Truck drivers and their employers have a duty to make sure that their vehicles are in safe working condition. Commercial trucks are very large and heavy, and collisions involving these vehicles can be very dangerous. However, serious collisions involving trucks occur in California every year, often involving driver and trucking company negligence.
Mechanical defects are a common cause of truck accidents, and old, defective, or malfunctioning brakes are some of the most common vehicle components to cause an accident. Brake problems in commercial trucks are not always easy to spot, but there are a few key warning signs to watch for.
Common Signs of Malfunctioning Brakes
Brakes are critical components of a commercial truck. Without them, drivers cannot safely bring themselves to a stop and can easily lose control of their large vehicles, resulting in catastrophic injuries in Bakersfield. To prevent these accidents, truck drivers and their companies must maintain vehicles regularly and keep an eye out for signs of trouble.
There are several signs that could indicate truck brake problems.
- Grinding or scraping noises when braking
- High-pitched squealing sounds
- Vibrations that come from the brakes
- A brake pedal that feels unusually loose
- Veering to the side when hitting the brakes
- Having to press down harder than normal to engage the brakes
Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by Brake Problems?
If you are involved in a truck accident caused by brake problems, you may wonder what to do next. Truck accidents often result in severe financial, physical, and psychological hardship. Because California is a fault accident state, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Multiple parties may be liable for a truck accident caused by malfunctioning brakes, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Some of the most common defendants include the following:
- The truck driver: If the driver’s negligence caused the brake problems and your accident, he or she would be liable for your damages. For example, if the driver owns and operates his or her own truck and fails to repair the brakes after hearing grinding or squealing, he or she would be liable for any accident caused by the malfunctioning brakes.
- The trucking company: A trucking company has a duty to ensure that its fleet of vehicles are in good condition. If the company fails to maintain its vehicles regularly, notices brake issues and fails to repair them, or actively ignores requests for brake repairs, it would be liable for any truck accident that occurs due to malfunctioning brakes.
- The brake manufacturer: If the accident was caused by defective brakes, you could hold the manufacturer liable for your injuries. In these cases, the brakes are either defective by design or developed a defect during the manufacturing process. You could also name the distributor, retailer, and other parties along the supply chain in your lawsuit.
If you are injured in a California truck accident, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your Bakersfield personal injury attorney can investigate your accident, identify the at-fault party, and evaluate your legal options.
During your case, your lawyer can guide you through each stage of the litigation process and advocate aggressively for your maximum compensation. After seeking medical attention for your injuries, contact a California truck accident attorney to identify your optimal path to recovery.