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Collecting Compensation for Accidents Caused by Commercial Truck Brake Failure

May 03, 2017

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that around 29 percent of accidents involving commercial trucks are caused by brake failure. While brake failure is always dangerous, it can be deadly when the vehicle in question is a large truck traveling at high speeds, and possibly carrying dangerous cargo. Collisions involving trucks tend to have particularly devastating consequences, resulting in catastrophic injuries and even death. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you seek compensation for your losses.

Federal Inspection Requirements

Federal law requires truck drivers and their employers to conduct regular brake inspections to avoid:

  • Overheating;
  • Uneven wear patterns on the tires;
  • A dangerous buildup of oil or grease; and
  • Dangerously thin brake pads.

These types of problems can all lead to brake failure, which in turn can cause a driver to lose control of the truck. To ensure that these inspections are conducted properly, federal law requires that they be completed by qualified individuals.

Potential Liability

When someone is injured because a truck’s brakes failed, he or she may be able to collect compensation from a number of individuals or entities, including:

  • The truck driver who lost control of the vehicle;
  • The trucking company who hired the driver;
  • The brake manufacturer; and
  • The mechanic, if he or she made negligent repairs.

If a driver negligently failed to test a truck’s brakes or his or her employer failed to properly supervise the driver, both the driver and the company can be held liable for injuries caused by the crash. However, if the accident was due to a brake manufacturer’s failure to test its products or exercise care when producing or transporting them, the company can be required to compensate injured parties for a variety of damages, including:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future income;
  • Property damage;
  • Funeral or burial expenses;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Emotional distress.

It is especially important for those who were involved in truck accidents to seek damages from the responsible party because these types of collisions tend to result in particularly painful and serious injuries, such as:

  • Amputations;
  • Broken or crushed bones;
  • Burns;
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding;
  • Spinal cord damage;
  • Severe lacerations; and
  • Traumatic brain injury.

Treating these kinds of injuries is expensive and usually requires surgery, physical therapy, and multiple hospital stays. Furthermore, injured parties are often unable to work for weeks or even months after their accident, which can make it difficult, if not impossible to stay on top of mounting medical bills.

Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Today

Being injured in a car accident can take a devastating physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, making it especially important that these individuals collect compensation from the at-fault parties. If you were recently involved in a car accident, please contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim in Philadelphia by calling (215) 486-0123 to speak with a dedicated auto accident attorney who can evaluate your case.



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