another question for a lawyer during an initial consultation.

That said, many defective parts claims do involve at least a few similar features, like (but not limited to):

  • Multiple plaintiffs: Unfortunately, defective vehicle parts often harm lots of people. It’s common for some of these cases to turn into mass torts as multiple plaintiffs come forward with similar claims.
  • Longer timeframes: Because these cases can be more complex, it may take longer to resolve some of them. That can be especially true if defective parts claims involve multiple defendants and/or plaintiffs.
  • Settlements: Most of these cases are settled out of court. Still, some can end up in court if the negligent parties decide they want to fight liability or damages.

Set up your free, no-obligation consultation with Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers to find out what will happen if you file a case. We can answer your questions, help you file a potential claim, and guide you at every step going forward after you file.

What Compensation Is Paid for Defective Parts Cases?

Like liability, compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis. It can also take some complex work to determine damages for these cases, which can include:

  • Economic and noneconomic damages: These are the quantifiable financial losses that can be calculated from bills or lost earnings, as well as other losses, like pain and suffering.
  • Past and future losses: While past losses can be easier to determine than future losses, it’s common for experts to be brought in to help determine these damages.

When successful, defective parts claims can include damages for (but not limited to):

  • Medical bills
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Burial and funeral costs (if the injuries are deadly)
  • Loss of consortium

An Experienced Lawyer Can Help You Now

When you’ve been hurt by a faulty or defective vehicle part, time and insurance companies are not on your side. But you don’t have to seek justice or try to recover alone. A truck accident lawyer at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers can help you when it matters most.

Relentless, knowledgeable, and highly skilled, we are proud to offer exceptional representation to the victims of negligence. Discover the difference our team can make in your case and recovery by contacting us today.

Call (888) 492-5532 or Email Us for a Free, Confidential Consultation. Your path to justice can start with a call or an email.

Building a Strong Case for You

Our firm will take any legal measure possible to develop a strong case on your behalf. Cases that require additional investigations can benefit from our numerous resources available. We have access to useful information and tools to develop a solid case with the goal of proving our client's case. One of our firm's greatest areas of skill is evaluating the predicted costs of the client's treatment. Using this asset, we can help you fight for the compensation package that you rightfully deserve from the insurance company.
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