Chattanooga Truck Braking Accidents
Trucks with brake-related issues can cause devastating accidents that result in injuries and fatalities to innocent motorists especially when the drivers also experience fatigue. It is critical that large trucks be able to safely reduce their speed and come to a stop when necessary. Bringing an 80,000-pound vehicle safely to a stop from 70 mph is difficult even with good brakes. It’s nearly impossible when brakes are worn.
Truck drivers, trucking companies, and maintenance companies all have a duty to properly inspect, maintain, repair, and safely operate large trucks. Unfortunately, brake failure accidents caused by large trucks can happen for a variety of reasons, many of which could have been prevented.
If you have been the victim of a truck accident involving brake failure, Chattanooga truck accident attorney Scott Davis is prepared to defend your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses.
Call Davis Firm, LLC now to schedule a free evaluation of your case.
Common Causes of Brake-Related Accidents Involving Large Trucks
Most of the brake problems that result in truck accidents could have been prevented with proper care and maintenance. In certain cases, truck brake failure may be caused by neglect and irresponsibility.
Failure to conduct proper and routine brake inspections can result in worn brake pads that lead to braking problems. Overly worn brake pads can prevent a truck from safely stopping in traffic or reducing its speed in slippery or downhill conditions.
In other cases, a truck may have been carelessly overloaded. Overweight trucks may put too much stress on the braking system, causing it to fail. Taking care and responsibility to conduct routine brake inspections and ensuring compliance with state weight requirements could prevent these types of brake-related accidents.
Faulty or defective brake equipment may also result in brake-related truck accidents, even when a proper maintenance schedule had been followed. These brake-related accidents are less likely to be prevented unless the manufacturer of the faulty or defective equipment knew of the hazards of installing this type of equipment in the truck that caused the accident.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Brake Problems on Trucks?
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck mechanic
- The truck brake part manufacturer
- The cargo owner or cargo loader
Depending on the details of the accident and the issues that contributed to the brake failure, there are times when more than one party can be held liable for the braking problem that resulted in an accident.
If the truck driver knew or should have known that the truck had braking issues but continued to drive the truck regardless of this knowledge, he or she may be held accountable for the crash. A truck driver may also have had knowledge that the truck they were driving exceeded safe weight limits and placed too much strain on the braking system.
A trucking company is usually liable for the errors made by its driver. It may be directly responsible for the accident if it failed to set up routine maintenance schedules for the trucks in the fleet. If the truck’s brakes were negligently repaired, a maintenance person may be found liable for causing the brake-related accident.
Our experienced Chattanooga injury attorneys can help you determine if a party acted negligently in the inspection, maintenance, repair, or operation of a truck that caused a brake-related crash.
Evidence in Cases Involving Brake Problems on Heavy Trucks
Effective evidence of a brake problem could come in many forms, and the right evidence can help build a strong case in your favor. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you gather the right types of supporting evidence and causes.
Some of the most common kinds of evidence used in a case involving truck braking problems include:
- Maintenance and brake inspection records — These records, which are kept by the trucking company, could be used as evidence to show that the cause of the brake-related accident was preventable. Maintenance and brake inspection records should be updated frequently. Incomplete or outdated records may show that a trucking company was negligent in keeping up its trucks. A complete lack of maintenance or inspection records could also be used as evidence to show that a company’s trucks were not properly maintained and, therefore, posed a risk to other motorists on the road.
- Photographs — Pictures can be used as evidence of brake failure, with photos of skid marks used to illustrate the length of time a truck driver had to engage the brakes and whether that time was reasonable and typical for a truck in a similar situation. Photos of brake shoes or brake drums could also be used to show that worn or defective brakes contributed to an accident.
- Testimony from truck drivers, trucking company representatives, truck mechanics, and truck parts manufacturers — These parties may be questioned about how the truck’s maintenance and repair history. A truck part manufacturer or mechanic may have valuable knowledge about the parts that composed the truck’s braking system, along with and any repairs that were made to the brakes before the accident. A truck driver may be able to testify about the condition of the truck’s brakes in the moments leading up to the accident and whether they felt it was safe to drive the truck.
- Expert witnesses — Expert witness may also help to provide evidence that the reason for the brake failure that caused an accident was preventable. Truck brake experts could testify that the accident could have been prevented with proper maintenance or repair of a truck’s brake system.
Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys for Legal Help
If you were injured in a truck accident due to brake issues, the Chattanooga personal injury attorneys at Davis Firm, LLC can work to hold the appropriate parties accountable. Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.