Negligent Truck Maintenance Lawsuit In 2024 - Negligent Truck Accidents
If you have suffered harm due to the negligence of a truck driver or their employer, filing a negligent truck maintenance lawsuit will help you seek fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Fleet owners, commercial trucking companies, and logistics companies could be held liable for accidents caused when their trucks malfunction due to poor maintenance.
Federal truck maintenance laws
Here are some laws concerning the maintenance of trucks.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) controls the industry of commercial trucking in the United States. Furthermore, in federal trucking regulations, the FMCSA makes minimum maintenance requirements for commercial trucks.
- Under the law, all trucking companies and their equipment suppliers, must routinely inspect, repair, and maintain their vehicles and intermodal equipment under their control.
- Leased vehicles are covered if they are under the motor carrier’s control for at least 30 consecutive days. Companies should define maintenance schedules that are appropriate for their fleets.
- They should also keep detailed records of truck maintenance that can be reproduced on demand.
- Truck drivers need to make pre-trip inspections of their vehicles to pinpoint the defects and necessary repairs.
- Drivers should also check the vehicle and cargo at least once within the first 50 miles of a trip and then again within the 3-hour mark after driving 150 miles or changing their duty status.
- Truckers are also required to make an inspection report at the end of each day.
Common truck maintenance issues
Truck drivers, equipment suppliers, motor carriers, and maintenance providers must adhere to all applicable FMCSA maintenance regulations. If you suffered an injury and there were signs or documentation that one or more of these parties violated federal law, you may be eligible to receive compensation due to negligent truck maintenance.
However, one or more of these parties can also be guilty of negligent truck maintenance even if they follow federal law. This is because FMCSA regulations are just the minimum requirements. Depending on the individual truck and the fleet, all these parties should keep their trucks operating safely. For instance, just because a trucking company has created a consistent vehicle inspection schedule, it doesn’t mean they’ve looked over that specific type of truck as frequently or as thoroughly as they should’ve.
Some of the most common truck maintenance negligence issues include:
- Faulty brakes.
- Faulty batteries.
- Faulty belts.
- Faulty lights.
- Fuel line failures.
- Oil line failures.
- Steering column issues.
- Tire blowouts.
- Trailer and hitch failures.
- Unsecured cargo.
Who is liable for improper truck maintenance and defective equipment?
Trucks and semi-trucks are complex vehicles that require frequent repairs and attentive maintenance to be operated safely. Not maintaining them properly could lead to hazardous truck accidents. Therefore, truck drivers and their employers must adhere to strict regulations governing truck maintenance and inspections to prevent any issues.
Note that there could be multiple liable parties when a truck accident happens.
The driver is identified as a liable party, which is why they should recognize the dangers of poor truck maintenance. Although trucking companies share substantial liability when maintenance issues cause accidents, the driver needs to be aware of problems within their vehicle. If a driver notices a maintenance issue while driving, they must correct it immediately and alert their employer of the issue. However, it is unlikely that the driver will be solely liable for the damages in a truck accident case. For sure, the trucking companies share liability with the driver.
Although truck drivers must ensure that their vehicles perform accurately and safely, their employers can be held responsible for poorly maintaining the fleet. Trucking companies have the duty to:
- Regularly inspecting their vehicles.
- Make repairs as needed.
- Keep the fleet’s maintenance records updated.
- Identify and correct any potential safety hazards.
If a truck is deemed unsafe for any reason, the trucking companies need to remove the truck from operation until it is safe to use. They must also completely take it out of their fleet if it is beyond repair. Along with liability for injuries, trucking companies also face additional penalties for their safety violations.
Parties other than the truck drivers and trucking companies can be held liable for truck crash injuries caused by a lack of maintenance. Although the driver and their employer are most responsible for maintaining their vehicles, parties who undertake to assist with the repairs, including independent mechanics, could be liable for their oversight.
Additionally, the maintenance issues can be caused by defective vehicles and vehicle parts rather than negligent repairs. In such cases, the companies that manufactured a truck and its parts could be liable for damages. The other liable parties may include retailers, manufacturers, and safety inspectors.
Gather evidence that supports your claim
Calling an attorney without delay is critical in an negligent truck maintenance lawsuit claim. They will help you get access to solid evidence that will strengthen your case, including truck maintenance records before they are lost or destroyed. When an experienced attorney handles your case, they can send a demand letter on your behalf to ensure all evidence is preserved. In addition, they will also examine the vehicle records and components that may help investigators determine the cause of the crash.
Some truck issues leading to crashes without regular inspections, maintenance, or repairs include:
- Brake failure is caused by worn-down pads and rotors or faulty brake lines.
- Burnt or broken lights, signals, or reflectors.
- Failure of steering or steering column.
- Truck suspension is vital in helping a driver maintain control of the vehicle, especially when braking.
- Tire blowouts are caused by defective tires, tread separation, and bad alignment.
- Worn wipers or cracked windshields impede a driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash.
Compensation after a truck accident due to negligence
By filing a negligent truck maintenance lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Emotional distress and mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Loss of society and companionship.
- Medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering.
- Property damage, when applicable.
- Wage loss.
- Wrongful death.
Calculating your damages correctly is an essential part of any personal injury claim. You need to understand your economic costs and the value of your pain and suffering, including physical, psychological, and other non-economic injuries.
Should I hire a skilled attorney to handle my case?
Yes. A complicated truck/car collision can bring unusual situations and challenging circumstances. The ease and competence that your legal team brings can increase your chances of getting maximum compensation in an negligent truck maintenance lawsuit claim. Therefore, before you take on a big trucking company in court, it’s crucial to have a law firm behind you that is skilled, licensed, and experienced in truck accident lawsuits.
Why choose Ethen Ostroff Law?
Ethen Ostroff Law will provide you access to the best negligent truck maintenance lawyers who can help you with your personal injury case. With their extensive years of experience in keeping a close eye on trucking accident lawsuits, Ethen and his network can help put a monetary value to your case and fight for the compensation you are entitled to under the law.