Many commercial motor vehicles, like semi-trucks and 18-wheelers, use air brakes—a complex braking system—to decelerate and stop these 80,000-pound vehicles. Stopping a massive truck moving at a high speed requires keeping their complicated braking system in top-performing condition or the truck runs the risk of a brake failure that likely results in a catastrophic accident with much smaller passenger automobiles or motorcycles.
Attorney Brian Steed Tatum has years of experience in helping North Carolina and South Carolina’s injured drivers and their families in dealing with the devastating consequences of truck collisions due to braking failures. His experience helps each client and ensures that injured clients receive the fullest compensation allowed by the law.
According to the Department of Transportation, 30% of all crashes are a result of braking system failures. Sometimes brakes fail when they are overheated, overly worn or thin, or smeared with excessive grease—all the results of maintenance failures.
Since truck-braking systems are so complex, it is rare that a total brake failure occurs. There are a lot of fail-safe mechanisms in place, including an emergency braking system, so that if a braking failure occurs, the truck driver can still stop the truck, even though more distance may be need to do so.
Federal laws stipulate that commercial drivers must inspect their vehicles daily. Along with this inspection, drivers must note any problems with the braking system that could make the commercial vehicle unsafe. When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to inspect and maintain their trucks, mechanical issues with braking are not detected or are ignored. Problems then arise with imbalanced brakes or brakes that are not properly adjusted. When the brakes of a truck are not properly adjusted, one brake will work harder than the others and cause an imbalance resulting in “jackknifing” as the trailer swings out or the truck goes out of control and into a catastrophic accident. These types of problems can be avoided with the required maintenance and inspections.
If you, or a loved one, are involved in a trucking accident where the truck’s malfunctioning braking system was a cause of the accident, it may be difficult to determine who was at fault for the braking failure. With the driver, the trucking company, the mechanics, and the brake manufacturer all trying to escape liability, it is important for you to be represented by a competent attorney who can pursue all avenues of legal compensation on your behalf.
The Tatum Law Firm has years of experience with truck accident cases. Our knowledgeable and experienced truck accident lawyer, Brian Steed Tatum, will ensure that your case receives the time and attention it needs in order for you to receive all the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at our office at (704) 307-4350, and we will be glad to help you.