Truck accidents can happen at any moment for various reasons, but defective parts and lack of maintenance are always at the forefront of these devastating accidents. In a recent Roadcheck from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, inspectors found that over 25% of out-of-service violations were due to faulty brake systems.
Additionally, there was no change from the previous years, which means truckers and their employers are not taking adequate steps to address these issues. When a commercial truck braking system fails, it leads to devastating consequences for everyone around. Contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers if you are in a commercial truck accident.
Dangers of defective brakes
Truck braking systems have various moving parts; when one area does not work, it can lead to a complete malfunction. Commercial trucks require additional time to stop, and if a driver does not brake in time, they can rear-end the vehicle in front of them, which is likely a passenger vehicle. Truckers must be aware of these dangers and drive accordingly. However, the stakes are higher when the truck has defective brakes. Even an experienced driver is no match for faulty brakes because they cannot do anything to stop the vehicle. The bigger the truck, the more challenging for them to brake. Some common brake system defects include air leaks, broken air canisters, and cracked brake pads, among others.
Truckers are responsible for brake maintenance
Drivers and trucking companies will make excuse after excuse to avoid liability, but there is no excuse for negligence. Truckers should check their brakes before getting on the road, and if they find something wrong, they must take immediate action. As a defense, they may say it is the sole responsibility of the truck owner, but that is not true. While the truck owner is responsible for maintenance, the driver is responsible for alerting them of any issues. Regulations require an inspection once a year, and many truckers or fleet owners do not look at their vehicles until it is inspection time, which can result in a failure to identify faulty brakes. The following parties can be liable for brake failure:
- The truck driver
- Truck manufacturer
- Trucking company
- Shipping company
- Truck maintenance company
Truck drivers must undergo special training to learn how to use a vehicle’s braking system and respond to changes in traffic and road hazards. You need a thorough investigation by a Maryland truck accident lawyer to determine who is responsible for these errors and who must pay for your damages.
Truck manufacturers may be liable for crashes
Any company which manufacturers brakes or brake parts for commercial trucks must meet certain federal regulations. The brakes must have an anti-lock system that should prevent jackknifing, be able to match the force of the truck based on its weight, and be capable of proper declaration based on the size of the vehicle; after all, it takes a lot to stop a fully-loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 65mph on a highway. Failure to meet these regulations can result in liability on behalf of the manufacturers.
The parts themselves must also be in good working order. If a manufacturer, for example, starts using a new type of machine press or a new type of metal alloy to build its brakes, and there is an inherent defect in either of them, the manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries and losses you sustain.
Bad brakes result in devastating injuries
When brakes don't work in a commercial truck and cause an accident, those in passenger vehicles may suffer severe injuries. While the truck driver may experience some bumps and bruises, other victims will have life-altering injuries. As a truck accident victim, you can suffer long-term or permanent injuries like:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and neck injuries
You can also suffer soft tissue injuries with these effects:
- Visual disturbances
- Movement restrictions
- Muscles spasms
There are many other injuries that truck accident victims suffer not listed here. The severity of these injuries is what will determine your compensation. In the worst cases, you may lose a loved one and wish to file a wrongful death claim.
Truck accidents are devastating, and victims will suffer immeasurable losses. When a loved one dies after a truck accident, the surviving family can file a wrongful death claim to hold these negligent parties responsible. If you are a victim, contacting our office can help ensure you get justice. Contact Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., at one of our various Maryland offices for an initial consultation. Call us, or submit our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.