Being involved in an accident with a commercial truck can take a toll on victims in the form of life-changing injuries such as brain damage, spinal injuries, fractures, or even burns. Not only do these serious injuries affect the victim but they can have a huge effect on their loved ones as well.
If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, your Houston truck accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns want to help you get the justice you deserve.
We have a thorough understanding of commercial truck accidents and would like to share with you some vital information that can help to strengthen your case.
Defective Equipment and the Importance of Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance on a commercial truck is extremely important. Failure to properly maintain an 18-wheeler can spell disaster for other drivers on the road. Not only does maintenance help to ensure that everything is working correctly, but proper inspections can also help to catch defective equipment before they can cause damage.
Some of the frequently cited defective components include:
- Cargo Shifting
- Inexperienced Driver
There are multiple parties that could be responsible for a brake malfunction. If the owner of the semi-truck did not change out the brakes on the vehicle as needed, then they could be partially responsible for the accident. On the other hand, if a design flaw would leave the fault in the hands of the brake manufacturer. In these instances, a personal liability claim would be made against the company that made the brakes.
Another simple but important component, a malfunctioning tire can blow out at high speeds, leaving the truck driver without much of an opportunity to avoid an accident. Tires should be regularly inspected by the trucking company and driver before every trip. However, if the tire was made with a flaw, then once again, the manufacturer could be held responsible for your suffering.
When an 18-wheeler is improperly loaded then the trailer may be improperly balanced. Overweight cargo can lead to a brake malfunctioning or a defective restraint could break during the shipment, leading to a cargo spill. Depending on the conditions of the road, this could cause a major multi-car accident.
Also, if a semi-truck cargo is over capacity, braking will be delayed since the tires will not be equipped to the additional weight.
A qualified lawyer can help you to uncover whether or not a defective component on the truck led to your accident.
When Driver Negligence Plays a Role
Defective equipment on a semi-truck, when coupled with driver negligence, is a recipe for disaster. Some of the most common negligent behaviors that can lead to an accident include:
Driver fatigue is quite common among truck drivers. From dealing with deadlines to attempting to handle more work than they can, a truck driver can travel thousands of miles in very little time with very little sleep. While drivers are allowed by law to drive for only 11 hours at a time, some do not follow the rules.
Distracted driving come in many forms including cell phone use, using a GPS, changing radio stations, eating and drinking, searching for something on the floor, or just general inattention to the situation around them.
While trucking companies rarely allow a new driver to handle a job without adequate training, it can happen on occasion. The reason this may happen is that the company can pay the inexperienced driver less than other drivers with more experience.
Your team at Lapeze & Johns will do a thorough job in reviewing the driver’s behavior and driving records to discover whether or not a driver’s negligence led to your injuries.