Truck Accidents Caused by Lack of Maintenance
Posted on August 10, 2022 in Truck Accidents
Every trucking carrier must regularly inspect and maintain each vehicle in their fleet. This applies to companies that have hundreds of semi-trucks as well as individual independent owner-operators who may only have one or two trucks. Safety is of the utmost importance with these vehicles due to the sheer severity of any potential accident that occurs. Here, we want to discuss how accidents could be caused by a lack of maintenance.
What is Required of Trucking Carriers?
When we look at exactly what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says about maintenance, we can see the language states that every “motor carrier shall systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control.”
In layman’s terms, truck owners and operators must regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles. Additionally, the FMCSA goes on to state that any part or accessory used in the operation of the vehicle must also be kept in safe and proper condition at all times.
No commercial motor vehicle can be operated if it is in a condition that is likely to cause an accident or breakdown of the vehicle.
Crashes That Occur Due to Poor Maintenance
It goes without saying that poorly maintained vehicles of any kind can lead to significant accidents on the roadway. This is especially true with larger vehicles such as semi-trucks. There’s a reason that the federal and state government agencies require such stringent maintenance for these vehicles. Poor maintenance can contribute to unsafe conditions with tires, brakes, steering, and the trailer connections.
If something goes wrong with the truck tires, for example, the tire itself could come off of vehicle and slam into other vehicles causing an accident. Additionally, tire problems could cause the truck driver to lose control of the larger truck, leading to a devastating incident on the roadway.
Poorly maintained brakes could lead to a runaway truck scenario where the driver completely loses the ability to slow the truck down, something that is particularly dangerous on downhill slopes.
Who Pays for Injuries and Property Damage?
In the aftermath of any truck accident, there will need to be a thorough investigation into the incident to determine exactly what happened. Insurance carriers and legal teams will likely want to conduct their own investigations and examine accident reports, eyewitness statements, video or photo surveillance, as well as truck maintenance records. If it is determined that the incident occurred as a result of improper maintenance on the vehicle, the trucking carrier or owner-operator will likely be held liable.
Any crash victim who sustains injuries or property damage should be able to recover compensation for their losses in these scenarios. This includes complete coverage of medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages. There is no set amount of compensation paid for accidents caused by improper maintenance on larger trucks, as there are several factors that will be taken into account. This includes the severity of the injuries, how much property damage occurred, the length of the recovery time for victims, and more.
Call us today to speak with a Portland truck accident lawyer.