Improper Maintenance of Trucks
To safely operate and avoid dangers on the road, commercial trucks must be properly and frequently maintained. Federal laws have been enacted to ensure that truck companies and their drivers regularly conduct inspections of brakes, lights, tires, and other truck parts. Proper inspection and repair helps to avoid the devastating harm caused by malfunctioning trucks. Unfortunately, some truck companies may fail to comply with these laws, and when improper maintenance is determined to have contributed to a truck accident, victims have a right to file a personal injury claim against the company and potentially the driver. The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca collect evidence related to improper maintenance of trucks on behalf of those hurt by the negligent conduct of truck companies and drivers. Our skilled legal team has decades of experience handling trucking accident claims, successfully recovering damages on behalf of victims throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas.Hold Truck Drivers or Trucking Companies Accountable for Improper Maintenance of Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set in place trucking laws that must be followed by all trucking companies and drivers throughout the nation. When accident victims present evidence of a maintenance violation, they may be awarded compensation for their losses. If the trucking company knowingly violated safety rules, victims may be entitled to punitive damages, in addition to other costs. Punitive damages are appropriate when a defendant is found to have engaged in intentional misconduct or gross negligence. These damages are intended to punish and to deter conduct that intentionally places others at risk of harm.
Improper maintenance of trucks may be proven through a variety of evidence. Inspection logs, signs of wear on brakes or tires, and maintenance records can help document whether the trucking company met its duty, by law, to ensure the safety of its vehicle. Federal standards include a list of trucking components that must receive maintenance, including tires, wheels, suspension, brakes, and other parts, such as exhaust and fuel systems. Due to the weight of commercial trucks, when trucks have faulty brakes, they are more likely than other vehicles to be involved in a collision.
Drivers and truck companies may be held legally responsible if their actions have been deemed negligent. By showing that the defendant truck company or the defendant driver owed a duty of care and breached this duty, truck accident victims have established the first two elements of a negligence claim. Since drivers and employers are required to conduct maintenance inspections and fix issues arising from maintenance inspections, failing to do so may be deemed a breach of their duty of care.
Causation must also be established in a negligence claim. An accident must be a foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct. For example, when a truck company fails to repair broken windshield wipers, and the truck driver's lack of visibility during a snowstorm leads to a collision, the driver and company may be held liable for the resulting damages.
Damages in a truck collision case can include expenses for past and future medical care, as well as property damage. Lost wages and pain and suffering may also be recovered by a successful victim pursuing an injury claim. In some situations, expert testimony may be required to illuminate the truck company’s past behavior. Investigating the company’s policies and procedures can reveal patterns and practices of violating maintenance laws.Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Truck Collision Attorney in Chicago
Commercial truck drivers and the trucking companies for which they work must maintain their vehicles and ensure that safety regulations are met. This duty exists in order to avoid foreseeable harm to others on the road, and when a failure to maintain a vehicle plays a role in an accident, victims have a right to pursue legal compensation. The Chicago attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca are proven advocates for injured individuals and their families in many areas of Illinois, including Springfield, Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, and Champaign, as well as other cities in Winnebago, Cook, Sangamon, Kane, Champaign, and Adams Counties. Our compassionate and experienced representation has helped us recover maximum compensation for victims throughout Illinois. Call (800) 444-1525 or contact our office through our online form to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.