Commercial trucks spend a lot of time on the road. Negligent truck maintenance combined with heavy mileage can take its toll on brakes and other mechanical parts. If you add a mechanical malfunction to an already large and heavy vehicle carrying tens of thousands of pounds over long distances, it is an accident waiting to happen.
There are various federal and state laws that regulate the maintenance and inspection of commercial vehicles. However, trucking companies may sometimes put off repairs and maintenance to save time and money. This negligence could result in a serious truck crash due to tire blowouts and other vehicle malfunctions.
If you have suffered injuries in a truck collision, our Flint truck accident lawyers are ready to help. We have the resources to fully investigate the cause, including if it was due to negligent maintenance, and who may be liable for your damages.
Free Case Review. Proven Results. 989-244-0356
Federal Laws Require Trucking Companies to Maintain Their Vehicles
There are many regulations trucking companies must follow when it comes to maintaining and inspecting their commercial vehicles. These regulations apply to vehicles owned by the company and any vehicles that are leased for 30 consecutive days or more.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations include, but are not limited to:
- Regularly inspecting, maintaining and repairing the vehicle
- Inspecting and verifying parts and accessories to ensure safe operation
- Keeping accurate and detailed maintenance records that can be produced on demand
Truck drivers also have a responsibility for monitoring the condition of their vehicle on the road, which includes:
- Making pre-trip inspections to detect possible defects or issues that need maintenance or repair
- Checking both the cargo and the vehicle – at least once – during the first 50 miles traveled
- Rechecking the vehicle and cargo after three hours, driving 150 miles or at duty status changes
- Writing an inspection report at the end of each shift
Who Can Be Held Liable for Negligent Truck Maintenance?
Truck accidents may often have multiple liable parties, such as the driver, trucking company and any third parties responsible for servicing the vehicle. It is important to note that in Michigan, trucking companies can be held liable for the negligence of their drivers. However, even if you suspect some type of negligence, either on the part of the driver, the trucking company, or both, it is not enough. You – or the attorney handling your claim – will need to establish proof of negligence.
Truck accident claims are extremely complicated, both because there could be multiple parties liable and because proving the claim can be challenging. Having an experienced attorney on your side to fully investigate the crash and gather the necessary evidence often makes a difference to the outcome of a claim.
Evidence That Supports Your Claim
Calling an attorney without delay is critical in truck accident cases. It is important to gain access to evidence and truck maintenance records before they are lost or destroyed. When an attorney is handling your case, he or she can send a demand to ensure all evidence is preserved. Examining vehicle records and components may help investigators determine the cause of the crash.
Truck issues that can lead to a crash without regular inspections, repairs and maintenance include:
- Brake failure caused by worn down pads and rotors or due to faulty brake lines
- Truck suspension, which is vital to helping a driver maintain control of the vehicle especially when braking
- Worn wipers or cracked windshields impede a driver’s visibility, increasing the risk of a crash
- Tire blowouts caused by tread separation, bad alignment or defective tires
- Broken or burnt out lights, signals or reflectors
- Steering or steering column failures
What Damages Can I Seek After a Truck Accident?
The damages you can seek after a truck accident in Michigan differ from case to case. There are many considerations that can impact your legal options for recovering compensation, including:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Whether your injuries meet the state’s injury threshold
- The limits of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage you purchased
- Whether you opted for coordinated or uncoordinated benefits
- What third parties, if any, share liability for your damages
- And more
Your best bet is to contact a qualified truck accident lawyer before you speak with the insurance company. This step can help you avoid many mistakes and errors that injury victims make after a crash and help to ensure the protection of the value of your claim.
Injured in a Truck Crash? Call Our Law Firm for Legal Help
At Jay Trucks, we have been helping injured victims for decades, including those harmed in truck crashes. We have a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
If you have suffered harm because of the negligence of a truck driver, or his or her employer, we are prepared to help you seek fair and just compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact our law offices anytime, night or day, to set up your free initial consultation. There is no legal obligation to hire our firm after this meeting. If we do represent you, there are no upfront costs or fees to pay. We only collect payment if we win your case.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. 989-244-0356