Consistent maintenance on commercial vehicles is absolutely essential, and many serious trucking accidents happen because the truck driver or motor carrier did not properly care for the vehicle. Without routine inspections, prompt responses to potential issues, and well-performed maintenance and repairs, trucks on the roads could have faulty brakes, dangerous tires, broken headlights, and other issues that increase the risk of a crash.
If you were hurt in an accident with a commercial vehicle, contact the Ohio truck accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. We understand that negligent maintenance is a common cause of trucking accidents. We have the experience and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate a trucking accident, determine what went wrong, and gather evidence to support your claim for compensation. If it appears negligent maintenance was an issue, we will gather the driver’s and motor carrier’s documentation and even testimony from industry professionals to determine how the truck should have been maintained and how the motor carrier failed to uphold its responsibility.
Call KNR today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to find out how we can help you after a devastating truck accident.
Where Truck Maintenance Goes Wrong
Commercial trucks require a great deal of routine upkeep and maintenance. In regard to safety, there is very little room for error. Every part of a truck needs to work adequately and safely to reduce the risk of accidents as much as possible. However, there are a number of places along the way that fleets and their employees go wrong, negligently maintaining their vehicles and putting people at risk.
Common maintenance issues that lead to trucking accidents include:
Drivers skip daily inspections
Every time a trucker gets back on the road, they should review their vehicle. They should not work until they are confident the cab and trailer are safe to operate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also requires truck drivers to document daily vehicle inspections. A driver vehicle inspection report must be completed at the end of each work day and submitted to the carrier.
Carriers ignore notification of defects
Drivers or maintenance personnel may notice an issue on a vehicle and notify the carrier it needs to be looked at further or repaired. Drivers should make note of any potential problems in their daily reports. However, it is possible for carriers to receive notifications and dismiss them.
Maintenance personnel do not complete assignments
Carriers may be negligent if their maintenance personnel willfully do not complete repairs or commonly required maintenance tasks before trucks are used again.
Maintenance personnel perform tasks poorly
A fleet employee or contractor may attempt to make a repair but they end up doing the repair poorly or in such a way as to make the truck worse off than before. Faulty repairs can create dangerous situations for truckers and others on the road.
Maintenance personnel are inadequately trained
Carriers can also be negligent by hiring and retaining maintenance staff who are not adequately educated or trained to correctly perform their job duties. If this is the case, carriers are responsible for maintenance and repairs done wrong by poorly trained workers.
Drivers and carriers fail to inspect and repair brakes
One of the most important parts of a truck is the brakes. They are the first line of defense against an accident. However, many drivers and fleets do not inspect brakes often enough to notice significant issues.
Drivers and carriers fail to inspect and replace tires
Considering the weight of trucks and the speed at which they move, truckers need tires to be in great condition to make trips safely. However, drivers and fleets often fail to inspect tire tread and pressure as often as they should.
Carriers overload or fail to balance a load
Trucks are more than the engine and cab. They generally include a trailer full of goods or livestock. The load a truck is carrying must be within that vehicle’s weight restrictions, which usually depends on its size and axles. Additionally, the cargo needs to be loaded properly to ensure the weight distribution does not interfere with safely maneuvering the truck. If a truck is too heavy or imbalanced, then there is going to be a problem.
Drivers or carriers do not maintain lights and reflective strips
When truckers are driving at night, they need lights and reflective strips not only to see the road, but also for other vehicles to see them. Without these basic safety features, accidents are bound to happen.
Trucking Companies Are Responsible for Their Employees
Most of the time, a specific employee or group of workers will actually be responsible for the maintenance of the truck. However, under the law, a worker’s employer is responsible for their actions when they are performing a work duty. Therefore, the employer or a driver or member of the maintenance staff will be responsible for the accident and your injuries. The worker may also be held responsible, though you are much more likely to recover compensation from the employing business.
Your Legal Options After a Trucking Accident
If you were injured in a trucking accident, you may have the right to recover compensation through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. At KNR, we can review your situation and advise you on the best way to move forward. Our goal will always be to help you gain the maximum compensation for your injuries, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Contact an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer Today
After a trucking accident, you need to start to investigate what happened as soon as possible. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the faster you have the knowledge and resources you need to preserve evidence, contact experts, and gain answers about the crash.
At KNR, our attorneys have years of experience handling truck accidents through both insurance claims and lawsuits. We understand the nuances of truck accidents, including FMSCA regulations, motor carrier habits, and ways carriers try and take short cuts then hide responsibility. Throughout the duration of your claim, we will fiercely advocate for your rights and never lose sight of the goal – recovering compensation for your losses.
To learn more, call 1-800-HURT-NOW and schedule a consultation to speak with one of our experienced Ohio truck accident attorneys.