While it is important for all vehicles to have brakes that work properly, when a commercial truck has faulty brakes, the repercussions can be devastating. As a result, the people who own or operate commercial trucks have a duty to ensure that their trucks’ brakes are in proper working order, and they can be held accountable for any harm caused, or allegedly caused, by their failure to abide by their brake obligations. If you suffered damages due to a truck accident caused by brake failure, you have a right to pursue a claim and should consult an attorney. At Cook Law Group, our Gainesville truck accident lawyers regularly represent people seeking compensation for injuries caused by truck brake failure throughout Georgia.Regulations Regarding Brake Maintenance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations include provisions designed to prevent brake failure in commercial trucks. Specifically, commercial truck drivers must inspect their trucks before and after every trip and must draft a written report of their findings at the end of each working day. Additionally, all commercial trucks must be inspected each year by a person qualified to inspect brakes to ensure that the brakes are in good repair. The Regulations also dictate that commercial trucks must have brakes that enable them to meet specified stopping distance standards, which essentially means that the truck must be able to stop within a certain increment of time.Elements of a Lawsuit Arising Out of Brake Failure
Usually, when a truck driver is unable to stop a truck in time to avoid a collision, it is because of brake failure. Brakes may fail due to a latent defect in the brakes or inadequate air pressure, or they may be out of alignment or worn out. Regular inspections will typically reveal issues with a truck’s braking ability, however. Therefore, when an accident is caused by brake failure, there may be multiple parties responsible for the harm caused by the accident.
If an accident was caused by a defect in the brakes, anyone injured in the accident might be able to pursue a product liability claim against the brake manufacturer. In Georgia, if a manufacturer makes a product that is not reasonably suited for its intended purpose and is not merchantable, the manufacturer can be held strictly liable for any harm caused by the product. Put another way, a company that manufactured defective brakes that subsequently failed can be held accountable for the harm arising out of the failure, regardless of whether the company knew that the brakes were likely to fail.
Usually, lawsuits arising out of brake failure will assert negligence claims against the driver of the truck and, if the driver did not own the truck, against the truck’s owner as well. Sometimes, a claim may also be made against a repair shop that negligently inspected or repaired the brakes. Under Georgia law, a plaintiff alleging harm caused by negligence must prove that the defendant had a duty imposed by law to act in a certain manner, the defendant’s acts or failure to act represented a breach of the duty, and quantifiable harm was proximately caused by the breach. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had complied with its duties. In cases in which an accident was caused by brake failure, the duty owed will likely be the duty to inspect brakes regularly as dictated by the Regulations, and the breach will be the failure to conduct adequate inspections.Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Gainesville
It is critical for commercial trucks to possess adequate braking ability, since accidents caused by brake failure often cause catastrophic harm. If you were involved in a truck accident caused by brake failure, the attorneys at Cook Law Group can advise you about your potential claims and assist you in seeking any compensation that you may be able to recover. Our firm recently added $1 million to our client’s settlement by proving that a brake shop inspection was negligent which contributed to the wreck. Our experienced attorneys regularly help people seek damages for the harm caused by brake failure accidents in cities such as Gainesville, Albany, Columbus, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Athens, and Valdosta. You can reach us at our Gainesville office at 678-928-3899 or via our form online to set up a consultation.