Can Improper Maintenance Cause a Trucking Accident?
Macon Truck Accident Attorney Explains Importance of Full Investigations
Like any vehicle, a semi truck’s brakes, tires and other components eventually become worn and may fail without proper maintenance. Trucking companies must frequently and properly inspect and repair tractor-trailers, big rigs and commercial trucks to keep them safe. It is the responsibility of the company, the maintenance contractor and the driver to properly service trucks. If any of these parties neglects proper truck maintenance, a serious trucking accident may result. While it is not always clear when lack of maintenance is to blame for a crash, a thorough investigation by an attorney and automotive experts can reveal evidence of this carelessness.
Macon truck accident attorney Kathy McArthur and the legal team at McArthur Law Firm provide experienced representation for victims of trucking crashes. We have handled many truck accidents in the past and work with experts to find all possible crash causes. In one case, our attorneys obtained a verdict of $1.57 million in a truck accident lawsuit involving poor maintenance. In this case, the truck’s wheel separated from the vehicle itself, striking our client’s car.
We serve Atlanta, Columbus and Savannah truck crash clients in addition to those hurt in Augusta, Albany and statewide accidents caused by trucking company or driver negligence. Review our case results and client testimonials regarding truck accidents for more information.
What are the Dangers of Poor Truck Maintenance?
It is not unusual for trucking companies to do the absolute minimum possible to maintain a truck. They are businesses, and they do what they can to make the largest profit possible. As trucking companies work to meet their deliveries, they may overlook, or even ignore, sticking to a strict maintenance schedule.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets standards with which companies must comply to ensure their trucks are safe to drive. Parts that should undergo regular maintenance include:
- Fuel systems. A faulty or poorly repaired fuel system could result in leaks, potentially causing a fire or other complications.
- Lights and reflectors. Dim lights can decrease a driver’s range of vision as well as make it more difficult for other drivers to see the truck, causing a potentially dangerous situation.
- Suspension. If a component of the truck’s suspension fails, the driver may lose control of the vehicle, especially when braking.
- Tires. Worn tires can decrease a driver’s braking capability. Additionally, old tires are generally more prone to tread separation and failure.
- Windshields and wipers. Cracked windshields and ineffective wipers can result in low visibility, making a trucker driver more likely to crash.
- Brakes. Trucks usually have air brake systems, which are better suited to stopping such large, heavy vehicles. However, without regular maintenance checks, these brakes may weaken or fail. If a truck driver cannot stop, especially at high speeds, a catastrophic crash is likely.
Proper truck upkeep is essential to protect everyone on the road. For instance, research has shown that trucks are almost twice as likely to be in an accident if the brakes are faulty or worn due to lack of maintenance. In some cases, even trucks that do not pass inspections may continue to operate, raising the risk of endangering other drivers.
What Type of Evidence is Necessary for Trucking Accidents?
It is essential to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible after a truck accident. The trucking company and its insurance carrier will go to the scene of the accident immediately to gain control of the evidence. However, a lawyer who represents the victims can get involved right away to send a demand to save all evidence.
This demand has legal significance. Truck companies are then legally obligated to keep all evidence for inspection and discovery, or face ramifications in court. If a lawyer does not get involved soon after the tractor trailer wreck, then this evidence might go missing or be purposefully destroyed before you can ever file your truck accident lawsuit.
An early investigation is especially important in cases where negligence maintenance caused or contributed to a trucking accident. A lawyer must work quickly to secure the truck itself, the data log and the maintenance records are all essential to examine carefully by attorneys, investigators and expert witnesses. This evidence and documentation may be necessary to prove that the wreck was caused by a failure to maintain the truck according to state and federal standards.
Additionally, federal regulations require trucking companies to keep records of regularly scheduled maintenance on trucks. Trucking companies must replace important safety components, including brake pads and linings, after a predetermined number of miles driven. We obtain these records and we will locate any evidence that shows a company neglected to meet its safety and maintenance obligations.
Truck Crash Injuries? Our Macon Truck Accident Law Firm Represents Clients Nationwide
Without a lawyer’s investigation, it may be impossible to prove when inadequate maintenance causes a trucking accident. However, as soon as you contact the McArthur Law Firm, we will begin work to secure all necessary evidence. The experienced attorneys at our truck accident law firm will work to identify the responsible parties based on this evidence. We always do our utmost to help you obtain a fair and just settlement to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other expenses.
Firm founder Macon truck accident attorney Kathy McArthur has more than 30 years of experience holding trucking companies responsible for injuries and accidents caused by improper maintenance. Our spokesperson, Evander Holyfield, calls Kathy McArthur “The Real Deal.” To schedule a free initial consultation, fill out an online form about your truck accident. You can also call us directly at 1-888-WE-FIGHT. If outside of Georgia, then call (478) 238-6600.