Truck Accidents Due to Negligent Maintenance
An improperly maintained semi-truck or other commercial vehicle is a danger to all other drivers on the road. Improper maintenance can lead to faulty braking, blown tires, failing stress points, and more. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, faulty maintenance may have been responsible. In order to get a full and fair settlement, you will require the services of a top-tier personal injury law firm.
With offices in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties, the truck accident lawyers of Maho | Prentice, LLC have brought justice to accident victims all over Southern California. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Rules Regarding Inspection and Maintenance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck operators to complete a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report at the end of each driving day. They must also undergo a multi-point annual inspection. Trucks should also receive routine maintenance after every 15,000 miles of service. This includes checking all emergency lights, checking fluid levels and refilling them if necessary, examining the brakes, tire pressure, and more.
All scheduled inspections, maintenance, and repairs must be catalogued on the proper forms. Because this additional maintenance presents a significant expense to fleet owners and an inconvenience to drivers, some may fail to comply fully. A truck accident attorney will check all records related to the truck as part of their due diligence for building a case.
Maintenance-Related Truck Accidents
Not all maintenance issues present a danger to other drivers, but many can. The following are some of the most common types of maintenance failures leading to accidents:
Older tires are more likely to shred or blow out while in transit. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle temporarily. Shredded tire material can fly away from the truck and hit another vehicle, causing an accident.
Defective or Worn Brakes
Commercial trucking takes a heavy toll on brakes. Because of the mass of a truck, the stopping distance is already much longer than it is with a personal vehicle. Worn brakes can prevent the truck from stopping in time to avoid an accident. In addition, not refilling the fluids can prevent the truck’s air brakes from working properly.
Defective or Worn Couplings
Couplings and coupler plates need to be routinely examined for signs of wear or damage. When couplings fail, they can cause the trailer to separate from the vehicle, which presents an extraordinarily dangerous situation.
Non-functioning Tail Lights
The trailer of a truck needs to have working tail lights and brake lights so that trailing vehicles can react to sudden deceleration and stopping.
What You Should Do if You’re Involved in a Truck Accident
There are measures that you can take to ensure your physical safety and positively impact the outcome of your case. The following list is not legal advice. To receive free legal advice regarding your case, call Maho | Prentice, LLC today.
- Get to a position of safety – Do not remain in place if there is an immediate danger to you or your passengers.
- Call 911 – Tell the dispatcher your location and provide a description of the vehicles involved. The dispatcher will also want to know about the injuries of the involved parties.
- Take pictures and videos – From a position of safety, take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, visible injuries, spilled cargo, debris on the roadway, and location indicators.
- Talk to witnesses – Ask anyone who saw the accident to remain on the scene and speak to the police. If they have to leave, ask for their contact information.
- Get medical attention – Allow EMTs to examine you on scene. If they recommend you go to the hospital, allow them to transport you or drive you to the emergency room. In any event, follow up with your physician at your first opportunity.
First Settlement Offers
Commercial trucks are required to carry comprehensive insurance, and it’s not unusual for truck accident victims to receive a first settlement offer within hours of the accident. The money might seem attractive, but in most cases, it’s a fraction of what you’re entitled to. Additionally, the insurance adjuster will require you to sign a waiver of liability, which will prevent you from seeking further damages if the settlement money runs out.
Truck Accident Liability Attorneys in Southern California
For years, the attorneys of Maho | Prentice, LLC have been helping truck accident victims receive full settlements for their injuries. With law offices in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles counties, Maho | Prentice has helped thousands of clients win settlements or courtroom awards. Because our law firm works on a contingency basis, our clients do not have to pay out of pocket for our representation. It’s important to start your case as soon as possible, so call Maho | Prentice for a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer today!