When truck accidents occur, the resulting damage can be catastrophic due to the sheer size of the vehicle. Truck drivers and companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles so that they are reasonable safe for the road. If accidents occur due to unsafe or defective equipment, truck driver, trucking companies and other negligent parties can be held liable foe damages in a trucking accident claim.
When truck accidents occur, it is often because of defective or poorly maintained equipment. In fact, a study by the Department of Transportation found that 29.4% of all large truck accidents involved brake-related issues. There are several parties that may be held accountable, whether individually or in combination, for brake-related issues in a truck accident:
- The brake manufacturer
- The driver
- The loading company
- The company responsible for brake maintenance
The federal government has strict regulations regarding the safety of truck braking systems. If truck brakes do not meet these standards and an accident occurs as a result, you be be able to file a claim against the brake manufacturer. In some cases, brakes or brake parts may have been recalled due to dangers that are already known. If a trucking company failed to comply with a federal recall, then the company may be liable for damages for any accident that results from the defective brakes.
There are situations in which the negligence of a driver or trucking company can lead to brake failure. For example, some truck drivers may unhook or de-power a truck's front brakes in order to minimize the expense of tire and brake wear and therefore mitigates replacement costs. Another example of negligence is the improper loading of a truck. If a truck's load is uneven, it is possible for brakes to overheat and malfunction.
Federal regulations state that trucking companies must keep maintenance records demonstrating that their trucks have been maintained according to schedule. Every driver must perform and complete a daily pre-trip inspection report of the condition of the tractor and trailer equipment. The required inspections include:
- Checking the brake shoes in order to ensure they function properly and do not have missing or broken mechanical components.
- Listening for air leaks in the brake chamber, which is an indicator of problems with the brake system.
- Checking for loose brake components
It is not uncommon to see the long strips of rubber along the highway that is a result of a semi-truck blowing a tire. The most common causes of truck tire failure are tire defects or poor or negligent maintenance.
Defects in a truck tire can occur simply because a manufacturer sold defective tires. As with brakes, tires can also be recalled and failure to comply can leave a truck driver or company liable for damages if an accident is caused due to a defective tire.
However, sometimes accidents occur because a company or diver failed to properly maintain tires. Maintenance failures can include allowing drivers to use tires that do not meet DOT minimum tread depth, using mismatched tire sizes, pairing tires with different wear or mixing bias and radial tires on the same axel.
Truck driver are required to check tires during their pre-trip inspections. Improper tire pressure can lead to deterioration and, eventually, to failure. A tire that is worn or damaged can blow out, resulting in the loss of control of the vehicle. Drivers and companies need to inspect their tires for tread wear, tread and sidewall damage and air leakage.
Chicago Trucking Accident Lawyers
It is important to make sure you explore all possible causes of your accident. Often, companies that fail to check their truck's braking systems fail to check tires as well. Inspection failures can lead to mechanical problems that can cause catastrophic accidents. The truck defect accident attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Offices have helped victims and their families recover the money damages they may be entitled to.
Nemeroff Law Offices offers a free consultation to evaluate your truck defect accident claim. It will cost you nothing to consult with a lawyer to see if you have a case. It is essential that action be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident and/or conduct in question and to file a lawsuit, when necessary prior to a deadline imposed by the statute of limitations.
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We give all our personal injury, workers' compensation, wrongful death and medical malpractice clients a promise that if we do not recover monetary damages in your case, we will not charge you an attorney fee. If we take your case, we only get paid if we win your case.
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