Brake Failure

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

Our team of award-winning trial lawyers includes Diane Marger Moore, a Board Certified Truck Accident Attorney with experience representing trucking insurers early in her career. Diane’s insight into the “other side” is an invaluable asset for our clients, as is her wealth of trucking accident litigation experience as a plaintiff attorney. Diane is highly credentialed in the field of truck accident law:

  • Triple board-certified by the NBTA (National Board of Trial Advocacy)
  • Regent, Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys
  • Over 40 years of experience

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:

  1. Inadequate maintenance
  2. Product defects / faulty brakes
  3. Overloaded trucks

Inadequate Maintenance

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.

Brake Defects

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.

Examples of Our Truck Accident Results

Over our years in practice, we have secured numerous multi-million verdicts and settlements for truck accident victims and families, as well as more than 75 trucking settlements in excess of $1 million.

Some examples of our trucking crash results:

  • $20 million commercial vehicle accident verdict for wrongful death
  • $15 million settlement for a seriously injured pedestrian struck by tractor-trailer.
  • $8.5 million truck accident verdict (plus pre and post-judgment interest) for wrongful death against Tyson Foods
  • $6.9 million settlement in trial against a major trucking operator.
  • $6 million truck accident settlement for wrongful death.

Please note that our proven track record is intended to show the range of our success in this area of the law. Past results do not guarantee similar results for your case; no law firm can guarantee a favorable outcome.

Discuss Your Truck Accident Brake Failure Lawsuit with a San Francisco Lawyer

If you or your loved one suffered losses due to a truck crash caused by brake failure, our San Francisco attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman want to help. Our firm offers FREE and confidential consultations, and can discuss your legal options for pursuing the compensation you deserve.

Call (855) 948-5098 or contact us online to request a FREE case evaluation.

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