Failing Breaks Truck Accidents

 

            All vehicles need to be properly maintained, and the larger and more complex the vehicle, the more care that needs to be taken in its maintenance and repair.  Because of their size, semi-trucks need the utmost care and attention with regard to maintenance and repair.  Regrettably, those responsible for such actions might undertake them negligently or not at all.  The consequences for this improper care can be disastrous.  One relatively frequent cause of serious truck accidents related to negligent maintenance and repair is failed or failing brakes. 

If you, a family member or friend have been injured as a result of an accident in the Miami area caused by a semi-truck or similar vehicle with failed or failing breaks, you need a dedicated attorney working to protect your rights.  The truck accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A., have significant experience litigating cases involving trucks with failed brakes.  Please contact us at 305-595-2400 to schedule a Free consultation to discuss your rights and options.  We know the difficulties and uncertainties that will face you, your family, and others affected by this tragedy, and we stand ready to help those in need. 

Types and Causes of Brake Failure or Insufficiency

            There are two main types of braking problems, with several causes of each type of braking problem.  The first type of braking problem is the complete failure of the brakes on a semi-truck or similar commercial vehicle.  While this is an infrequent occurrence, its effects are devastating.  Total brake failure may occur if water gets into the air brake system of a semi-truck, freezing or otherwise interfering with the operation of the air brakes.  Leaks can also develop in an air brake or other braking system, causing complete failure.

The other type of braking problem that leads to accidents is inadequate braking capacity.   In such a case, the brakes work; they just do not work well enough.  Many reasons for inadequate braking capacity exist.  Some of these include:

·                  A mechanical disparity of brake functioning due to unequal matching or performance of brake components;

·                     Worn brake components;

·                     Missing brake components;

·                     Unequal pressure in tires;

·                     Overly-worn tires;

·                     Overheated brakes; and

·                     Improperly loaded trucks.

Regardless of the type of and reason for brake failure, the underlying cause is virtually always the same—improper exercise of care in maintaining or loading a semi-truck.  Said another way, someone did not do his or her job the right way.  Because of this, and because of the complexity of brake systems on semi-trucks and similar commercial vehicles, brake failure cases often involve complicated analysis and crash reconstruction.  This analysis and reconstruction must be undertaken carefully and expertly.  After all, it will form the heart of liability in your or your loved one’s case in court.  It needs to be flawless.    

Stewart G. Greenberg, Mark D. Stone, Dennis N. Urbano, and Sonia Ramon Alonso each understand the importance of hiring the right individuals or companies to test the semi-truck in question, as well as to present somewhat foreign and extremely detailed information to a judge or jury in a clear, concise manner.  This testing and analysis includes things like checking braking force, brake imbalance, drum wear, and brake maintenance history.  The insurance companies and the trucking companies will have similar experts working for them, and you need to make sure that you or your loved one is not facing an unfair disadvantage.  You need the right experts in your corner, and our firm will help you make sure you have them. 

Regulations and Reports Regarding Inspection, Maintenance and Repairs

Various federal and state regulations prescribe inspection, maintenance and repair requirements for commercial trucks.  Motor carriers are required to perform annual inspections on commercial trucks under their control.  Drivers must inspect a truck every time they drive it.  Further, drivers must make a report for each inspection they perform.  All states also have inspection, maintenance and repair regulations for semi-trucks and similar vehicles.  However, the reality is that often trucking companies and drivers do not adhere to these regulations.  Because the vast majority of accidents are caused by negligent maintenance or repair, inspection reports are often important sources of information and evidence in cases involving brake failure. 

Knowing how to obtain these reports and who to obtain them from is an important aspect of helping establish liability in your case.  While this sounds relatively simple, it can be tough because often times the companies involved do not want you to have these reports.  As a result, you need an attorney working on your behalf to make certain no key information goes undiscovered.  The attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, appreciate the importance of this aspect of every case and will work tirelessly to obtain all necessary information.    

Who Is Responsible?

            Brake failure cases involve thoroughly researching and assessing all individuals and companies with potential liability for the accident in question.  A truck driver is responsible for engaging in an inspection every single time he or she operates a semi-truck.  If he or she does not, or does so negligently, liability for brake failure may ensue.  Liability may also exist against a mechanic for improper repair, replacement or service of a braking system.  An owner of a semi-truck may also face exposure for failure to conduct required inspections or necessary maintenance. 

Aside from drivers and trucking companies, if an improper load on the semi-truck was the cause or a contributing cause of brake failure, the loading company could be liable for the accident.  Finally, although lack of maintenance is the typical cause of brake failure, liability on the part of the brake manufacturer cannot be overlooked.   

You can count on the Miami truck accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Ubrano, P.A., to know the questions to ask to make certain that anyone responsible for your or your loved one’s injuries is held accountable. 

Witnesses to What Happened

            While the semi-truck itself and inspection and repair reports form a substantial portion of evidence related to liability, witnesses often add information that complete the story of the accident.  For example, witnesses may corroborate that a driver attempted to brake.  Witnesses may also offer valuable information regarding statements that occurred at or immediately after the accident.  Our law firm also has a full-time staff investigator that will contact and interview all witnesses to the accident.  While the police or sheriff’s department will conduct preliminary interviews with witnesses, they often do not have the resources to conduct more thorough interviews unless a serious violation of the law, such as driving while intoxicated, is suspected.  However, our attorneys know from experience that witnesses to accidents often provide key details that may initially seem unimportant.  We will ensure that such details do not go undiscovered. 

            Facing the consequences of an injury due to a failed or failing brake truck accident is not something you have to, or should do, alone.  The time ahead will be distressing and uncertain.  You will have questions that you do not contemplate now.  You will need a team of attorneys who you can trust to help you through this difficult and emotional time.  If you have been injured in a failing or failed break trucking accident in Miami, you need the skilled advocacy of Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A., so please contact us today at (305) 595-2400, with no cost or obligation to you.