It is essential that the brakes on 18-wheelers, semi-rigs, and other large trucks be in good working order. It takes large trucks longer to stop than smaller trucks and cars. When truck accidents do occur, they often cause more serious harm to the truck driver and the drivers and passengers in other cars than car crashes cause. Brakes that fail to work when truck drivers need them the most can also cause fatalities.
Liability of the truck driver
Truck drivers can be held liable for truck accidents caused by bad brakes if the driver is aware the brakes are bad and fails to inform the truck owner or shipping company that the brakes need repair. If the brakes are in good condition, truck drivers can be held liable if they fail to keep a safe driving distance, requiring emergency braking, if they fail to properly pump their brakes in bad weather, or if they violate any traffic laws, such as speeding, which then require excessive braking.
Liability of the truck owner
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that truck owners routinely inspect their vehicles before allowing drivers to operate them. Checking the brakes is one of the specific requirements. The FMCSA regulations cover different types of brakes on commercial trucks and how much they should be adjusted to the fraction of the inch. Even when the regulations do not apply because, for example, the truck is not a commercial truck, the truck owner still should conduct routine inspections. It is irresponsible not to follow the suggested manufacturer guidelines for brake inspections. Additionally, Tennessee has its own requirements that trucks obtain a state-approved inspection.
Liability of manufacturers
If the brakes were defective, the manufacturer of the brakes can be held strictly liable if the defective brakes caused the truck accident injuries or death. The distributor, retailer, and any company involved in the sale of the brake parts can also be sued for product liability. Brakes can be defective if they were designed poorly or if they were made improperly. The brakes can also be defective if the instructions on maintenance were not accurate. The victims and their families can also sue the makers of the brakes/brake parts and others who made money from the sale of the bad brakes on the grounds that express or implied warranties were breached, or on the grounds that the makers were negligent.
Victims of truck accidents caused by bad brakes or any vehicle defect have the right to hold responsible parties accountable. Accountability means requiring that wrongdoers pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring, property damage, and any other type of damage. The Gladiators in Suits at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm have a strong reputation for helping victims get justice. Our Nashville truck accident attorneys are ready to help you assert your rights. To speak with us, please call 615-246-5549 or make an appointment in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Knoxville by filling out our contact form.