Brake failure is a frightening experience. It’s bad enough when your own brakes don’t work. Imagine the terror people in a passenger vehicle feel when a big rig is coming toward them, and the truck’s brakes have failed. The problem with large trucks is that there are multiple sets of brakes. This makes the situation all the more complex. With good maintenance and inspections, brake failure won’t sneak up on you. The same is true for truckers. However, many drivers and truckers fail to do that, and in the end, people are killed or injured by their negligence.
Let’s take a look at brake failure in trucks and the consequences this has for those in passenger vehicles.
David Azizi – Trucking Brake Failure Attorney in Los Angeles
David Azizi has fought for victims of maintenance truck accidents in Los Angeles and the surrounding area for 24 years. He has helped numerous Angelenos fight for their right to obtain the compensation they deserve. David wins 98 percent of his cases. This is due to a keen eye for investigative efforts, legal acumen and the drive to make it right for his clients. It is no wonder that the legal ranking company Super Lawyers calls David one of the top personal injury lawyers in the city. If you have been in an accident with a runaway truck, call David at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free case evaluation. Don’t wait. You only have so long to file before your case will not be heard.
Causes of Brake Failure in a Semi
Drivers take many precautions to keep their vehicle safe and avoid an accident. Few think about being in a collision with a large truck, although they live in California where moving agricultural products from one area to another is common. Brake failure is a significant reason truck accidents happen. Let’s review some of the most common causes for this:
- Failure to maintain the brakes: Drivers and owners are required by law to maintain their trucks and keep a record of it. DOT inspection stations attempt to catch trucks with bad brakes before an accident can happen. The problem is that even if the brakes are compromised, they may still brake under normal circumstances. However, if a hard brake is required, as when descending a steep hill, the brakes will be ineffective and not stop the vehicle.
- Disabling the front brakes: Sometimes, the front brakes are disabled. This saves money by eliminating the usual wear and tear repairs. The burden of stopping is placed on the trailer brakes. Downshifting is used to assist in stopping. By removing the front brakes from assisting with stopping, the ability to stop is lessened. If a quick hard stop is needed, the truck driver may not be able to do it. This can lead to a horrific accident.
- Overheated brakes: On occasion, drivers without enough training try to stop their vehicle by using poor braking techniques. This causes the brakes to overheat. By doing this, it weakens the trucks ability to stop over time. Poor brake maintenance can also lead to overheated brakes.
- Overloaded truck: A truck carrying too much weight will have difficulty stopping even if the vehicle is maintained correctly. This a problem on the roads, particularly when the truck requires forceful braking. By doing this repeatedly, overloaded trucks may cause the brakes to fail. This is especially true if maintenance has not been done.
- Unbalanced brakes: The brakes become unbalanced when some of them need to work harder than others. This occurs if the mechanical brake parts do not match or if the pneumatic system that measures out brake pressure applies a greater force to some brakes than others. In the end, this can lock the brakes, which results in jackknifing or skidding. Unbalanced brakes can also lead to overheating.
Federal Regulations for Brakes
The federal government regulates truck safety by requiring that inspections and maintenance be carried out regularly. Each wheel of a truck must have a functioning brake acting on it. Most trucks use an air brake system. These trucks are required to have emergency brakes as a backup. Drivers must have two ways to activate the emergency brakes
Who Is Liable for Malfunctioning Brakes?
Proof of brake failure is complex. It could involve a mistake at any level, including the owner, driver, manufacturer or the designer. An attorney experienced in truck brake failure will be able to investigate the case and determine who is responsible. It is necessary to name the responsible party correctly in a lawsuit.
Truck drivers should be trained in the workings of the brake system. Drivers need to know how to operate the brakes in a truck and how to check for defects or maintenance issues. This ensures greater safety for passenger car drivers. For example, if the truck uses air brakes, the driver should check the air pressure daily. They also need to affirm that there is no water in the system. All hoses and rubber seals need to be checked to assure that there are no leaks. Leaks can occur due to overuse and defects. If this is not done, both the driver and the company that hired him can be held responsible for any injuries that occur due to brake failure.
If a truck’s brakes fail due to manufacturing defects, the company that manufactured them can be held responsible for accidents. An attorney can check to see if there have been complaints or recalls issued on the brakes. The attorney can then file a products liability case against the manufacturer. In California, it is not necessary to prove negligence in a products liability case. The attorney must show that the person’s injuries were due to the failure of the product.
Free Case Review for Truck Brake Failure Accident Cases
When brakes fail, severe injuries and death can result. An experienced attorney can investigate the accident and determine who was at fault. If proven, the injured party can collect medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. The law firm of David Azizi works hard to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call David at (800) 991-5292 or contact him online to schedule a free case evaluation. Don’t let a negligent trucking business or driver get away without paying. David will prepare your case to win and help you every step of the way.