Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by Negligent Truck Maintenance?May 31, 2023
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is driver error, but sometimes the fault lies elsewhere. As an investigation unfolds, it can be surprising to learn that it was caused by something less obvious, like negligent truck maintenance. The key to finding this out is examining the accident from all angles. Once the liable party is established, the claim can gain more traction.
A truck driver might be self-employed and own their vehicle, or they might work for a trucking company that assigns them shifts. This means an owner/operator who causes a crash might be held responsible, but an employee’s actions might be the company’s responsibility. The evidence could show that the driver was speeding or that the trucking company hired a driver who was not licensed.
Liability might include third parties, like truck parts manufacturers, cargo loading agencies, and maintenance vendors. The latter is generally responsible for replacing parts, oil changes, installing new tires, and repairs. A maintenance company could be liable if it neglected specific duties or made mistakes. In some truck accident cases, there is more than one at-fault party.
How Do Poorly Maintained Trucks Cause Crashes?
Keeping a large truck well-maintained requires considerable effort and is an ongoing process. As with passenger vehicles, drivers follow schedules that list certain tasks and the timeframes for completing them. Working brakes are vital for any moving vehicle and especially for tractor-trailers. They need more stopping time than smaller vehicles, and poorly maintained brakes that do not work efficiently increase that distance. When a truck has to stop quickly to avoid a collision or is climbing a steep hill, defective brakes can be a deadly hazard.
Damaged windshields, mirrors, and wipers also cause problems for truck drivers, who must always see clearly. Misaligned mirrors are also problematic because these trucks have such large blind spots. Those mirrors are unlike passenger vehicles since they are much larger and harder to adjust.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Can Fight to Help Determine Liability in Your Truck Accident Case
A lawyer’s experience, determination, and skill can benefit you. Contact our Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton if you have been injured in a truck accident. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529).
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.