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Truck accidents are often far worse than a car accident, simply because of the extra weight that a truck can bring into a wreck. While cars typically weigh around 3,000 pounds, even an empty tractor trailer can weigh more than 30,000. Those that are carrying a full trailer of cargo can top 80,000 pounds.
When something this size collides with another vehicle, the results are often disastrous for the other driver. You would think that faced with this kind of danger, truck drivers and trucking companies would do all that they could to maintain their vehicles and ensure accidents would happen as little as possible. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Maintaining trucks is expensive and requires vehicles to sit in garages while mechanics work on them, and this is costly to the drivers and the companies that profit from them. As a result, poor or improper truck maintenance is a serious issue facing drivers across America, today.
Poor Truck Maintenance Causes Serious Accidents
The problem of poor truck maintenance is staggeringly large. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly one out of every three truck accidents that included another vehicle in the wreck involved brake failure. Brake failures are only one of the many different kinds of problems that can occur when proper truck maintenance is not performed or is put off until it is too late.
Who Is Responsible for Truck Maintenance?
One of the big problems when it comes to truck maintenance is the issue of who should be doing it. Lines of responsibility are rarely made out clearly, leaving maintenance something that falls between the cracks. When this happens, innocent drivers on the road are frequently the victims.
While on the road, truck drivers are in the best position to make sure their truck is acting properly. Many companies require truck drivers to take special care to inspect their vehicle every day and to record potential problems and maintenance requests in a log book. However, inspections like these take time, which is not something that many truck drivers have. Faced with strict deadlines and loss of business and profits if they do not deliver on time, truck drivers frequently have to cut corners on the road, and skipping inspections are one of the easiest ways to make sure ends meet.
Even when truck drivers do inspect their vehicles on the road, they can only note superficial problems that they can easily see, or that directly result in their truck behaving differently on the road. Unfortunately, some of the most serious mechanical failures, like brake failures, are not apparent until it is too late or until the parts at issue are taken apart and examined closely by a mechanic.
Even if potential issues are logged and reported by the truck driver to their trucking company, these companies are notorious for delaying maintenance or downright ignoring issues that get reported. This is because trucking companies only make money when their vehicles and drivers are out on the road, making deliveries. Every time a truck needs maintenance, trucking companies need to deal with another vehicle that is off the road, as well as the labor cost of fixing the truck and the cost of the replacement parts. When all of these problems are put together, companies see very little incentive to fix their vehicles until the latest possible point.
Finally, not all truck drivers are associated with a trucking company. Many earn their income by working for the highest bidder on a job-by-job basis. These truckers pay for maintenance out of their own pockets, and rarely have access to an experienced trucking mechanic that many companies keep on their payrolls. Even when times are good, these truckers will put off maintaining their trucks until the last possible moment because of how expensive it can be, and because of the down time that they will go through while their truck is in the shop.
Victims of Truck Accidents
If you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by a truck because it was poorly maintained, you have legal rights that you can choose to enforce with a personal injury lawsuit.
All drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles responsibly. One aspect of driving responsibly is keeping your vehicle in a reasonably safe condition before hitting the road with it. After all, it is completely foreseeable for a truck that is poorly maintained to break down on the road in such a way that it puts the other drivers at a significant risk of harm.
Because the risks of driving an improperly maintained truck are so predictable, the law often requires truck drivers or their trucking companies to reimburse innocent truck accident victims for their losses if the crash was a result of the poor maintenance. This is the case even if the poor maintenance was not a conscious decision by the driver or the trucking company – just because they were negligent or the poor maintenance was a mere oversight on their part does not mean that you should have to pay for your losses out of your own pocket. Between you and the people who were responsible for your injuries, you are the most innocent and deserve to be compensated for what you have lost.
Baltimore Truck Accident Attorneys Gilman & Bedigian
Vehicle accidents that involve trucks are often far more serious than those that only involve cars. When the crash was caused because someone did not take the time or effort to effectively maintain the truck, though, it can be especially frustrating because these kinds of accidents are preventable and inexcusable.
By hiring the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian, you can enforce your legal rights by seeking compensation for your injuries. With our lawyers as your legal representatives, you can rest assured that your interests will be protected by in and out of court. Contact us online or call us at (800) 529-6162 for the legal assistance you need to get the compensation you deserve.