Costa Mesa Truck Accident Attorneys
Compensation for Injured Victims
The experienced Costa Mesa truck accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of holding negligent truck drivers and trucking firms accountable. Tragedies caused by poorly maintained trucks are unnecessary and can be easily prevented when these trucking companies do what they are required to do under the law. We will examine the trucking company’s maintenance logs to determine whether poor vehicle maintenance caused or contributed to your accident. It is also important that such critical evidence be preserved right away so it is not lost or destroyed. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Costa Mesa truck accident, please call us at 949-203-3814 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.
Equipment failure or malfunction is one of the most common causes of catastrophic truck accidents. Of all types of failure, brake failure is the most common in large trucks such as 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers. It is the responsibility of the truck driver and the trucking company to ensure that the brakes are properly maintained and are in good working condition before the rubber hits the road. When brake failure is caused by poor maintenance, the trucking company or the truck’s owner can be held liable for injuries and damages caused as a result.
Brake Failure Extremely Common
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), tractor-trailers with defective equipment are twice as likely to be involved in crashes as trucks without defects. Brake defects were most common in these types of crashes. In fact, brake failure was an issue in 56 percent of tractor-trailers that were involved in crashes. Steering equipment defects were found in 21 percent of the trucks involved in crashes.
A more recent Large Truck Crash Causation study reported that almost 55 percent of the trucks involved in crashes had at least one mechanical violation and almost 30 percent had at least one out-of-service condition. Of all equipment violations, the violations in the brake (36 percent) and lighting (19 percent) systems were most frequent. A truck with brakes that are in poor condition is 1.8 times more likely to be the vehicle that causes a crash. In rear-end and head-on collisions, brake violations significantly increase the likelihood that the truck is the striking vehicle.
Laws Relating to Truck Brakes
It is important to remember that stopping distances for trucks are much longer compared to other passenger vehicles. When roadways are slick, there are even greater disparities between the braking capabilities of large trucks and cars. These disparities can become even worse if the truck’s braking systems are not properly maintained. New large trucks are required to have automatic brake adjusters, visible brake adjustment indicators and anti-lock brakes, which keep the wheels from locking during hard braking. They also help drivers to control the trucks better during emergency stops and reduce the probability of a jackknife accident. Federal law requires anti-lock brakes on new tractors as of March 1997.
Also, in July 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a rule decreasing the maximum stopping distances for air-braked trucks by 30 percent. This regulation went into effect in August of 2011 for three-axle tractors that weigh 59,600 pounds or less.
Trucking Company’s Responsibility
Trucking companies or truck owners have a legal obligation to properly maintain their vehicles including servicing and repairing them when needed. Trucking companies are also required under the law to keep maintenance logs detailing all the maintenance work that was done on the truck by date and type of work done. If a mechanical malfunction or brake failure occurs as a result of poor vehicle maintenance, then, the truck driver and his or her employer can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused by such an accident.
Immediately call an experienced and reputable Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer for a free consultation at 949-203-3814.