Poor maintenance can cause mechanical failure when driving, leading to an accident. Since trucking companies are required to service vehicles and ensure they are in good working condition, you may seek damages when injured in such a crash.
Still, the right to file a claim will depend on negligence because truck drivers and the trucking company must inspect vehicles before driving. Here, we will discuss common causes of such accidents and how you can assess liability.
How Poor Truck Maintenance Can Cause a Crash
Commercial trucks travel over long distances and often carry heavy cargo. Therefore, these vehicles need regular maintenance and servicing to ensure that each part is working correctly. Failing to follow a maintenance schedule may cause some sections to wear out.
For example, if trucking companies do not service and inspect brakes regularly, they may gradually fail and make it challenging to stop the vehicle. If an emergency occurs when driving, the driver may lose control of the truck and hit other motorists.
Another truck maintenance issue that can lead to a collision is failing to rotate and replace worn-out tires. This increases the risk of blowouts, especially after driving for an extended period. Worn-out tires may also lack grip, especially on icy and slippery roads.
Other Ways Poor Maintenance Can Lead to an Accident
Other common truck maintenance problems that may lead to a crash are:
- Failure to replace brake fluids
- Poor suspension system maintenance
- Failure to replace damaged cargo straps
- Improper placing or side mirrors, affecting the field of view
Replacing a broken tail light may seem like a minor maintenance practice. Still, it can lead to accidents, especially when driving at night. If the trucker cannot signal other drivers when turning or changing lanes, they will likely crash into other vehicles. They may also cause another car to swerve and hit other road users.
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How to Determine If the Commercial Truck Crash Was Due to Poor Maintenance
When you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you may wonder how to determine if the issue resulted from poor maintenance. Since many factors can contribute to a crash, it is always vital to investigate the case before claiming damages.
This process will involve inspecting the truck to determine if it was poorly maintained before the crash. It may also include various tests to identify a mechanical failure. Some parts a mechanic or an accident reconstruction analyst can inspect are:
- The braking system
- Side mirrors
- Windshield wipers
Using Evidence to Pinpoint How the Collision Happened
If an accident reconstruction analyst identifies that a particular part was not working correctly, they will check if it contributed to the crash. This process may involve using various types of evidence to understand how the incident occurred.
For example, the professional may use traffic camera footage to check vehicle movement before the accident. They can also rely on skid marks to gauge if the trucker had proper control of the truck. More details used to investigate such accidents are witness statements and police reports.
Claiming Damages in a Commercial Truck Crash
If you suffer injuries caused by a commercial truck accident, you may seek damages if the other party or company is liable. However, you will need to prove that poor maintenance was the primary cause and that you were observing road safety rules.
You Must Establish That the Other Party Was Negligent
The central aspect of most accident cases is proving negligence. The first step of this process is proving that the truck driver or trucking company had a duty of care. For example, you can show that they were responsible for taking the vehicle for maintenance after a specific period.
The next step is proving that the party you are claiming accident damages from breached their duty of care. In such a case, you may use documents showing that the vehicle involved in the crash did not get servicing as required.
Once you prove breach of care, gather evidence indicating causation. The final step in filing a claim for a commercial truck accident is proving that specific damages resulted from the collision. Here, you may use documents like medical reports and images of injuries to support your case. You can also rely on receipts provided by your mechanic after car repairs.
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Call in the Strong Arm to Determine if Poor Maintenance Caused a Truck Accident
At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we can help you simplify determining the cause of a truck accident. Our lawyers will liaise with authorities and interview different parties to understand the events leading to a crash. They can also get truck maintenance records to gauge if mechanical failure and faulty parts caused the accident.