The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency responsible for administering truck safety laws in the U.S., and it has reported that 30 percent of truck accidents are related to braking problems. It requires commercial motor vehicles to have regular brake inspections, but other parties are responsible for proper use, manufacture, installation, maintenance, and replacement. When a part of this chain breaks, a truck accident is much likelier to happen.
When a truck driver does not use the brakes properly, the vehicle can end up in a serious accident that causes bodily harm and property damage. For example, when truckers drive too fast and use the brakes too often, the parts wear out quicker. Some try to prevent wear and tear by downshifting more often; this is dangerous.
Besides that, truck drivers are susceptible to the same unsafe behaviors as other motorists. This includes being distracted by cell phones or eating, driving aggressively, and being fatigued behind the wheel. In other instances, a truck driver might not have enough experience to apply the brakes effectively in precarious situations. All of these factors can cause a trucker to fail to use the brakes in the right way and crash.
What if the Truck Driver Is Not At Fault?
In some cases, the driver may not be at fault. Instead, the trucking company might be held liable if it did not arrange to have the brakes replaced when needed, or it might have knowingly hired a trucker who was not experienced with a specific truck model’s advanced air braking system.
Truck maintenance companies might also be held responsible when the agreed-upon work is not performed accordingly or is not completed. In other cases, truck and parts manufacturers act negligently and use poorly designed brakes.
Proving a Brake Failure Caused a Truck Accident
Truck accident cases tend to be more complex for several reasons. The injuries suffered can be much more severe because commercial trucks are longer, wider, and much heavier than passenger vehicles. The property damage can also be more significant, and the smaller vehicle could be totaled. This can lead to more extensive medical treatment and repairs, longer recovery times, medical complications, overwhelming expenses, and lost time from work.
A truck accident lawyer can help prove that brake failure caused a truck accident by analyzing the evidence. The trucking company can be sent a letter to ensure that the evidence is preserved and not destroyed, and copies of the police report may be requested. Other evidence helpful in these cases includes:
- Eyewitness testimony.
- Truck driver training records.
- Truck maintenance records.
- Truck mileage logs.
- Video footage from cameras on the vehicles.
Other forms of evidence include photos taken at the scene, medical reports, and medical statements. In some cases, truck accident lawyers hire expert witnesses. These professionals can recreate accident scenes and provide expert testimony that presents facts objectively.
Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Represent Clients in Truck Brake Failure Accident Cases
If you have survived a serious truck accident and suspect brake failure to be the cause, do not hesitate to contact our Cincinnati truck accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office. Call us at 513-488-1135 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.