Because of their massive size and weight, tractor-trailers often cause catastrophic injuries and damage when they are involved in a truck accident. One of the things that trucking companies can do to help minimize the risk of truck accidents is to make sure that these vehicles are properly maintained. Unfortunately, this is not a priority for many companies and this often leads to tragic results.
Skilled truck accident attorneys should work diligently and fully investigate each case that they handle. If you or a family member has been injured in a crash, contact an experienced law firm to discuss what your legal options may be.
Federal Violations by Trucking Companies
The agency that sets the rules and regulations that trucking companies must adhere to is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). One of the rules that trucking companies and truck drivers are required to follow includes routine equipment tests for multiple parts of the vehicle, such as brakes and tires. Failure to conduct these tests can result in fines.
Despite these potential penalties, multiple studies have shown that companies regularly fail to conduct these tests, just as they ignore the regulations the FMCSA has set when it comes to the limits on how many hours per day/per week a truck driver is allowed to operate their vehicle.
When a truck accident attorney conducts an investigation of a trucking company, he or she will find these violations and although the violations do not prove negligence in the truck accident case, they can be used to show a pattern of improperly maintained vehicles.
There are four elements that a truck accident attorney must prove in a negligence lawsuit against a trucking company. These are:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim (The trucking company owes a duty of care to other commuters that all truck they put on the road are properly maintained)
- The defendant breached that duty of care (The trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck that was involved in the crash)
- The breach occurred because of the defendant’s action (The crash occurred because the trucking company failed to maintain the truck and the accident occurred because the brake didn’t work)
- The victim suffered damages (All of the medical bills, loss of income, and other losses the victim suffered are the damages)
Improper truck maintenance is really the responsibility of the trucking company, not the truck driver. The trucking company becomes a defendant in the case under the doctrine of vicarious liability (also referred to as respondeat superior).
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney for Assistance
If you have been injured in a truck crash that was caused by the negligence of the truck driver or trucking company, contact name of firm today to set up a free consultation with one of our skilled truck accident attorneys.
Thank you to our contributors at the law office of Barry P. Goldberg for the above information.