Improper Maintenance of Trucks

Miami Lawyers Serving Victims of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Trucks need proper and frequent maintenance in order to operate safely and avoid creating dangers on the road. Failing to maintain such large vehicles can lead to severe accidents that cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries. The truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can represent people in the Miami area who have been hurt in a crash due to improper maintenance. Our firm has helped victims pursue legal action against trucking companies, contractors, and drivers whose responsibility it is to make sure their vehicles are safe for the road. We offer seasoned legal representation to clients in Fort Lauderdale as well as other cities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

Types of Improper Maintenance

Costs involved in maintenance may include items such as using high-grade parts and quality labor, as well as limiting a truck’s time on the road to reduce wear and tear. As trucking companies work to meet deadlines and delivery schedules, sticking to a maintenance schedule often falls by the wayside. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets standards with which trucking companies must comply to ensure their vehicles are safe. These standards contain a list of parts that must undergo regular maintenance, including:

  • Exhaust and fuel systems,
  • Lights and reflectors,
  • Suspension,
  • Tires, wheels, and rims,
  • Windshields and wipers,
  • Couplings from a cab to any trailers, and
  • Brakes.

For example, studies have shown that trucks are almost twice as likely to be in an accident if their brakes are faulty due to improper maintenance. Even vehicles that fail annual inspections may continue to operate, increasing the risk of danger to other drivers.

Holding a Commercial Driver or Trucking Company Accountable for Damages

Trucking companies, maintenance contractors, and drivers all have duties relating to maintaining a commercial vehicle so that it is safe to operate. Failure to perform these duties may result in a serious accident, and a person or entity may be held liable if their actions, or inactions, are found to be negligent. To establish negligence, an injured individual must start by showing that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care to act as a reasonable person would have behaved under similar circumstances. Since truckers and their employers have a duty of care to conduct regular inspections and fix any issues arising from them, a failure to do so may be considered a breach of that duty. This is the second element of a negligence claim.

The victim must also show that the breach was a proximate cause of his or her injuries and that actual damages resulted. The accident must be a foreseeable and reasonably direct result of the behavior that fell short of the appropriate standard of care. For instance, if a defendant failed to fix broken windshield wipers, and an accident occurred due to the driver’s decreased visibility during a storm, any parties responsible for inspections and maintenance likely could be held liable for damages.

Forms of compensation that may be awarded in these claims typically include past and future medical expenses, lost wages or earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering. Determining liability in complicated truck accidents often involves an investigation into a company’s practices and policies, as well as compiling evidence of past behavior and expert testimony. Seeking advice from a seasoned lawyer who knows the right questions to ask and sources to consult is advisable to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Explore Your Options with a Motor Vehicle Collision Attorney in Miami

Truck drivers and the companies they work for have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles are safe before sending them onto the open road. When they fail to adhere to inspection or maintenance standards, serious harm can result. The injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help Miami residents and other individuals throughout South Florida bring a claim for compensation after a devastating accident. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.