Semi-trucks are large vehicles with thousands of moving parts, and if one of those parts is damaged, defective, or otherwise working improperly, it may ultimately lead to an accident. If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to work with an attorney who can thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether improper maintenance may be a factor, and if so, who all may be liable for the damages you have suffered.
Poorly Maintained Truck Parts May Cause Accidents
A poorly maintained truck can cause a crash in many different ways, but some improperly maintained parts are more dangerous than others. Some of the most common causes of truck crashes involving improper maintenance include:
- Tires and wheels: Worn or improperly inflated tires may rupture on the road, causing a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Misaligned wheels can also severely hinder a driver’s ability to keep such a large, heavy vehicle under control.
- Brakes: Poorly maintained brakes can greatly increase the time necessary for a driver to bring a truck to a stop, and failed brakes can be especially dangerous when a truck is driving on a steep incline.
- Lights: When a truck’s lights are not fully operable, it can be difficult for other drivers to see the truck at night or in other conditions of reduced visibility.
- Windshields and mirrors: On the other hand, a damaged windshield, dysfunctional wipers, or improperly aligned mirrors can reduce the truck driver’s ability to see the road in a way that may lead to a collision.
- Improper loading: The height, weight and distribution of an enclosed load can play a role in the handling of a semi-tractor trailer, particularly on curves or hills, or when responding to emergencies, and this may in fact contribute to an accident. Loads that are not properly secured on flatbed trailers may fall off the trailer during transport and cause accidents.
At-Fault Parties in an Improperly Maintained Truck Crash
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require that commercial trucks be regularly inspected, including by the driver at the end of every driving day, and trucking companies and drivers must keep detailed records of inspections and repairs. In the event of a defect that hinders safe operation, repairs must be performed as soon as possible before the truck returns to the road. If an accident occurs due to a lapse in following these regulations, the driver, maintenance professionals, and the companies that employ them may all be partially responsible.
In these cases, promptly hiring an attorney is crucial to ensure that drivers and trucking companies preserve any relevant evidence, including inspection and maintenance reports, and that you are able to access them as you build your case for compensation. An experienced attorney can stand up for your interests in settlement conferences with the at-fault parties or in a trial, if your case requires one.
Contact a Green Bay Truck Accident Attorney
Determining the cause of a truck accident can be complicated, but the attorneys at the Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. have the experience to do so and help you hold the negligent parties accountable. For a free consultation on your case, contact an Appleton personal injury lawyer today at 920-739-7366.