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While all accidents on the busy streets of Dallas can be tragic, accidents involving semi-trucks are often particularly devastating. A common cause of these accidents is tire or brake failure. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, a semi-truck tire brake failure accident lawyer in Dallas at Lovins Trosclair, PLLC can assist you with your claim.
Call to schedule a consultation today: 214-484-1930.
Who is responsible for brake failure?
According to a study by the Department of Transportation, 29.4 percent of large truck accidents result from brake failure. When truck brakes fail, numerous parties can be accountable:
In some cases, truck drivers are responsible for brake failure. Truck drivers can be liable for:
- Failure to evenly distribute the truck load
- Failure to abide by federal regulations regarding inspections and maintenance
Trucking companies may engage in the negligent behaviors listed above. Victims can also hold them liable for the actions of their drivers if those actions occurred within the driver’s scope of employment.
Both the company responsible for loading the truck and the company that owns the truck may be liable for failing to follow regulations or properly maintain the brakes.
Federal law requires that all truck braking systems meet certain federal regulations. These regulations state that a truck must develop the right amount of braking force, be able to slow down to a stop at a certain rate, and meet the requirements of the automatic brake adjustment system.
If the brakes of a truck do not meet these standards, truck manufacturers may be liable for a design failure or manufacturing defect.
Accident victims may file suit against the brake manufacturer under the theory of product liability. However, if the manufacturer notified the truck owner of the defect and the owner did not correct it, the truck owner may also be liable.
Proving Your Case for Brake Failure
If you file suit against one or more of the above parties, you could recover damages for your accident injuries. In some cases, particularly the ones involving brake manufacturers, you will have to show that the brakes were in fact defective or poorly designed. If the manufacturer recalled the brake system, that can serve as solid evidence that the brakes are faulty.
In almost all cases (aside from a case against manufacturers), you will need to prove negligence. We will prove negligence by establishing:
- Duty: Truck drivers and owners owe a duty to other motorists to maintain their vehicles and behave responsibly while on the road.
- Breach of Duty: A breach of duty requires accident victims to prove that the defendants were negligent in their use or maintenance of the truck. Negligence may include misuse of the brakes, failure to inspect, or improper loading.
- Causation: Next, accident victims must show that their injuries occurred because of the defendants’ negligence.
- Damages: Lastly, accident victims must show that they suffered damages in the accident.
Why does tire failure occur?
Tire blowouts cause numerous trucking accidents on the roadways every year. Much like with brake failures, manufacturers, drivers, and trucking companies may all be liable for accidents that occur because of tire failure.
To file a successful suit against one of the above parties, you must be able to prove one of the following causes for the tire failure:
Failure to Maintain
Federal law requires truck drivers and trucking companies to carefully maintain truck tires. Failure to care for truck tires can lead to overheating and blowouts. Some of the most common ways companies and drivers fail to maintain their tires include:
- Failure to abide by DOT regulations (e.g., minimum tread depth)
- Combining different types of tires on the same axle
- Mismatched tires in terms of size or different levels of wear and tear
Failure to Inspect
Before going on a trip, drivers must inspect the truck and make sure there are no mechanical issues. By inspecting the tires, a driver should be able to recognize excessive and insufficient tire pressure.
Too much or too little air in a tire can cause tread wear, damage, and leakage. As a result, the tire can blowout in the middle of a trip down the highway. Trucking companies and owners must also inspect their vehicles regularly to prevent these issues.
Some tires are defective or have been poorly designed. In such cases, tire manufacturers can be responsible. If the manufacturer has recalled the tires, this is strong evidence that the tires do not meet the appropriate safety standards.
Filing a Claim for Tire Failure
If you were involved in a truck tire failure accident, you may be able to file a negligence claim against the driver, company, or owner, or a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
In the case of product liability, you will need to show that the manufacturer’s tires were defective or poorly designed. For negligence, you must establish duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages, as listed above for brake failure.
Recovering Compensation After a Truck Accident
Whether brake or tire failure caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. By filing a lawsuit, you can recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs.
However, filing against trucking companies and manufacturers is much more difficult than filing against individual drivers. They have more to lose and, therefore, have larger, more aggressive insurers and legal teams.
But our attorneys have years of experience dealing with all types of truck accidents, including those caused by tire or brake failure. We know what evidence is necessary to prove your case and we will help you recover it.
If we need evidence from the trucking company, we will send it a spoliation letter and ensure it preserves the evidence we need.
We will analyze evidence, contact witnesses, conduct research on the trucking industry, and talk to experts regarding your case. We will then help you file a claim against those responsible for your injuries.
For more information, contact Lovins Trosclair, PLLC today for a free consultation at 214-484-1930.