Truck Accidents Due to Negligent Maintenance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict laws regulating routine inspections, skilled repairs and maintenance, and meticulous record-keeping for all commercial trucks. These regulations protect others on the roadway by minimizing the risk of poorly maintained trucks causing serious accidents with vulnerable motorists in smaller vehicles. When a needed repair slips through the cracks and the result is a serious accident with injuries and damages to victims, the trucking company’s negligent breach of duty leaves them responsible for the victim’s damages.

When Does Negligent Maintenance Cause Truck Accidents?

Because large commercial trucks may legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, it’s imperative to ensure that all mechanical parts and electrical systems are in top working condition before departing on a trip. When there’s a failure, the result can be a serious accident with vulnerable motorists at risk. Examples of accidents caused by poor maintenance include the following:

  • Tire blowouts: tires on commercial trucks receive tremendous wear and tear. Regular inspections should occur before every trip to replace worn or defective tires to avoid blowouts that could cause the driver to lose control of the truck or cause strips of tire to fly through the air like shrapnel or leave debris in the roadway, potentially causing serious accidents.
  • Brake system defects: commercial trucks require extended stopping lengths compared to standard vehicles. A truck’s brake system is critical for the safety of the driver and others on the road. When brakes are poorly maintained or the reported signs of a problem go unaddressed, it presents a serious safety hazard.
  • Defective steering system: Trucks require wide turns even under the best of circumstances. When a truck’s steering system is in ill repair, the system could fail, putting others at risk of a collision with a heavy metal truck.
  • Broken or worn-out trailer couplings: sturdy, dependable trailer couplings are a critical component of semi-tractor-trailer trucks to avoid the trailer swinging widely away from the cab or separating completely with potentially catastrophic results for nearby motorists.
  • Trailer light malfunctions: It may seem that lights on a truck trailer aren’t a critical safety feature, but they are. If a trailer isn’t well-lit, motorists may not be able to see the trailer behind a truck after dark, resulting in a collisions in intersections, including deadly underride truck accidents.

Types of truck Accidents Caused by Negligent Maintenance

Many times after truck accidents, the trucking company points to a negligent maintenance company as the liable party after an accident. When the maintenance and repair company is an entity separate from the trucking company, they may be liable for damages to accident victims after truck accidents such as the following:

  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • T-bone accidents
  • Jackknife accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Underride accidents
  • Override accidents

In any of the above accidents, motorists in smaller vehicles bear the brunt of the injuries while drivers of the large commercial trucks are less likely to experience injuries.

What Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Me?

Determining liability in a truck accident can be complex due to multiple entities that could bear liability. A truck accident lawyer thoroughly investigates all aspects of the accident, documents clear evidence of one or more party’s negligence, and then makes a compelling claim for the maximum compensation available. Call the experienced truck accident lawyers at Younglove Law Firm today so we can begin investigating your accident to determine if negligent maintenance, driver error, or inadequate company hiring or training practices caused or contributed to your accident.

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