Faulty Truck Maintenance Attorneys
When a vehicle weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds takes to our mountain roads in West Virginia, it is very important for brakes and other equipment to be in proper working order. Big rig trucks (that are in full service) typically log thousands of miles over the road each month, and with so much wear and tear on these vehicles, you cannot afford to cut corners on truck maintenance. Unfortunately, some trucking companies are more focused on keeping the trucks on the road to keep up with demanding delivery schedules than making sure that they are properly maintained.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., our lawyers represent people who have been injured in accidents involving trucks and commercial vehicles throughout West Virginia. We have extensive experience with these types of cases, and we work closely with our clients to provide the strong personalized representation they need and deserve.
Commercial truck accidents can be caused by faulty maintenance and any one of a number of other forms of negligence, and a thorough investigation is needed to get to the bottom of what happened and ensure that all responsible parties are held fully accountable. And because truck accident injuries tend to be among the most serious and deadly, trucking companies and their insurers typically spend a lot of time and money fighting these types of cases.
Our firm routinely goes up against well-funded adversaries like these, and we are not intimidated by their vast resources. We have a proven track record of success with even the most complex cases, and we fight hard to recover maximum compensation on behalf of each client we serve.
If you have been injured or a loved one killed in a truck accident, contact us for a free initial consultation at our Charleston, Logan or Summersville office. We also offer in-home and hospital consultations.
Accidents Caused by Inadequate Maintenance and Trucking Equipment Failure
State and federal traffic safety laws provide regulations for how trucks and other commercial vehicles are maintained. For example:
- Components, such as brakes and lights, must be in safe and proper operating condition at all times.
- Motor carriers are required to maintain records of inspections, repairs and maintenance for each motor vehicle they control.
- Drivers are required to perform walk-around inspections at the beginning of each route and during stops.
Some of the most common types of trucking equipment or system failures that can result in a vehicle accident include:
- Brake Lines
- Steering Systems
- Tires and Wheels
- Suspension Systems
- Trailer Attachments
Truck Accidents Caused by Brake Failure
The braking system is a critical component of every vehicle. If the brakes are not working properly, the vehicle may not be able to slow down or stop to avoid potential hazards, especially when it is traveling at a higher speed. As we talked about earlier, large commercial trucks put on a lot of miles in a given month, and the brakes can get worn down pretty quickly – especially when they are in a lot of stop and go traffic, which is very common when a truck is approaching its pickup or delivery destination.
Tractor-trailers use different braking systems than regular passenger vehicles. A passenger car uses hydraulic brakes, while a big rig truck uses air brakes. Hydraulic brake lines are too risky for 18-wheelers, because they could start leaking and make it impossible for a massive vehicle like this to stop.
Air brakes are not full proof either, however. And when they fail, this can cause a vehicle imbalance (often resulting in a jackknife accident), or the brakes can get overheated and start the vehicle on fire. Brake failures like these can be caused by a failure to replace the braking system, faulty truck maintenance, or from defects with the brakes themselves.
Who Can be Held Responsible for Faulty Truck Maintenance Crashes?
When faulty maintenance and/or truck equipment failure causes a vehicle to crash, a number of parties could be held responsible. These include:
- The Truck Driver: As mentioned previously, truck drivers are supposed to perform daily safety inspections. If the driver fails to perform the necessary inspections or they do not report the vehicle problems that they uncover, then they could be held liable for any accident that results from faulty truck maintenance.
- The Trucking Company: A trucking company can be held liable for inadequate truck maintenance if they fail to implement proper maintenance practices. If the company employs the driver, they can also be held responsible for the driver’s negligence.
- The Mechanic in Charge of Truck Maintenance: If a trucking accident results from faulty vehicle maintenance, the mechanic or auto shop that was responsible for maintaining the truck could be held liable for the accident. Poor servicing of a vehicle can take many forms; such as incorrect diagnoses, using the wrong vehicle part, improper installation, and many others.
- A Product Maker: There are times when truck equipment failure happens because of a faulty vehicle or vehicle part. As we talked about with the braking system, the brakes themselves could be defective, causing them to fail and the vehicle to crash. When this is the case, you might be able to file a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or any other party within the product’s supply chain.
If you have been injured or a loved one killed in an accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle, our lawyers will ensure that maintenance records for that vehicle are collected and preserved, along with all other critical pieces of evidence. If we can determine that the vehicle was not properly maintained and/or the accident happened because of a vehicle defect, your negligence claim will become much stronger.
Free Initial Consultation with Our Negligent Maintenance Lawyers
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we understand that being injured in a large truck accident can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal representation and moral support during this difficult time. We go to work immediately to put together the strongest possible case on your behalf, and we take care of all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery.
Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation and case assessment with our faulty truck maintenance attorneys in Charleston, Logan or Summersville. We look forward to serving you!
We work on a contingent fee basis. We do not get paid unless you do.