Truck Brake Failures: Legal Battles for Compensation

truck brake failure may be the main cause of your accident

Every day, Georgians share the road with massive eighteen-wheelers carrying tons of cargo. While most truck accidents are terrifying and unpredictable, some are caused by entirely preventable mechanical failures, like truck brake failure.

When a truck’s brakes fail, the results can be catastrophic. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by brake issues, seeking legal representation from a knowledgeable Alpharetta truck crash attorney is crucial to fight for the compensation you deserve.

How Common Are Truck Brake Failures?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake problems are cited in nearly a third (29%) of large truck crashes.

There are several factors that can contribute to truck brake failure, and not all of them are immediately obvious. Here’s a deeper dive into the potential causes:

Improper Maintenance

Trucking companies have a legal obligation to maintain their vehicles according to strict federal guidelines set forth by the FMCSA. These guidelines outline specific inspection procedures and timeframes to ensure brakes are in proper working order. However, as reported by the American Association for Justice, some trucking companies prioritize profits over safety, neglecting these inspections or failing to replace worn parts.

Driver Negligence

While some brake failures are purely mechanical, driver error can also play a role. Inattention to warning signs of brake trouble, such as grinding noises or increased stopping distances, can lead to disaster. Additionally, overloading a truck can put excessive strain on the braking system, increasing the risk of failure.

Design or Manufacturing Defects

Sometimes, the problem lies not with maintenance or driver behavior, but with the brakes themselves. Defective components or flaws in the brake design can lead to catastrophic failure

Determining Liability After a Truck Accident

In Georgia, negligence is a common legal theory used in truck accident cases. To prove negligence, your lawyer will need to establish the following:

  1. Duty of Care: The at-fault party (e.g., trucking company, truck driver, parts manufacturer, or maintenance company) had a legal obligation to act in a safe and responsible manner.
  2. Breach of Duty: The at-fault party failed to uphold their duty of care.
  3. Causation: This breach directly caused the accident and your injuries.

For instance, the trucking company may be liable for failing to properly maintain the brakes, as evidenced by inadequate inspection records or a lack of maintenance performed. The truck driver may be responsible if they ignored warning signs of brake trouble or drove recklessly. A brake parts manufacturer could be held accountable if the brakes were defectively designed or manufactured, and evidence suggests a design flaw was present in a significant number of brakes.

In some cases, strict liability, a legal principle that holds a party responsible for damages caused by a defective product regardless of fault, may be applicable. This could be the case if a manufacturing defect led to the brake failure, and the defect was present in a large number of brakes produced by the same company.

faulty brakes can lead to catastrophic truck crashes

Types of Compensation for Truck Accident Victims

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by brake failure, you may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Here’s a breakdown of what you might be able to recover:

Economic Damages

These encompass the quantifiable financial losses you’ve incurred as a direct result of the accident. This can include:

  • Medical bills (past, present, and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Vehicle repairs or replacement
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident

Non-Economic Damages

These compensate for the intangible hardships you’ve endured, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium (damages suffered by your spouse due to the accident’s impact on your relationship)

The severity of your injuries and the long-term impact on your life will significantly influence the amount of compensation you can pursue.

Why Should You Hire an Alpharetta Truck Accident Lawyer?

A truck accident lawyer experienced in brake failure cases can be your strongest advocate throughout this challenging time. Here’s how they can help:

  • Meticulous Investigation: Your lawyer will meticulously investigate the accident scene, gather evidence (including police reports, witness statements, truck maintenance records, and brake component analysis), and consult with accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of the brake failure.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Truck accidents often involve multiple insurance companies, each with their own team of adjusters aiming to minimize payouts. An experienced lawyer knows how to navigate these complexities, negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
  • Trial Preparation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance companies, your lawyer will prepare your case for trial, presenting the evidence to a jury and advocating for your right to just compensation.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by brake failure, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Alpharetta truck accident lawyers today. At The Weinstein Law Firm we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Call us now at 770-HELP-NOW!

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