Established Kentucky Truck Accident Attorney Explains Improper Maintenance By Trucking Companies
Commercial tractor-trailer trucks and semis require more maintenance and regular maintenance than most other vehicles in the road. This is because of the trucks’ size, weight, and mileage: Many trucks criss-cross the United States on long hauls over and over again, pulling as many as 80,000 pounds behind them. Working that hard, it is no surprise that truck parts wear out quickly, and that truck drivers and trucking companies need to regularly maintain their vehicles.
Because truck maintenance can be both expensive and time-consuming, far too many commercial truck owners and operators fail to regularly maintain their tractor-trailers. This can lead to serious failures of equipment, and serious accidents and injuries. If you or a loved one have been harmed in a commercial truck accident that you believe may have been caused by a lack of maintenance, you should speak to a Kentucky truck accident attorney today about your case. To schedule a free, private case review, please call our legal team now at (800) 991-0474.
Truck Maintenance & Federal Trucking Regulations
Under federal law, trucking companies must follow a specific set of guidelines regarding maintenance and repair. These laws include the following stipulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- All trucking companies “…must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles.”
- Parts and accessories of each truck shall be in safe and proper operating condition at all times, including but not limited to “frame and frame assemblies, suspension systems, axles and attaching parts, wheels and rims, and steering systems.”
- Trucking companies must maintain records for each motor vehicle they control that include: An identification of the vehicle; a means to indicate the nature and due date of the various inspection and maintenance operations to be performed; and a record of inspection, repairs, and maintenance indicating their date and nature. These records must be maintained and retained for 18 months after the vehicle leaves the company’s control.
When investigating your Kentucky truck accident claim, it is vital to find out if any of these federal regulations have been violated. In addition, it is vital to review the vehicle’s records of maintenance and repairs to shed light on the cause of the accident. A truck accident attorney can help you acquire and analyze these documents.
The trucking company may be held liable for your accident and injuries if:
- The truck was did not undergo regular maintenance.
- The truck was not regularly inspected.
- The truck did not undergo the proper repairs.
- The truck’s parts and accessories were not kept in safe and working order.
- The trucking company did not keep proper maintenance records.
The Consequences of Improper Maintenance or Inspections
Driving a truck that has not been properly inspected or maintained is extremely dangerous. The failure of any auto part or accessory can cause the entire vehicle to lose control, leave its lane, roll over, or even catch fire. Improper maintenance can both directly cause commercial truck accidents, or make the outcome of commercial truck accidents more serious. Specifically, improper maintenance can result in the following dangerous issues:
- Tire blowouts.
- Failed breaks.
- Failed steering mechanism.
- Detached trailers.
- Failed brake lights and turn signals.
The following truck parts and accessories should be inspected regularly:
- Brakes (hydraulic brakes, air brakes, brake connectors, and parking brake)
- Coupling devices
- Tires, wheels, and rims
- Lights (headlights, brake lights, turn signals)
- Suspension system
- Cab and frame
- Steering mechanism
- Windshield wipers
If You’ve Been Involved in a Kentucky Truck Accident, Call Seth Gladstein Today
Commercial truck accidents that involve the violation of federal regulations and improper vehicle maintenance can be complex and confusing. If you believe that you have been involved in such an accident, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable Kentucky truck accident attorney about the details of your possible claim. You may be owed compensation for:
- Your related medical bills, including future medical bills.
- Your lost wages, including possible future lost wages.
- Your related out-of-pocket expenses.
- Your pain and suffering.
- Your damaged property.
At Gladstein Law Firm, we know how difficult it can be to fight against the trucking industry and their insurance companies – and, we know how to approach these cases with assertiveness, compassion, knowledge, and thoroughness. To learn more about your truck accident case, or simply to ask a few questions about personal injury claims, please call us today to request a free, complimentary consultation at (502) 855-4177 or (800) 991-0474. You may also fill out one of the contact forms on our website, and we will give you a call. Get help for your trucking accident injuries today.