Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 13, 2019 – A poorly maintained 18-wheeler is an accident waiting to happen if it is out on the road. Being involved in a collision with a commercial truck often results in serious, life-altering injuries or death.
Big rig operators and others who drive various forms of commercial trucks are duty bound to other vehicle drivers on the highways to ensure their truck is in good working order, mechanically sound, and not overloaded or improperly loaded. Any lapse in regular maintenance and routine repairs incrementally increases the chances of causing a dangerous and potentially deadly accident.
“Commercial trucking collisions can result in catastrophic injuries that alter your life forever,” said Brooks Schuelke, Austin trucking accident attorney. “And accidents involving big rigs are more common than one might think. For example, the TxDOT indicates that in 2015 alone there were 630 collisions in Travis County.”
Based on reportable crashes in Texas there were 5,430 fatal crashes in 2017, and approximately 433 involved semi-trucks or trucks with trailers. Even low speed crashes can result in severe injuries just based on the weight of the big rig.
“Regular safety inspections for each commercial truck are mandatory as laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA),” added Schuelke. The FMCSA requires regular inspection of the following:
* Fuel system
* Exhaust system
If there is an accident involving a big rig, one of the first things an experienced trucking accident attorney does is check the accident scene to maintain the integrity of the evidence. If there was improper maintenance of a truck involved in a collision and that poor maintenance was caused by the negligence of the trucking company and/or the driver, the victim may be entitled to punitive damages in conjunction with compensation for injuries.
Proving a breach of the duty of care on the part of a trucker involved in an accident involves documenting any evident maintenance failures, such as:
* Not securing trailers properly
* Not properly securing a load with the appropriate safety devices
* Not replacing worn out brakes
* Not replacing/repairing the truck’s suspension system
* Not replacing torn/worn windshield wipers
* Not checking/maintaining appropriate tire pressure
* Not replacing burnt out bulbs
* Not replacing worn/threaded tires
* Not replacing truck lubricants as necessary
“If you have been involved in a trucking accident, my door is open to you. These kinds of accidents are complex and with our experience, we can certainly help you by explaining your legal rights and discussing with you what to expect if you file a lawsuit,” said Schuelke.