When truck accidents occur, the cause is frequently a mechanical failure on the truck. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that nearly 30% of all large truck accidents are caused by brake-related issues.
When brakes do not work properly, there are several parties who may have contributed or been at fault. These include 1) the company responsible for loading the truck; 2) the owner/operator or other entity responsible for maintaining the brakes; 3) the driver, and 4) the brake manufacturer.
It is not uncommon for these parties to argue about responsibility in the case of an accident. For example, an owner/operator might be accused of improper maintenance, and then show that the malfunctioning brakes were the result of improper loading. In this post, we will examine under what conditions a brake manufacturer would be responsible for an accident.
Truck braking systems are tightly regulated by the Federal government. Trucks must be capable of 1) developing a braking force determined by a percentage of the truck’s weight; 2) decelerating to a stop from 20 MPH at a rate specific to the truck’s size, and 3) comply with every automatic brake adjustment system requirement.
If the Federal regulations are not met, a claim against the manufacturer is possible. It can be argued that either the brakes were not designed properly or, if they were designed properly, a defect occurred during the manufacture.
The Federal government recalls brakes that have been proven defective. Brake manufacturers must in these cases recall their defective parts or brakes.
Trucking accident cases can be more complicated than accidents involving only passenger cars. The trucking industry is highly regulated, and the injuries tend to be more severe and complex. We always recommend discussing your trucking accident injuries with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer who has experience with truck accident cases knows what to look for and is knowledgeable about the laws regulating the trucking industry.
Please contact us if you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident and needs to talk to an experienced attorney.