Most commercial trucks travel thousands of miles each year, which puts a tremendous strain on their braking systems. The friction caused by stopping an 80,000-pound vehicle wears them down after a while; and if such braking system are not monitored, maintained, and replaced when necessary, then it can lead to an accident.
If you have been injured in an accident that is the result of a truck’s failed braking system, you do have legal options. We would recommend that you hire an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the intricacies of these complex cases.
Why Truck Brakes Fail
Most trucks use an air brake system that is highly complex. When maintained properly, such brakes stop trucks. Indeed, the sudden and complete failure of such a braking system is extremely rare. There are many fail-safe mechanisms that reduce the likelihood of such an event. There is an emergency braking system that backs up the primary gear. This gives the driver the ability to stop the truck even if the primary brakes failed.
However, things can still go wrong, especially if the brakes have not been maintained or the truck itself has been overburdened. If a driver rides the brakes on a downward incline for long periods of time or is in the habit of stopping suddenly at high speeds, the brakes may overheat. Trucks that are constantly overloaded can also overstrain brakes and contribute to their malfunction and failure.
On the maintenance side, when brakes are not regularly adjusted the axles will have more braking force than the trailer. As a result, the truck can jack-knife causing the trailer to swing out ahead of the cab, which can lead to a serious motor accident.
Truck brake failure may also owe to a design flaw. Design flaws occur for two main reasons. They happen when manufacturers attempt to cut corners when selecting the parts they use to create brake systems. They also occur when manufacturers fail to properly test the brakes to ensure they are safe and effective.
Liability When Brakes Fail
Trucking companies can be held liable for accidents caused by brake failure. They are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their fleet. Each truck should be thoroughly inspected before it goes on the road and any potential problems identified. Failure to do so puts people at risk, and when accidents occur the trucking company must be held accountable.
In the case of a design flaw, both the trucking company and the brake manufacturer can be held liable for damages.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Your first priority after a truck accident must be to get better. Your second priority should be to get compensation. People driving passenger vehicles rarely walk away unscathed from a truck accident. You will have medical bills to contend with and you should be compensated for lost wages and the emotional and psychological turmoil you have had to endure. Calling a truck accident attorney will help you get the money you deserve.
It is important to get to the bottom of what caused the truck accident. A truck accident attorney will help you do so. After they have gathered the facts concerning the case, they will help you explore the legal options available. Depending on the exact causes of the accident, you may be able to pursue multiple claims. You may be able to sue both the manufacturer of the brakes and the trucking company.
If you have been in a truck accident, then you need legal representation. Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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