Who is Liable When a Truck’s Brakes Fail and Cause a Crash That Injures Me?
18-wheelers and other large commercial motor vehicles have special brake systems which operate very differently than the brakes on cars and smaller trucks. These size and mass of 18 wheelers and other large commercial motor vehicles require these special brake systems so these large vehicles can safely stop. Unfortunately, the size and mass of these vehicles can often lead to catastrophic collisions if the truck’s specialized braking system is faulty. When you or a loved one is injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler, the question is where does the liability fall for these accidents and how much compensation can be obtained? Let’s take a closer look at truck accidents caused by faulty brakes or poor brake system maintenance.
Trucking Companies Should pay for Cost-cutting Measures That Backfire
Plenty of trucking companies will attempt to cut costs at every opportunity possible. In order to save money on costly maintenance to a trucks tires, wheels and brakes, some truck drivers and trucking companies will make a conscious effort to de-power the truck’s front brakes or slow their truck by downshifting. The result is that the brunt of the load falls to the rear brakes. truckers
The result of de-powering the front brakes or slowing by downshifting is the stopping distance is altered. This change in stopping distance just might make the difference between a minor accident and one that breaks several bones or worse. Do not let the trucking company or the trucker get away with this negligence. Those responsible for the failure to maintain brakes should pay the price in the form of financial compensation to all victims.
Legal Responsibility for Truck Accidents Caused by Faulty Brakes
It is not easy to prove brake failure is the sole or even partial cause of a truck accident. Even assigning blame can be challenging. If the incorrect party is named as the defendant in the lawsuit, the chances of obtaining compensation are minimal. Assigning blame for faulty truck brakes is complicated. Everyone from the trucker to the truck maintenance team to corporate executives who set maintenance policies and schedules has the potential to bear all or some of the legal blame. The challenge lies in identifying the party or parties responsible for this negligence. You need an experienced Houston auto accident attorney on your side to determine which parties are legitimate defendants, file the lawsuit and ultimately obtain justice.
Studies by Federal Government have reveleaed that faulty brakes play a role in a significant number of crashes with 18 wheelers and other large trucks. Truck Drivers are required to inspect their braking system on a regular basis with a basic check being done at the start of every driving shift. If the driver does not understand how to properly inspect and operate the braking system or identify defects, he or she is putting the well-being of everyone on the road in jeopardy. Truck drivers are also responsible for checking the tire air pressure and ensuring water has not breached the air brake system. Everything from the rubber seals to the hoses should be examined to guarantee there are no leaks or other problems due to wear and tear. If the trucker or other auto maintenance worker does not check the brake system’s nuances, one or several individuals or even multiple businesses can be named as defendants in a lawsuit.
Truck Part Manufacturer Liability
Truck brakes that fail must be analyzed in-depth. This inspection might reveal defects with the brakes or other part failures. If the truck part manufacturer provided defective brakes that break or fail, that company can be found liable for damages stemming from the truck accident.
Even the mechanic who worked on the truck involved in the accident can be found liable for damages. The bottom line is these big rigs have to be in workable condition that proves safe for all parties on the road. If the mechanic did not perform an adequate inspection or botched the repair and these mistakes caused the accident, he or she could be partially liable.
Michael S Callahan is an attorney and founder of The Callahan Law Firm. He focuses his practice on representing individuals and families in personal injury cases involving motor vehicle and truck accidents, workplace accidents and defective products. With over 25 years of experience, he is dedicated to fighting on behalf of people whose lives have been forever altered by the negligence and carelessness of corporations and individuals. Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Michael has been practicing law and fighting for justice for those who need it most since 1994. He is board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a member of various esteemed legal associations. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending quality time with his family, outdoor activities, and continually striving to improve as a trial lawyer and human being.