Just like people, vehicles need regular “checkups and maintenance” to ensure that they are in good working order. This is especially true for tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles since these vehicles spend so much time on the road, racking up the mileage. There is also the wear and tear put on trucks because of the heavy loads they transport.
Unfortunately, regular maintenance is not always a priority for trucking companies. This often leads to tragic and catastrophic consequences. While any vehicle accident can result in serious injury or death, truck accidents are responsible for a higher percentage of deaths and severe injuries, just because of their massive size and weight.
A Virginia truck accident attorney knows that there are several common factors that are found in the majority of truck accidents, including driver fatigue, overweight load, or the truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Poorly maintained trucks are also another common cause of truck accidents. This usually happens because the trucking company puts profit over safety, resulting in the loss of life.
While regular inspections of trucks are a requirement, there are far too many poorly maintained vehicles that go unnoticed and uncited. When a truck has a mechanical issue that causes the truck driver to lose control, the vehicle itself can become deadly. Some of the more common mechanical failures we see in the truck accident cases we handle include:
- Failure of brakes: Because of their massive size, trucks require more time to come to slow down or come to a complete stop than passenger vehicles. This makes it even more critical for the truck’s brakes to be in excellent working order. But far too often, the brakes on the truck have some type of defect which affects that ability. Warnings that something is wrong include fluids on the ground where the truck has been parked, screeching noises, vibrations, and warning lights.
- Tire pressure: Dangers caused by tires can happen because of a defect in the tire or can also occur because the truck driver/trucking company is operating a truck with tires that are improperly inflated or worn. A tractor-trailer that has suffered a blowout can be a killing machine on a highway.
- Impaired visibility: If the truck does not have good working mirrors, windows, and wipers, the truck driver’s visibility can be severely hampered, especially in bad weather. This means they may not see other vehicles around them.
- Steering capacity: A commercial truck driver needs to have complete control of their vehicle at all times. Losing control can end up with the truck slamming into a much smaller, passenger vehicle. The multiple parts that make up the steering system all have the potential to fail due to a defect or mechanical issue.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to speak with a Virginia truck accident attorney and discover what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims and their families and will use all available resources to aggressively advocate for you and your family in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.