Thousands of truck accidents happen on U.S. roads each year. Most of these vehicles are large and heavy, capable of causing serious property damage and devastating injuries. Many victims, especially those who suffer spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, may require life-long care, treatment, and support. Unfortunately, in addition to lasting impairments, many truck accidents end in fatalities.
When most people think of truck accident lawsuits, driver negligence comes to mind. A trucker acts carelessly or recklessly behind the wheel and causes a collision. However, these crashes may also result from a mechanical malfunction. One of the most common is brake failure. When a truck’s brakes go out, it can quickly cause an emergency. So, when it comes to faulty brakes leading to a truck accident, who might be responsible?
Understanding Brake Failures in Commercial Motor Vehicles
Brake failures are perhaps the most dangerous mechanical defect. If you were injured in a collision because a truck’s brakes malfunctioned, you might be entitled to compensation to pay for accident-related expenses.
Brake failures can occur for several different reasons. Understanding the cause is critical in determining the identity of any liable party or parties. Common causes of brake failure include:
- A worn brake system
- Defective brake parts
- Low or absent brake fluid
- Faulty brake lines
- Poor brake maintenance
Several parties may be responsible for a commercial truck accident, and we can help you identify them and fight for the maximum payout. We work with industry experts who can help us understand the cause of the crash and who is legally responsible.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident Caused by Faulty Brakes?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), both motor carriers and equipment providers must comply with various laws regarding the inspection, maintenance and repair of a truck’s brakes. If the brakes of the truck malfunction, then there are several people who may be liable. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to bring a claim against the truck driver, the organization that loaded the vehicle, or the company that manufactured the brakes.
For example, the trucking company might be responsible if:
- The truck driver is at fault
- It failed to provide adequate maintenance
- It knew about a possible defect but did not make the necessary repairs
Under some circumstances, the liable parties may try to shift the blame to another individual or organization to avoid paying damages. A personal injury lawyer with experience in truck accidents can help you prove negligence in order to recover the maximum compensation.
Braking System Regulations
The U.S. Department of Transportation has implemented several rules regarding the braking systems that companies use on trucks. According to these regulations, the truck must have a braking power specific to its weight. The truck braking system must also meet certain requirements regarding automatic brake adjustments, and it must be able to stop within a certain distance while traveling at 20 miles per hour.
If the system does not meet these regulations, the owner or trucking company could have responsibility for any adverse outcomes resulting from the issue. A defective part or failed repair could also be the problem. Having a truck accident attorney on your side to help you get to the bottom of what caused your crash will make a significant difference in the stress and effort you have to put forward to recover fair compensation.
If the truck that caused your accident did not meet the legal requirements specified by federal laws, then you may have valid grounds for a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to claim that the brakes were faulty by design, or that there was an error in the manufacturing process that was responsible for their failure.
While each personal injury case is different, they all require the plaintiff to prove that negligence caused a specific injury. This may require extensive evidence and expert testimonies. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the experience and resources to gather evidence, structure your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement.
This is where a truck accident injury attorney from our firm can investigate all potential causes of the crash to identify the liable parties.
Other Defective Truck Components Can Cause Serious Injuries
Not only braking systems can fail and lead to commercial vehicle accidents. Other defective parts or mechanical issues with systems can also cause collisions. In fact, even relatively minor parts that play a crucial safety role can fail and cause a crash, including:
- Signal lights
- Rear-view and side-view mirrors
- Windshield wipers
- Transmission systems
- Steering systems
- Suspension systems
- Hitches and coupling devices
- Systems used to secure cargo
A truck accident attorney will know how to uncover who may be liable in any of these cases. They will help victims develop strong support for their claim, file the claim, and seek compensation for their client.
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Discuss Your Case With an Attorney from Morris Bart, LLC
At the Morris Bart law firm, all 15 of our offices provide free legal case assessments for truck accident victims. We have locations across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. During your free case review, we will listen to the facts of your injury accident and get a preliminary idea of who may be liable for the faulty brakes or another truck part that led to the crash.
To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (800) 537-8185.
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