LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Ronald Shane Smith | Sep 24, 2012

Liability in a Truck Accident Caused by Brake or Tire Mechanical Failures

What do you do after a truck accident? A Peachtree City injury lawyer can be an effective resource for navigating what can be a complex journey. There are a number of factors that may influence these cases, and having legal guidance may prove beneficial.

Mechanical failures are among the possible causes of truck accidents. Mechanical failures involving the brakes were among the most common factors associated with truck accidents according to a 2006 Department of Transportation (DOT) Report to Congress. According to the DOT report, break failure, brake adjustment issues, and other brake problems were associated with 29.4 percent of accidents involving large trucks in the data used to compile the report.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, whether you were the truck driver or an occupant of another vehicle involved in the crash, consult your legal counsel for advice regarding your next steps.

Who can be liable for truck brake or tire failure?

If you decide to make a personal injury claim after being involved in a truck accident, you may be wondering who you should be naming as the guilty party. In many cases, the truck driver could be at fault, but this is not always the case in accidents that are caused by mechanical failures.

There are four parties that could be responsible in a mechanical failure accident:

· the driver;

· (2) the company that loaded the truck;

· (3) whoever is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the brakes; or

· (4) the company that manufactured the malfunctioning part.

How do I know which party is liable for the mechanical failure?

You file your claim against the truck driver or the company that owns the truck if the mechanical failure was directly caused by failure to maintain the brakes or tires, or if an action of the driver or owner put the brakes at risk of failure.

For instance, some truck operators will disconnect their front cab brakes entirely and rely on downshifting or the trailer brakes to stop. This practice saves the driver and/or the company money by limiting wear on the truck’s tires and brakes, but it can be dangerous since it also limits the large vehicle’s braking power.

Claims can be made against the company that loaded the truck if the trailer was improperly loaded. Improper loading can cause the truck to be imbalanced, which can make the brakes overheat or otherwise malfunction.

Finally, you can file against the manufacturer of the brakes if the truck’s braking mechanism fails to meet federal standards.

There are basically two ways in which this can happen; the brakes were either improperly designed, or they were properly designed but damaged by a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. The brakes might also already be the object of a federal recall, which could actually help your case.

Do you need legal help?

If you still have questions or would like advice specific to your claim, you should contact a truck accident lawyer. The right legal counsel may be able to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries.

The Law Offices of Shane Smith have dealt with all types of auto and truck accidents. Let us help you with yours. Contact us today for a free consultation with a truck accident attorney in Peachtree City: 770-HURT-999 (770-487-8999).

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