The family of a man killed in an eight-vehicle accident in Salem filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver who caused the accident and his trucking firm last month. According to the accident report, the truck driver ran a red light and was unable to stop his truck in time to avoid the crash due to faulty brakes.
The lawsuit alleges the truck driver was aware or should have been aware the brakes on the truck were hot, smoking and in an unreasonably dangerous condition. The lawsuit goes on to say the truck driver was not properly trained and exceeded the hours of service truck drivers are permitted to work.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accidents Caused by Faulty Brakes?
According to a study from the Department of Transportation, 29 percent of all commercial truck accidents involve brakes out of adjustment or brake failures. Standards for truck braking systems are strictly regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to prevent the devastating consequences caused by brake failure.
When truck brakes fail, the sheer size and weight of these 80,000 pound vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries to other motorists’. Those who can be held responsible include:
- Brake system manufacturers
- Owners or operators who are responsible for maintaining the brakes
- Drivers who are responsible for regularly inspecting brake systems
- The companies that load the trucks
If a brake system has a defective design that occurred during the manufacturing process, it is possible to hold the brake manufacturer responsible. If a manufacturer notified the owner or operator of a brake defect and the owner did not take steps to correct the problem or replace the brake system, then the responsibility of a truck accident lies with the owner.
These big rigs see a lot of miles when driving cross country to deliver cargo. That said, owners are also responsible for maintaining the brake systems and for ensuring their drivers are regularly inspecting the brakes during trips. There is no excuse for skimping on safety to save time or money. Doing so needlessly puts other drivers at risk.