Commercial trucks have complex braking systems. If these braking systems are not adequately maintained or have defects, they may not effectively halt a large, heavy truck. Sometimes there are truck accidents due to a driver's failure to go through an inspection or a truck company's failure to handle maintenance issues appropriately. If you were injured or a loved one was killed as a result of inadequate braking ability in South Florida, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney. Trucking companies and their insurers often mount aggressive defenses after a truck accident and may not turn over necessary evidence willingly. The Boca Raton truck accident lawyers at The Grife Law Firm understand how to protect a victim’s rights.Reasons for Braking Failures
Braking failures are a common kind of mechanical failure that results in commercial truck accidents on interstates and other roads. A brake failure may be connected to overheating, blowouts, oil leaks, faulty brake pads, faulty air valves, flaws in the pressure supply system, or a failure to inspect or maintain the system. There are certain safety mechanisms to stop total brake failure, but usually a truck driver needs a bigger space to stop. A truck driver must know how to adequately brake, and the brake mechanism needs to be functioning. A truck driver who does not keep a safe distance between the truck and what is in front of him may experience a braking failure that causes a rear-end or override accident. Moreover, a braking problem can result in a jackknife accident, which is an accident in which the cab drives straight ahead while the trailer swings out to the left or right, potentially hitting the cars in its path.Truck Driver Negligence
Sometimes you can hold a truck driver liable for inadequate braking ability. For example, his conduct might contribute to an accident if he waited too long to brake. You would need to prove that this failure to brake caused the crash. Driving while fatigued, drunk driving, texting while driving, or speeding, for example, could result in difficulties stopping in time to avoid a collision. Sometimes a braking failure is a result of a truck driver's failure to conduct an inspection prior to setting out on a trip. If an interstate truck driver fails to conduct an inspection in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, this may be strong evidence of negligence.Trucking Company Negligence
Truck drivers may not have sufficient insurance coverage to cover the full scope of catastrophic injuries, particularly if there are multiple victims. A trucking company can be held vicariously liable for an employee's negligence in the course and scope of employment. Trucking companies can also be held directly liable for negligent hiring, negligent training, and negligent supervision. If they work in interstate commerce, negligence may be shown by establishing that they violated the FMCSA regulations on maintenance. Under these regulations, trucking companies are supposed to record their maintenance of the brake system.Product Liability Theories
Sometimes brakes are defective. In that case, it may be possible to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. A truck or brake manufacturer can be held strictly liable if the brakes are unreasonably dangerous. The brakes would be considered unreasonably dangerous if they failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would anticipate when used as intended or in a way that the manufacturer could foresee, or if the risk of danger in the brake's design outweighed the benefits.Damages
If your attorney is able to establish liability, non-economic damages for pain and suffering and loss of quality of life may be recovered. Regarding medical costs, truck accident victims are encouraged to carefully assess their treatment needs. Proving the impact of all of their physical limitations is necessary in truck crash cases, since the resulting injuries are typically severe. Injured individuals may also recover compensation for the past and future earnings that they have lost due to their injuries.Consult a Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyer in the Boca Raton Area
Braking failures in a commercial truck can have devastating consequences for many people. If you were injured in South Florida because of inadequate braking ability, you should call The Grife Law Firm. We represent accident victims in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, among other cities. Call us at 561-998-0770 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with an attorney.