According to the Department of Transportation, brake failure is one of the most common causes of a truck accident. When one considers that most trucking accidents occur due to mechanical-related failures, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in the accident, which also means that if you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck, it can be hard to know where to turn for answers.
If you have been injured in such an incident, it may be helpful to learn about the common causes of brake failure so that you can understand whether you have a possible lawsuit to pursue. Read on to learn more about each party’s potential involvement and what to do in case you’ve been injured in a truck accident.
Who is to Blame When Brakes are Defective?
After a brake malfunctions and causes a truck accident, there are several possible responsible parties. These include the driver, the truck loading company, the party responsible for brake maintenance (e.g. the owner-operator of the truck), and the brake manufacturer.
These parties and the companies they are a part of are often at odds over which one’s insurance company should be liable for compensating the victim. They may each make claims that contradict one another’s placing of blame, which may create a headache for all involved.
The Manufacturer of the Brakes
There are strict regulations imposed by the federal government that are in place to make sure truck braking systems are safe. These hold that trucks must be able to develop a specific braking force based on a portion of the weight of the truck, decelerate to stopping from 20 mph depending on the size, and meet the system requirements for automatic brake adjustment.
When truck brakes don’t meet these standards, it is possible that you have a claim against whoever manufactured them. These claims generally come in two instances. Either the brakes were designed well and properly but there was an error in the manufacturing process that caused a defect, or they weren’t designed properly in the first place. Both of these are examples of product liability cases.
Brake Recalls by the Federal Government
Sometimes, the brakes in question have already been recalled after being determined by the federal government that they are defective. If this has happened, it can be used as a powerful piece of evidence in your case. It’s possible you have a claim against both the manufacturer and the truck owner, as the manufacturer made the defective brakes in the first place and the owner did not respond to the recall in a prompt manner. If the owner wasn’t contacted by the manufacturer in regards to the recall, then it’s probable that the manufacturer holds all liability.
Truck Drivers and Companies
You may have a claim against the truck’s driver or the trucking company if there is evidence of negligence. For example, the front brakes could have been deliberately unhooked in order to lessen the expense of brake and tire use over time and wear and tear. Or, you may be able to prove that the brakes were not properly maintained.
Finding a Truck Accident Lawyer
Regardless of what happened, if you were involved and injured in a trucking accident, an experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to properly assess the situation and get you the damages you deserve. If you’re in the Nashville area, call Mitch Grissim & Associates for a free case review today.