Truck Accidents and Braking Malfunctions
Commercial trucks transport and deliver goods across the roads of America, making them a vital part of our economy. Unfortunately, these large, heavy vehicles also pose a huge threat to drivers and passengers on the road. When a truck accident occurs, the effects are often catastrophic.
One common cause of commercial truck accidents is braking malfunctions. Truck accidents caused by braking malfunctions can result in traumatic injuries and steep financial losses. When these types of crashes occur, the truck accident lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC can help victims in Bellevue, WA, and surrounding areas determine accident liability so that they can pursue appropriate financial compensation for damages.
The Dangers of Brake Malfunctions
Of all the mechanical malfunctions that can cause a truck accident, braking malfunctions are some of the most dangerous. Trucks are extremely heavy, which means they create a lot of momentum. If a truck driver is unable to slow their truck or bring it to a stop as a result of a braking malfunction, they are likely to lose control of the vehicle completely.
Braking malfunctions can cause commercial trucks to slam into vehicles ahead of them on the road, or to go out of control and veer off the road, striking vehicles or objects in their path. Jackknife accidents, rollover accidents, and spilled cargo are other potential risks of braking malfunctions.
What Causes Braking Malfunctions?
There are several different factors that can lead to braking malfunctions. Most of them are the result of mechanical oversites (or a failure to provide proper maintenance) or driver error. Among the most common causes of braking malfunctions are:
- Air supply damage - Most commercial trucks use air brakes, which rely on air pressure to function. If air supply is cut off due to leaks or other forms of damage, brakes will not function properly.
- Overheating - Dragging on the brakes or over-application of the brakes can lead to overheating. As brakes heat up, the brake drums can expand and cause the rest of the brake to become misaligned, which will interfere with braking power.
- Adjustment errors - Many commercial trucks are fitted with automatic brake adjusters, which allow drivers to manually adjust the brakes. If errors are made or brake adjustments are made too frequently, the clutch can give out and make it impossible for the truck to stop.
Who Is Liable for Accidents Caused by Braking Malfunctions?
There are a number of parties who may hold, or share, liability for braking malfunctions. Most commonly, braking malfunctions are caused by the trucking company (or the party responsible for truck maintenance), the truck driver, or the brake manufacturer. Liability is ultimately dependent on what caused the malfunction, which is why an investigation is necessary.
The truck accident attorneys at Quick Law Group, PLLC work with investigators to find the cause of braking malfunctions and determine accident liability. This allows us to pursue responsible parties and hold them accountable for our Bellevue clients’ damages.
If you have been injured in a truck accident and have questions about accident liability or the types of damages you may be due, the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC would be happy to provide you with more information. You can send us a message online or call our Bellevue law firm at (425) 576-8150 to get in touch with our legal team.