Headlights are important to both the driver and other motor vehicle operators on the road. The driver benefits by being able to see where they are going. Other motorists benefit by being able to see a car or large truck approaching. Let’s say that you are driving down a rural road and are unable to see other cars or an 80,000 pound truck in the opposite lane. What if the car in front of you is going below the speed limit and you decide to pass. The answer is all too clear. This is what happens when a truck driver or operator of another commercial vehicle fails to keep up vehicle maintenance to ensure that their headlights are in working order.
Headlight Defect Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
Los Angeles truck accident lawyer David Azizi treats every client with the respect they deserve. David and his staff understand that the aftermath of an accident is a daunting time filled with physical pain and financial worries. While they cannot lessen the physical pain, they strive to eliminate the stress that comes with loss of income, medical expenses and other costs caused by the accident. Call David at (800) 991-5292 to set up a free case evaluation. David will review the evidence and give you an estimate of what your case is worth. David wins 98 percent of his cases and has been named one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. Give him a call today, or reach out to him online.
Common Reasons for Non-Working Headlights
There are common reasons that vehicles take to the road with headlights that are not working. Several causes are:
- Lack of inspection: Inspection of a vehicle before taking to the road is an important part of staying safe. This goes for all drivers. Truck drivers are required to do both pre- and post-trip inspections. Usually, this means taking the time to do a 147-point inspection. Pre-trip inspections are used to make sure that all parts of the vehicle are in good working order. This includes the brakes, tires and headlights. Post-trip inspections make sure that repairs are done before the next driver comes on board and also eliminates the chance of violations.
- Defects: Product defects are fairly common, and if an accident is caused by an automotive product defect, the manufacturer may be held liable for monetary damages. Let’s say a driver encounters brake failure due to a faulty design. The injured party may be able to lodge a claim against both the owner and the manufacturer/designer. Alternately, if the defect led to a recall but the owner of the vehicle did not respond to the recall, then the vehicle’s owner can be held responsible for the accident. This is true for both passenger vehicle owners and truck drivers or trucking companies.
- Manufacturer fails to disclose defect: In some instances, the manufacturer fails to disclose the defect. This is particularly egregious behavior that can lead to many injuries and deaths. When this happens, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit against the negligent party. On occasion, the at-fault party’s insurer may pay for their client’s negligence. However, many such cases end up in court or are part of a class-action lawsuit.
Why Headlights Don’t Work
Headlights don’t work for a variety of reasons. Some common causes are:
- Corrosion: Road contaminants such as water, dirt and salt can enter the connector or the lamp. This can cause an electrical path that enhances and accelerates corrosion. It the bulb is sealed within the lamp, the chance of corrosion is eliminated. The connectors can be protected with the use of grease that is non-conductive. The sealants protect the entire area from corrosion due to road contamination.
- Vibration and shock: As a vehicle travels on the road, it is exposed to excessive bounce. This can cause the filaments in the bulb to break prematurely, causing non-functioning headlights. This can also be caused due to loading and unloading operations or hitting an object. One way to avoid this sort of damage is to use a lamp with a shock-absorbing mechanism. This essentially cradles the bulb, protecting it from shock and vibration of any kind. Some truckers use baseless bulbs. These are manufactured to provide greater protection than regular bulbs. Others use LEDs. These are epoxy sealed and protected from contaminants.
- Wiring: The amount of current the wire can handle affects the intensity of the headlights. The wire gauge is a measurement of the diameter of the wire. The bigger the diameter, the more current that flows through it. If the wire gauge is too small, the lessened amount of current can cause the headlights to dim or operate intermittently. A wire whose gauge is too small can lead to a voltage drop also. Note that a gauge that is smaller than needed can lead to a fire. The bottom line is that suitable wiring can help the headlights operate safely and efficiently. It is important to check the electrical load of the vehicle and select the appropriate wire size. Copper wire is best since it can carry higher current than that of aluminum wire. Copper also is more flexible, and this lessens the chance it will break.
- Grounding: The best grounding is one that uses an internal ground. It is better than chassis grounding since it eliminates the worry of rust or subsequent corrosion.
- Voltage: High voltage can harm headlights by causing a voltage dump. This often happens when the vehicle is started with the lights on. The voltage should be checked regularly. Even one volt more than the desired voltage can lower the life expectancy of the filaments by approximately 50 percent. LED lights do not have this problem.
- Physical damage: to eliminate physical damage to the bulb, the housing should be made of hard plastic that is unaffected by the bulb’s heat.
How a Truck Accident Law Firm Pursues Headlight Cases
Both passenger vehicle drivers and truckers are obliged to ensure that their headlights are in working order. This is an important consideration since the lack of working headlights can lead to accidents with serious injuries.
A lawyer can investigate the reason why the lights were not functioning and determine if the driver negligently did not check his or her vehicle adequately. It is somewhat easier to check on truck drivers since they must maintain logs to prove that the system was checked as directed. If the logs show that this did not happen, a lawsuit can be filed against both the trucker and the trucking company.
An attorney can also work to determine if the headlights were not functioning due to a flaw in the design or manufacture of the lights. If a defect exists and was not involved in a recall or self-reporting action, the manufacturer or designer can bear the responsibility. On the other hand, if the apparatus was recalled and the responsible party did not abide by the recall, then they become accountable for the problem along with the manufacturer.
Free Case Review for Headlight Defects Truck Accidents
The law firm of David Azizi works to obtain the compensation clients need and deserve. They do this in many areas, including personal injury, car accidents and wrongful death. If you find yourself injured by the negligence of another, call David at (800) 991-5292 to take advantage of a free case review. David will let you know whether you have a case or not. Call today and let us take the burden from you.