Commercial truck drivers must meet maintenance and repair standards to ensure that their trucks are safe to drive on the road. Trucking companies must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain every vehicle under their control. When truck owners fail to maintain their vehicles, devastating truck accidents can occur. When poor maintenance leads to injuries caused by a truck accident, the victim has the right to hold the trucking company liable for a personal injury lawsuit.
Discuss Your Case with a Poor Maintenance Truck Accident Attorney
If you or your loved one have been injured in a poor maintenance truck accident in West Virginia, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC. We offer potential clients a free case review. After carefully reviewing your case, we will advise you whether you have a right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The Causes of Poor Truck Maintenance Accidents
When the owners of trucking companies and drivers fail to perform daily inspections, they can easily overlook dangerous maintenance problems. Simple maintenance problems that could have been easily fixed can lead to devastating truck accidents caused by braking problems, tire blowouts, engine failures, and other issues. Many maintenance problems result from truck owners and drivers trying to cut corners and save money and time.
For example, a truck driver may know that the tires are getting too worn down but put off changing the tires to save money. When trucking companies neglect essential maintenance on their vehicles to save money in the short-term, severe injury and death can result.
The Dangers of Poor Truck Maintenance
Poor maintenance of commercial vehicles can cause many different types of truck accidents. Large commercial trucks are hazardous because of their massive size and weight. Truck drivers require more time to stop and maneuver their trucks to avoid accidents than passenger vehicles. It only takes one instance of a faulty brake or malfunctioning light to cause a devastating multi-vehicle collision on a West Virginia road. When a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, isn’t properly maintained, the following serious issues could arise:
- Malfunctioning lights
- Oil and other fluid leaks
- The truck engine overheating
- Brake failure caused by weakened or failing brakes
- Wheel and axle misalignment
- Incorrect tire pressure that can cause tire blowouts
- Overly worn tires that can lead to loss of traction and stopping distances
- Failure of the truck’s suspension, causing the driver to lose control
- Cracked or ineffective windshield wipers, resulting in low visibility
Injuries Caused By Poor Maintenance Truck Accidents
When a large semi-truck is involved in an accident with a smaller passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle occupants are likely to suffer severe injuries. A passenger vehicle can become crushed entirely by a semi-truck, pushed off the side of the road, or face a head-on collision due to improper maintenance. When passengers are involved in a semi-truck accident caused by poor maintenance, they may suffer catastrophic injuries or not survive. The following types of injuries are common in accidents involving semi-trucks:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Severe burns
- Injuries leading to amputations
As a poor maintenance truck accident victim, you may be entitled to economic damages for your injuries. However, to recover the compensation you deserve, your attorney will need to gather evidence proving your compensation claim. You will need to show that the truck driver’s failure to maintain the vehicle caused the truck accident that resulted in your injuries.
It’s important that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible so the attorney can begin subpoenaing important information, such as the daily maintenance and inspection records. The more time passes, the greater the risk that evidence will begin disappearing and people’s memories will begin fading.
At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, we have the financial resources and experience necessary to investigate your truck accident case thoroughly. We will delve into the truck’s maintenance records to gather all relevant information about the truck’s maintenance or lack of maintenance. Truck drivers are required by federal law to perform daily maintenance and inspections on their vehicles.
We will review all of the maintenance records to see whether the truck driver confirmed in writing that he or she inspected the brakes, tires, mirrors, lights, horn, and other parts. If a driver didn’t believe the vehicle was safe to drive, he or she should not have signed off on the maintenance report. Trucking companies cannot force truck drivers to operate vehicles that are known to have potential safety issues.
Holding the Trucking Company Liable
In some cases, victims of poor maintenance truck accidents may have a right to sue the trucking company for compensation. For example, if the trucking company knew that its employees were failing to maintain their vehicles or lying about inspecting Vehicles, they could be held liable. In some cases, trucking companies will illegally require their drivers to operate trucks that have safety issues. They may threaten to fire the driver if he or she does not drive a poorly-maintained truck.
In other cases, victims of truck accidents may be able to hold a third party financially responsible. Suppose a trucking company outsourced all of its maintenance to a third-party company. If that company failed to provide reasonably safe and effective maintenance or failed to report a severe safety issue with a truck, and that issue resulted in a truck accident, they can be held liable. When you work with Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, you can rest assured that one of our attorneys will carefully investigate your case and advise you of all of the options you have to recover compensation for your injuries.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact an Experienced West Virginia Attorney
At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, we have a proven track record of holding trucking companies accountable for the injuries caused by their poor maintenance. Personal injury victims of poor maintenance truck accidents may have a right to compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our Fayetteville, West Virginia personal injury law firm today to learn more about your legal rights.