Tractor-trailers and big rigs need more time to stop than passenger cars. When their braking ability is hampered, either due to a mechanical defect or due to a failure to maintain the brakes, a truck driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a serious accident. In fact, brake problems are among the most common mechanical failures involved in truck accidents around the country. If you are injured in Tennessee or elsewhere in the South due to poor braking ability, you should retain the experienced Memphis truck accident lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz to pursue damages on your behalf.Inadequate Braking Ability May Cause Serious Injuries
Many truck accidents result from a failure of one or more braking systems. The braking system in a big rig or tractor-trailer is complex and may malfunction due to blowouts, depowering of the front brakes, overheating, oil leaks, a problem in the pressure supply system, or issues with the calipers or pads. The problem may be a result of an inherent manufacturing defect or a failure to maintain.
The reason for a braking failure can affect the theory that a victim uses to pursue damages in a truck accident case. In some cases, a negligent driver will try to transfer blame to a manufacturer for an accident. You may need an expert witness to evaluate the reason for the brake failure and determine whether an at-fault driver is trying to shift liability, or whether there really was a product defect in the braking system. A product manufacturer may be held liable under different theories, including strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to regularly inspect the brakes of their trucks because they are crucial to decelerating and stopping. Since a heavy commercial truck may need hundreds more feet to stop than a passenger vehicle, there are many federal and state regulations in place requiring proper maintenance. Improper maintenance by the driver or the trucking company may result in catastrophic injuries or a wrongful death.
You may be able to hold a driver or trucking company liable for your injuries under a theory of negligence or negligent maintenance. This can require you to establish that the defendant owed a duty to maintain the truck properly but did not meet that duty and, in failing to maintain the truck, was the cause of your injuries. If a truck driver is responsible for maintenance but fails to check the brakes, it is likely that a jury would find that they breached the duty to use due care. On the other hand, if a trucking company was responsible for conducting maintenance, but it hired an incompetent employee to inspect the brakes, it might be found responsible for the failure.
A third party may also bear some responsibility for a truck accident caused by poor braking ability. For example, if cargo is not properly distributed to avoid putting too much pressure on the brakes, the person or entity responsible for loading the truck may have breached its duty to use reasonable care in loading the vehicle. Thus, you may be able to recover compensatory damages from multiple parties responsible for poor braking ability. Different states follow different rules related to joint and several liability.Contact an Experienced Truck Crash Lawyer in Memphis or Beyond
Proper braking ability is critical for trucking companies to operate safely in and around Tennessee and the surrounding states. If you have been harmed due to faulty brakes or a truck driver's failure to properly hit the brakes, our experienced Memphis attorneys may be able to help you recover damages. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, employs over 30 attorneys and 100 staff members with outstanding credentials. We serve people throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, including in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Caruthersville, Haiti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 1-800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision attorney. NST is the way to go.