The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides regulations and guidelines regarding the commercial trucking industry. Among the many different types of requirements for trucking company and truck drivers, the maintenance requirement for commercial trucks are of critical importance. Without proper inspections, repairs, and maintenance, commercial trucks increase the risk of accidents, injuries, and deaths due to vehicle parts and component failures. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most of those who die in large truck accidents are the occupants in passenger vehicles.
If you suffered injuries or someone you love died in a trucking accident, a Los Angeles truck maintenance problems lawyer at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you establish a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call (800) 794-0444 today to speak with a member of our team.
Federal Law Requirements
Federal law requires that both trucking companies and truck drivers have routine maintenance, inspections, and repairs done to commercial vehicles in a timely manner. Additionally, both trucking companies and truck drivers must keep detailed records regarding any truck maintenance performed as proof of proper maintenance to the commercial truck.
The truck drivers must also make pre-trip inspections of their trucks to identify any possible need for repairs or potential dangers. All truck drivers must also check their cargo and vehicle at least once within the first 50 miles of their travels and then again at the three-hour mark, following 150 miles, or after the end of their duty, whichever comes first. Finally, at the end of every day, a truck driver must make a full inspection report regarding the condition of their commercial truck.
Areas of Negligence Related to Truck Maintenance
The FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study determined that 10% of all trucking accidents on the roadways are a direct result of some form of a commercial truck’s mechanical failure. As a victim of a trucking accident, you may not know whether or not the accident related in any way to negligent truck maintenance. It is critical to obtain the maintenance records of the trucking company, truck driver, equipment suppliers, maintenance providers, and any other third party that has an association with the commercial truck. It is also important to realize that the standards established by the FMSCA are only minimum standards, and instances exist where a commercial vehicle should have received additional repairs or maintenance. Some of the areas affected by negligent truck maintenance may include the following:
- Brakes (including brake lights)
- Steering mechanisms
- Fuel and oil lines
- Windshield wipers
- Coupling devices
For a free legal consultation with a truck maintenance problems accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Determining Liability for Negligent Truck Maintenance
Unlike passenger vehicle accidents between private parties, when a victim receives injuries as a result of a commercial trucking accident, there are several different parties that may ultimately have legal liability regarding the negligent trucking maintenance. Following a trucking accident, many of the responsible parties may attempt to conceal their negligence with respect to truck maintenance.
These maintenance records, or the lack of maintenance records, could cost the trucking company substantial sums of damages and compensation if a victim wins their case. The parties that may ultimately have liability with respect to a trucking accident related to negligent truck maintenance include the trucking company, the truck driver, and any third parties that had a connection to the truck maintenance or the commercial vehicle in any way.
Los Angeles Truck Maintenance Problems Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Therefore, one of the most important and critical events that must occur is the issuance of a spoliation letter to all potentially responsible parties, including the trucking company, the trucking maintenance company (if different than the trucking company), any third-party companies that had a connection to the commercial truck, the truck driver, and any other party that would have a connection to the truck maintenance of the commercial vehicle.
A spoliation letter requires that these entities preserve all evidence related to the trucking accident, including all trucking maintenance schedules, logs, and documents. If one of these entities destroys any of the evidence listed in the spoliation letter, they could potentially face serious legal consequences and substantial fines. Consider how a Los Angeles truck maintenance problems lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you with the issuance of a spoliation letter in order to preserve the evidence in your trucking accident case.
Types of Compensation
While every trucking accident case will include different facts and circumstances, a victim may have the opportunity to pursue compensation for their injuries and damages. Some of the types of compensation include:
- Medical bills and any related expenses (travel costs, medications, diagnostic testing, hospitalizations, surgeries, mental or physical therapy, etc.)
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Loss of wages (due to an inability to return to work due to injuries)
- Loss of future wages (if a healthcare professional makes the determination that the victim will never return to the same or similar work following the accident)
- Loss of enjoyment (inability to perform daily tasks in a similar way as prior to the accident)
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship (if the victim dies due to their injuries, the family of the deceased may pursue a claim of loss of companionship)
- Wrongful death (if the victim dies due to their injuries, the family of the deceased has the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim on their behalf)
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Consider Working With a Los Angeles Truck Maintenance Problems Lawyer
If you, or someone you love, suffered injuries as a result of a trucking accident, negligent truck maintenance may actually be to blame. Determining if truck maintenance was the actual cause of the trucking accident may take an independent investigation, a spoliation letter, hiring of an independent accident reconstruction expert, other expert witnesses regarding truck maintenance, and negotiations with insurance companies.
A Los Angeles truck maintenance problems lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you with your trucking accident case. Call our legal team today at (800) 794-0444 to help you understand your next steps.