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Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident Caused By Improper Maintenance?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Larimer County peronsal injury attorney truck accident

Semi-trucks experience immense strain throughout the course of their work, accumulating hundreds of miles per day and regularly hauling around 100,000 pounds of cargo. In order to perform their work safely, large trucks require frequent maintenance to ensure that all parts and equipment are working properly. When there is a lapse in maintenance, the potential for accidents increases, and unfortunately, you may find yourself injured as a result.

The Dangers of Poorly Maintained Trucks in Colorado

A variety of equipment failures due to improper or routine maintenance checks can lead to serious accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Brake failure: Improperly maintained brakes can give out in transit, making it difficult or impossible for the truck driver to slow or stop his or her rig. This is a particular issue in Colorado, where steep downhill grades on interstate highways can lead to runaway trucks.

  • Tire blowouts: Tires with low tread or improper inflation are at risk of rupturing, and when this happens at highway speed, it is easy for even the most skilled driver to lose control. This can cause the truck to veer into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision. 

  • Failed steering systems: If the truck’s steering system does not work properly, the driver may have trouble navigating curves, turns, or lane changes, especially in high-traffic situations. This may lead to the truck driver crashing into another vehicle or object such as a concrete median. 

  • Failed trailer coupling: Worn, damaged, or improperly maintained or connected coupling can cause the trailer to detach from the cab and obstruct the path of other drivers on the road who may collide with it. 

  • Missing lights: Non-working headlights or tail lights can be dangerous especially at night or during inclement weather with reduced visibility, because it may be difficult for other drivers to see the truck and respond accordingly to get out of the way.

Negligence in an Improperly Maintained Truck Crash

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires regular inspection and maintenance of all truck equipment, as well as detailed record-keeping. When an accident occurs because of improper maintenance, the driver usually bears at least partial responsibility, because he or she plays an important role in the inspection process. However, other inspectors, maintenance professionals, and the company that employs the driver may also be liable if they failed to maintain the truck in accordance with industry safety standards. If you are injured in a truck accident, identifying all negligent parties can be challenging, but it can give you the best chance of receiving adequate compensation through a settlement or verdict.

Contact a Ft. Collins Truck Accident Attorney

At the Hoggatt Law Office, P.C., we have a thorough understanding of trucking industry regulations and the ways that negligence can arise when those regulations are breached. We can help you gather evidence to demonstrate the fault of multiple parties so you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact a diligent and dedicated Larimer County personal injury lawyer today at 970-225-2190 to request a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/csp/vehicle-maintenance-fmcsr-393-and-396

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&=PART&n=pt49.5.396

 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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