A San Antonio truck accident lawyer shares the info you should know
More than 100,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks were recently recalled due to a steering malfunction affecting the tractor-trailer trucks, according to a recent news story about the recall published by Fleet Owner.
Daimler AG, which owns Freightliner, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, recently announced the recall and informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about potential problems with certain Freightliner Cascadia trucks.
Truck accidents due to malfunctioning steering devices and other components happen far too often in Texas and throughout the United States. But they’re not the only reason why truck accidents happen involving tractor-trailers. And when these accidents happen, injuries are often serious and accident claims can be very complex. That’s why it’s important to understand why tractor-trailer accidents happen and the legal options available to injury victims.
Why were Cascadia tractor-trailers recalled?
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) recently recalled more than 100,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks due to a problem with the truck’s drag link taper joint, affecting the truck’s steering mechanism. The manufacturer defect involved certain 2019-2021 Freightliner Cascadia trucks and some 2019 Freightliner Classic Cascadia.
According to Fleet Owner magazine, the trucks were recalled since the drag link taper joint could potentially come loose, causing the drag link to separate from the steering arm and increasing the likelihood of a truck accident.
DTNA promised to inspect and repair free of charge any defective drag link taper joints in Freightliner Cascadia trucks. The company planned to mail recall notification letters to truck owners on Oct. 31, Fleet Owner magazine reported.
Freightliner Cascadia trucks have been recalled recently due to other manufacturer defects. According to Fleet Owner magazine, DTNA issued a recall on July 13, 2020, of more than 164,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks manufactured since 2017 due to a corroded modulator valve that could cause brake pull problems, resulting in a delay in the brakes being applied, especially during automatic braking events. The problem was caused by the chemical corrosion of the truck’s single brake modulator valve.
Defective truck parts are just one of the many causes of tractor-trailer accidents
Manufacturer defects are just one reason why accidents sometimes occur involving tractor-trailers. A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees the commercial trucking industry, identified several common causes of truck accidents involving 18-wheelers and other big rigs.
Based on a detailed analysis of 141,000 truck accidents, an estimated 87 percent of truck accidents occurred due to driver error. The FMCSA then divided such incidents into four, main categories:
- Non-performance errors – 12 percent of truck accidents occurred for this reason, which includes the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel or the driver being physically impaired due to a medical emergency, including a seizure or heart attack.
- Recognition errors – 28 percent of truck accidents occurred due to driver inattention or being distracted by something outside or inside the vehicle.
- Decision errors – 38 percent of truck accidents occur due to truck drivers speeding, going too fast during hazardous weather conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, or following other vehicles too closely.
- Performance errors – 9 percent of truck accidents happen because the truck driver could not control the direction of the truck, panicked, overcompensated, or made an illegal maneuver, resulting in the truck crashing into another vehicle.
In addition, the same FMCSA study found that truck accidents happened for two other reasons:
- Vehicle-related problems – 10 percent of truck accidents occurred for this reason, including cargo shifting during transit, manufacturer defects, tire blowouts, and defective brakes or mechanical issues due to poor truck maintenance.
- Environmental factors – 3 percent of truck accidents occurred due to the driver not adjusting for snow, sleet, hail, and other hazardous weather conditions.
Talk to a truck accident attorney who knows how to win
You might think you don’t need an attorney if you were injured in a truck accident that wasn't your fault, but cases involving 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are often high stakes and can quickly turn into complex legal battles.
Sometimes, it’s because the at-fault trucker denies responsibility for the accident to protect their career. Other times, there’s debate over who can be held accountable since in these types of cases multiple entities can be found liable, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that loaded the truck, or a third-party vendor.
That's why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights. At The Herrera Law Firm in San Antonio, our attorneys can help you every step of the way. You don't need to know what exactly caused your truck accident—if you were hurt and it wasn't your fault, we can investigate and get to the bottom of it.
The key is to contact us as soon as possible so we can take steps to locate and preserve important pieces of evidence that are controlled by the trucking companies, such as logbooks, fleet maintenance records, and certain types of electronic data. Some of this evidence can legally be destroyed in six months, while other information might only need to be kept for as little as two weeks.
Don't try to take on a trucking company and its team of attorneys on your own. Get the law firm that knows winning isn't luck, it's knowing how to fight.
Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a San Antonio truck accident attorney. We’re conveniently located on West Commerce Street and have the resources to handle accident claims throughout Texas.