Brake failure can contribute to a lot of different types of truck accidents. A truck can lose its load because the brakes give out and the driver loses control. The truck can jackknife due to a sudden loss of its brakes, putting everyone on the road in danger. The results of a commercial truck’s brake failure can be catastrophic.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident caused by brake failure, one of the first things you need to do will be to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. At Sand Law, we have a team of legal representatives who know how to build the strongest case possible on behalf of our clients. Put that knowledge to work for you by giving us a call at 651-291-7263 or contacting us online to schedule a free consultation.
Brake Failure Can Cause Severe Truck Accidents
A brake malfunction is one of the worst kinds of mechanical failures that can affect a huge commercial truck. These vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, so when they lose their brakes that’s an obvious recipe for disaster. The driver will lose control, and the truck will destroy anything in its path. This, of course, can lead to not only horrible, permanent injuries but also tragic deaths.
Are There Safeties in Place for When Brakes Fail?
There are many instances where unqualified or inexperienced drivers will overuse their brakes. This removes air from the brake compressor faster than the compressor can replace that air. With no pressure, the brakes no longer work.
There are certain safeguards that may be able to help reduce the risk of an accident due to a brake failure. Many highways have what are known as “runaway truck ramps.” If a truck loses its brakes, the driver may be able to veer off of the highway and onto one of these designated emergency spots. Runaway ramps typically contain gravel, wire netting or sand in order to quickly decelerate a truck.
Drivers can also employ certain emergency tactics should the brakes fail. This could include downshifting, as well as using the emergency brake.
What Causes Brake Failure?
There are a lot of reasons that a truck’s brakes will malfunction. Many of them involve a failure on the part of the trucking company to keep the rig in proper working order. Here are just a few examples.
The company that owns the truck, as well as the driver, are responsible for giving the vehicle a thorough inspection before a trip. However, this maintenance will oftentimes be ignored in an effort to meet deadlines. When profit takes a higher priority over safety, braking system problems can be swept under the rug – with disastrous results.
A brake system could fail through no fault of the trucking company or the driver. A system component could have been defective due to negligence on behalf of the manufacturer. These companies must make sure their products are completely safe and reliable before they allow it to go to market. When they fail to meet this duty, they could be held responsible should an accident take place.
Not Replacing a Recalled Part
Manufacturers will sometimes not realize a part is defective until it has been shipped out. When it becomes aware of the defect, it may issue a recall. But, as stated earlier, trucking companies will often choose to make money over making sure their vehicles are as safe as possible. They may not bother to check for any recalls, or they may simply ignore them. When that happens, and a recalled part contributes to an accident, the trucking company will very likely be blamed – and have to pay dearly as a result.
Can Multiple Parties be Liable for an Accident Caused by Brake Failure?
There can always be a possibility that several different parties will be held responsible when a truck accident takes place. When truck accidents occurs due to brake failure, the driver, trucking company and manufacturer could all face liability.
Truck drivers, of course, have a duty to operate their vehicles in the safest possible manner. However, they will oftentimes drive while fatigued – in clear violation of federal regulations. When they do, they won’t be as alert to sudden changes, such as a brake failure. They may not be able to react quickly enough – for example, they might miss a runaway ramp, or they might not have the presence of mind to use the emergency brake.
Negligent acts committed by different parties can combine to create an incredibly dangerous situation. These include the following.
- The company that loaded the truck failed to secure the cargo, and it came loose when the brakes failed.
- The company that owns the truck failed to fix the brakes, even though it was apparent that work needed to be done.
- The driver failed to check the brakes before going on the trip.
A truck accident lawsuit can be extremely complex. Not only are there multiple parties that might be liable, but the stakes are also very high. It’s not at all uncommon for insurance policies covering commercial trucks to be valued at $1 million or more. Insurance companies, as well as trucking companies, will do all they can to protect those policies. They’ll use every possible trick at their disposal to try and shift blame to accident victims.
That’s just one of the many reasons why you’re going to need to hire a skilled, experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Runaway Truck, Contact Sand Law to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sand Law as soon as you can if you’ve suffered a severe injury in a truck accident. We’ll perform a thorough investigation to determine if brake failure caused the truck accident, and to also determine all potentially liable parties. You can contact us online to schedule a free case review, or you can call 651-291-7263.