Help from South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers when a Truck’s Defective Brakes Cause Injury or Death
Let us help you after a serious tractor-trailer collision
According to a United States Department of Transportation report in May, 2014, 333,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) throughout the United States were involved in traffic crashes during 2012. These resulted in 3,921 fatalities and 104,000 injuries. Of the fatalities, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles.
A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identifies brake problems as accounting for 29% of large truck accidents, and ranks them first among the top ten causes. Truck owners and trucking companies are required by law to keep their vehicles’ brakes and other safety equipment in proper working condition. The South Carolina truck accident attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, are well-versed in the rules and regulations of the FMCSA dealing with responsibility for ensuring that trucks’ braking systems are properly inspected by qualified personnel.
What are some causes of brake failure in large trucks?
Brake failure can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Inferior quality maintenance or repair work. Although the FMCSA has set the qualification standards for those who maintain brake systems, some carriers may try to circumvent the regulations as a cost-cutting measure.
- Improper loading. If the truck’s cargo is overweight, unbalanced or unsecured this may cause uneven wear on the braking system as well as increase the risk of vehicle turnover.
- Road or weather conditions. Snow and ice may accumulate beneath the trailer and hamper the movement of the articulated rods that operate its brakes.
- Driver error. A driver is responsible for inspecting the safety equipment of the truck before taking it out. This includes checking air lines and their connections. Tractor-trailer drivers should also understand that putting stress on the brakes by stopping short, or by riding the brakes on a downhill grade, increases the chance of brake failure. They should avoid following too closely, driving too fast, or engaging in any driving behavior that might require slamming on the brakes.
Brake failure may also be the result of design or manufacturing defects. In this case the vehicle’s or trailer’s manufacturer may be held liable.
A collision between a passenger vehicle and an out-of-control 18-wheeler can be horrific. Because of the size disparities between semi-trucks, passenger vehicles and motorcycles, those fortunate enough to survive are often critically injured and permanently disabled. McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC’s team of South Carolina truck accident lawyers has years of in-depth experience advocating for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a truck accident because of negligence. Your truck accident case is important to us. Let us help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.
The South Carolina law firm with a track record of success
If you were seriously injured, or a loved one killed, by a truck whose brakes failed, contact McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, today. Call 803-327-7800 and schedule a free case evaluation by an experienced South Carolina truck accident attorney, or fill out our contact form from any device. We proudly serve people throughout the state from offices in Columbia, Anderson, Rock Hill, Sumter, and Georgetown.