While human error, such as distracted or tired driving, is often responsible for big rig crashes, there are instances where the root cause lies with mechanical issues instead. That doesn't mean you can't pursue compensation if you've been hurt by a collision caused by lack of maintenance, however. When trucks aren't properly repaired in a timely fashion, the chances of a collision leading to catastrophic injuries increase significantly. An attorney can help you determine why the crash occurred and bring litigation against the negligent trucking company.
Truck Maintenance Is Critical, but Often Overlooked
Cargo trucks travel a truly staggering number of miles every year while ferrying loads across the nation to keep businesses stocked and shelves filled. As with any other vehicle, upkeep and repairs are necessary to keep 18 wheelers and other types of large trucks road-worthy.
In addition to the trucking company's responsibility to replace broken parts in the interest of public safety, drivers are required to inspect a vehicle and its cargo prior to hitting the road. Truckers are also supposed to create a daily vehicle inspection report for the duration of any route. That inspection is critical for catching worn parts that need to be replaced, but it's also important because overloaded or improperly loaded cargo can put extra strain on parts that are nearing the breaking point.
Unfortunately, there are times where these critical steps are missed and regulations aren't enforced by negligent trucking companies. Drivers are often paid by the mile, meaning time spent inspecting the vehicle is effectively unpaid work. Fixing large vehicles cost money and impact a trucking company's bottom line. This can lead to cases when a driver does in fact properly report a problem, but the issue isn't repaired to save on costs.
How Lax Maintenance Causes Serious Accidents in Louisiana
When a vehicle weighing tens of thousands of pounds traveling at 70 miles per hour has mechanical problems, it isn't hard to imagine how dangerous, deadly crashes can easily occur. Lack of maintenance may result in any of these problems that can cause a collision with serious injuries:
- Broken taillights or missing reflective tape
- Defective couplings that allow the trailer to become released while driving and collide with a vehicle
- Improperly placed or entirely missing side mirrors reducing the driver's field of view
- Steering and linkage issues
- Tires in need of replacing
- Worn or non-functional brakes
Whether taking place on the highway or any New Orleans street, crashes caused by lack of maintenance often have devastating consequences. Victims may suffer broken bones, lacerations, disfigurement, amputations, spinal cord damage, or even traumatic brain injuries. You could easily end up with astronomical medical bills and an inability to work while you physically recover. The emotional toll of a truck crash is often considerable as well.
When these sorts of collisions occur, an experienced attorney can thoroughly investigate the cause of the crash to find the best source of recovering damages. That process can include gathering driver reports, or lack thereof, and combing through truck maintenance records, as well as preventing the trucking company from destroying evidence before it can be used.
There's another important reason to have a lawyer who specializes in these kinds of cases handling the investigation. There could be other causes for the crash that puts responsibility on the trucking company or another party, such as negligent hiring and training practices, improperly loaded and stowed cargo, or even defective parts.
Meet With NOLA Truck Accident Attorneys If You've Been Injured
If your family is dealing with the impact of serious injuries or wrongful death from a truck accident, we want to hear from you. Set up a consultation with the dedicated and experienced truck accident lawyers at the Scott Vicknair law firm to discuss your situation. We may be able to help hold the trucking company responsible for their negligence and protect your financial stability by filing a lawsuit and pursuing damages.