When a commercial truck's brakes fail on the road, the results are serious and often fatal. Tractor trailers weigh more than 30,000 pounds – more than ten times the weight of a regular passenger car – and when their brakes fail there is no good way to stop them.
Victims of truck accidents that are caused by brake failure deserve to be compensated. The injuries that they are likely to suffer in a crash are frequently life-altering. Holding the responsible party accountable and recovering compensation for the victims of a crash is something that the lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm strive to do.
What Causes Brake Failures in Trucks?
Brakes do not just fail for no reason. Something went wrong and caused the brakes to fail. Even if that cause was months or years before the accident happened, it does not mean that the negligent person or party cannot be held accountable.
When it comes to failed braking systems in trucks, the cause is most often one of the following:
- The braking system was defectively designed,
- The brakes were defectively manufactured, or
- Poor maintenance allowed a working brake system to fail.
Which of these situations caused the crash can determine who was at fault and who should be held liable.
Defectively Designed Brakes
The least common of the three causes of brake failures in truck accidents is when the braking system was defectively designed. These situations are rare because truck brakes often follow the same established designs with little change or innovation. However, when changes are made and the new design includes a part that is clearly unable to bring a massive tractor trailer to a stop in a reasonable amount of time or is prone to fail in certain conditions, then thousands of drivers and passengers could be put at risk as numerous trucks hit the roads with problematic braking systems.
In these cases, the company that created the poor design for the brakes can be held accountable and made to compensate the victims through a products liability lawsuit.
Defectively Manufactured Brakes
Truck brakes that have been defectively manufactured are far more common. These defects often only impact a single set of brakes rather than an entire line of them. Rather than hundreds of dangerous trucks, there may be only one.
A braking system can be defectively manufactured if the design is not followed or there were mistakes made while assembling the brake system. A missing screw can drastically undermine the brake's ability to slow a truck down and prevent a crash.
The companies that assemble or manufacture the brakes can be held liable for the manufacturing defects that put faulty truck braking systems on the road.
Probably the most common cause of a truck's brakes failing is simply poor maintenance. Truckers and trucking companies only make money if their tractor trailers are on the road, delivering goods. Every minute the truck spends in the shop is money lost. It should come as no surprise that trucking companies put off important maintenance – including maintaining a truck's brakes – for as long as possible.
If a truck's braking system deteriorates to the point that it fails, those decisions to ignore the necessary maintenance and put off replacing the brakes can lead to the trucking company being held liable for the results of the crash that they have caused.
Types of Truck Accidents Caused by Brake Failure
Brake failure is more likely to cause certain types of truck accidents than others. Among the most common crashes brake failure can cause are:
- Rear-end collisions, as the trucker proves to be unable to bring his vehicle to a stop before hitting a car in front of him,
- Intersection crashes, which can happen when the truck's brakes fail as the truck approaches an intersection and ends up running the red light or through a stop sign, and
- Speeding accidents, when the brake failure prevents the driver from staying below the speed limit.
Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm
The personal injury lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm strive to legally represent those who have been hurt in a truck accident in Georgia. When the crash was caused by a brake failure, the injuries that the victims can suffer are likely to be dire. To make matters worse, there was often little that they could have done to avoid the crash.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident in Georgia because the truck's brakes failed, reach out to the Hadden Law Firm by contacting them online.