Truck Accidents Caused by Brake Failure
Speak with a San Francisco Attorney: (855) 948-5098
Trucking companies have clear obligations to maintain their fleet and essential
vehicle safety systems like brakes. Unfortunately, when they don’t
uphold their duties, a devastating truck crash is far more likely to happen.
If you or someone you love were harmed in a
truck accident, an investigation will be needed to determine the cause. If brake failure
was a factor, you will need to determine why the brakes failed. Was negligence
involved? Did the braking system have a defect?
Trucking cases are complex and fact-specific, involving powerful corporations
and insurance companies that want only to protect their bottom line. To
level the playing field and give your case the best chance for success,
you need an experienced attorney on your side who understands what it
takes to go toe to toe against trucking companies and their insurers.
Our truck accident attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have
a decades-long track record of earning maximum compensation for clients
in complex cases.
Why Choose Us?
Clients and counsel nationwide trust our firm to handle tough claims. The
reasons are clear:
- Over $4 billion won for clients, including transportation accidents
- Hundreds of truck accident victims compensated
- No fee unless we win
If you suspect brake failure played a role in your trucking crash, we can
review your case and discuss how we may be able to help.
Call (855) 948-5098 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.
What Causes Brake Failure in Commercial Trucks?
Brake failure is a common factor in major truck crashes. According to the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), commercial trucks carrying cargo can take
20-40 percent farther to stop than standard cars – and the difference is even greater with poorly
maintained brakes or wet roads.
Brake problems can lead to various types of trucking accidents, including
rear-end collisions, intersection accidents, and jackknifing or rollovers.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows
that brake problems are involved in
30 percent of trucking accidents.
When brakes fail or substantially underperform, post-accident investigations
will help identify potential causes. Some of the most common involve:
- Inadequate maintenance
- Product defects / faulty brakes
- Overloaded trucks
Trucking operators are required by law to take steps that ensure their
trucks do not pose unreasonable risks to public safety. They must also
comply with regulations requiring. routine inspections, vehicle maintenance,
and braking systems.
Trucking companies may be held liable for brake failure crashes arising from:
Failure to perform inspections. Routine inspections, pre-trip inspections and Performance-Based Brake
Tests (PBBT) can help operators assess the condition and performance of
braking systems and identify most brake problems. Operators can be held
liable for crashes that result from failures to identify and address brake
issues they knew or should have known about.
Poor vehicle maintenance. Failures to keep trucks and brake systems in proper working order can
expose operators to liability for damages. Examples include failures to
replace brakes that show damage or excessive wear, as well as errors in
assembling or installing brake components.
In some cases, brake failures may result from defective brakes or braking
system components, including brakes that are defectively designed or manufactured.
Design defects: Though truck brake design defects are relatively rare because manufacturers
typically follow established designs, some braking systems may contain
defects that make them unable to stop trucks in a reasonable distance
or prone to failure under certain conditions. Victims with design defect
claims will need to consult experts to determine if a braking systems
design made it inherently dangerous or if a safer alternative design was
feasible at the time of production.
Manufacturing defects: Defects in the manufacturing of truck brakes or brake components are
a more likely culprit for brake failure. These defects may arise from
the use of poor quality materials, errors in the manufacturing or assembly
process, or other negligent acts that make brakes inherently dangerous.
When defective brakes are suspected, investigating and collaborating with
experts becomes vital to identifying the underlying issue and developing
arguments for a successful claim. Victims may be able to bring products
liability claims against manufacturers, distributors, and/or retailers
that made the braking systems or components available.
Overloaded Trucks & Brake Failure
Vehicle weight can have a significant effect on the
stopping distance of truck tractors, and can place additional strain on braking components that degrade their
performance, cause them to wear out prematurely, or make them more susceptible
to failure. Improperly secured cargo that shifts in transit may also compromise
vehicle stability and brake performance.
If vehicle weight is a suspected factor in a trucking crash, it is important
to investigate whether operators negligently overloaded the truck in violation
of FMCSA cargo regulations or failed comply with FMCSA cargo regulations.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident Caused by Brake Failure?
Liability will depend on the unique circumstances of your accident, as
well as the findings of investigations. While every case is unique, here
are some examples of parties that may potentially be liable for brake
failure truck crashes:
- A truck driver and/or trucking company
- A product manufacturer, distributor, or retailer
- A used vehicle / truck dealer
- A third-party truck maintenance services
- A trucking broker or sub-broker
Victims of personal injury are entitled to a financial recovery for their
damages, including their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our team represents victims who suffer
catastrophic injuries and families pursuing
wrongful death actions, and works to maximize their recoveries.