Because semi-trucks are large vehicles with many moving parts, trucking companies and owner-operators must be proactive with maintenance to ensure their rigs are safe for highway travel. Unfortunately, equipment issues such as failing brakes and tire blow-outs are the cause of nearly one-third of truck accidents in West Virginia and across the country.
When a truck’s brakes or tires fail and an accident occurs, there are numerous parties who could be liable. These include the following:
- Driver or trucking company: Depending on who owns the truck, the driver or a company may be responsible for vehicle upkeep. This includes regularly checking the brakes and ensuring the tires are properly inflated and in good working condition. A failure to perform these checks could constitute neglected maintenance.
- Company that loaded the truck: When crews load semi-truck trailers, they must do so in a way that ensures a balanced load and complies with federal limits on weight and distribution. Improperly loading a trailer could place too must stress on tires and brakes.
- Parts manufacturers: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict regulations governing tires and braking systems on large trucks. If equipment does not meet federal standards, it may not be safe for use on semi-trucks and trailers transporting heavy loads. Injured parties may seek damages from companies that manufacture and sell defective truck tires and brakes.
Considering the large-scale damage that heavy semi-trucks can cause, it’s important for all parties involved in the trucking and shipping industries to take the proper precautions to protect everyone on West Virginia’s roads and highways. That doesn’t always happen, and injury victims may need to seek compensation from liable parties and their insurance providers. Our trucking accident attorneys have both the skill and experience to challenge all responsible parties in your claim.
To learn more about your options after a serious truck accident, meet with a dedicated personal injury lawyer at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC right away.