Dealing With a Truck Accident Caused by Brake or Tire Failure
Research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown that many truck crashes are caused by faults or defects in two crucial truck components: the brakes and tires.
These accidents are often catastrophic and could lead to serious injury or death. In their aftermath, there may be questions of liability as the victims seek to recover compensation for personal injury or property damage from the person who is responsible.
As a truck driver, you are in a precarious position in such circumstances because you are at risk of serious bodily injuries. You could also be held liable for such accidents since you were driving the vehicle involved. That liability could affect your ability to claim compensation for your injuries.
You can secure your entitlement to compensation by fulfilling your obligations under the FMCSA trucking rules and obeying traffic laws. In this guide, we explain some of those obligations to keep you informed and help you stay on the right side of the law at all times. That way, you can be sure that if you’re ever in that type of accident, your ability to secure compensation will not be jeopardized.
Trucking Accidents Caused by Defective Truck Brakes
The air brake systems commonly found in large trucks comprise several components, such as air compressors, brake chambers, and protection valves. These components all work together to ensure that the truck can stop or slow down efficiently when prompted by the truck driver.
But sometimes, they may wear out, overheat, come loose, or stop working as they should. Some of those problems result from natural wear and tear due to regular vehicle use. But they may also be caused by other factors, including:
Overloading: Trucks and tractor-trailers generally have specific load limits according to federal guidelines and depending on the size/nature of the truck. Exceeding those limits puts the vehicle and brake system under pressure to the point where the brakes would struggle to stop a truck when necessary.
Overspeeding: The faster a truck runs, the more demands the driver makes on the brake system. As a truck driver, maintaining a steady pace during trips is crucial to make it easy to slow down when necessary without putting so much pressure on the brake systems.
The damage due to these factors may not be apparent immediately. But over time, as the brakes receive more stress, the components of the system would begin to deteriorate. This could lead to reduced performance or, in extreme cases, complete truck brake failure.
Regular inspections and preventive maintenance are crucial in preventing wrecks caused by brake failure.
Trucking Accidents Caused by Faulty Tires
Truck tires are large and heavy to complement the sizes of the vehicles. By federal regulations, these tires must meet certain specifications and safety standards, including the following:
Treads on truck tires are the outer part of large truck tires that come in contact with the road. They look like lines and have spaces or grooves between them. According to the regulations, The major tread groove (the space between two adjacent tread ribs) of front wheel truck tires must have a depth of at least 4/32 inches.
Back-wheel truck tires must have a major tread groove depth of at least 2/32 inches.
Trucks must not run on tires with cuts or where the inner material is visible through the treads.
Truck tires with worn treads may be “regrooved” by cutting in new tread grooves instead of the original ones. But a regrooved tire must not be used in the front wheels if its load carrying capacity is at least 2232 kg or 4920 pounds.
No truck must be operated on a flat tire or with one that has an audible leak.
Failure to adhere to these requirements could lead to tire blowouts and tire failures, making the truck difficult to control and leading to an accident.
These issues, most of the time, can be prevented by routine inspection and maintenance of truck tires. In cases where a tire is beyond redemption, it can be replaced with new ones that meet the federal safety requirements.
Legal Consequences: Who Is Liable for Trucking Accidents Caused by Faulty Tires or Brakes?
Trucking accidents resulting from brake or tire failure may lead to serious physical injuries, including leg and foot injuries in truckers and other victims. If the accident led to death, the family of the deceased would be eligible to seek compensation for the death of their loved one. However, the ability to claim compensation depends on who is liable for the accident.
Liability in truck accidents typically falls on either;
The truck driver
The trucking company
The truck manufacturer or manufacturer of any defective component.
A combination of any of the above.
Each of these entities has certain obligations imposed by the FMCSA to promote safety and reduce the risk of truck accidents. A failure to comply with those obligations can be the first indicator of liability.
For example, truck drivers are expected to conduct pre-trip inspections of their trucks and their important components, including the brakes and tires. You could be held responsible if you fail to detect any issues with these components, which could lead to an accident.
Trucking companies that also fail to detect faults in their trucks that could have been found via routine vehicle inspections could be liable if they fail to inspect or cause their vehicles to be inspected.
Whoever is found liable would need to compensate the accident victims personally or through their insurance company. If that person is you, you may be unable to claim compensation for your injuries from anybody and would be forced to take care of your medical bills and other expenses on your own. This is in addition to any funds you might spend to compensate other victims of the accident.
Your finances and life would be severely affected. As such, you must do all you can to avoid such an outcome in the first place.
Contact Hurt Trucker Attorneys Today
Sometimes, the issue of liability after a truck accident is not always clear-cut because multiple parties may be involved, which is why it is important to have legal representation from a truck accident attorney to ensure that your interests are protected no matter what.
Hurt Trucker Attorneys stands as a beacon of support and guidance in the aftermath of a trucking accident caused by a brake, tire failure, or any other type of truck accident. Our extensive experience in handling cases of this nature positions us to guide you through the complexities of the legal process.
At Hurt Trucker Attorneys, we understand the complexities of navigating personal injury insurance claims as a truck driver when everyone almost always thinks you are at fault when an accident occurs. We have curated a helpful List of Mechanical Failures That Lead to Truck Accidents to help you stay safe on the road and possibly avoid such situations.
But if you find yourself grappling with the consequences of a trucking accident, particularly one involving brake or tire failure, we encourage you to take the next step and contact us even if you think you are at fault. We can assess your case and help you understand your position based on the law and available evidence.
Our goal is to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve using all the legal resources at our disposal.
Contact Hurt Trucker Attorneys today to schedule a consultation. Let our experienced legal professionals advocate and provide the personalized guidance you need during difficult times.