Who’s to Blame for Faulty Brakes and Runaway Truck Trailers?
Blame, especially in terms of legal liability, typically depends a great deal on the specifics of a crash and what went wrong to cause the accident. Any time a large truck is involved in a collision in Phoenix there are typically many people with concerns who are involved.
There is the truck driver, maintenance technicians, and any immediate supervisors the driver has, as well as professionals higher up within the trucking company. The manufacturer of the truck or individual components may have a stake in a crash, depending on what happened. If anyone else is involved in the collision, then they too have a vested interest in what caused the crash and who is to blame.
Complete catastrophic failure of commercial truck braking systems or trailer hitches is quite uncommon. These devices are designed to withstand a great deal of use when properly maintained. When there is a crash that results from failure to brake properly, it is typically the fault of the driver or another employee of the trucking company. The driver himself or herself is the first person typically looked at, since he or she is in direct control over the truck.
Brakes and hitches need proper upkeep and maintenance by the company that maintains the truck as part of a larger fleet – or a private contractor hired by that company. If this maintenance is not performed properly, then the brakes might fail when they would have otherwise worked properly, and hitches may release or break and cause the trailer to run away. In this type of situation, the driver may be blameless, and a technician or manager might be at fault.
For the trucking company to be responsible for a crash caused by failing brakes, or a runaway trailer, there needs to be proof that someone high up in the company knew about issues and did not act properly. This can be difficult to prove, and is rare since it is in the best interest of most companies to avoid costly lawsuits and negative publicity. Manufacturers may be responsible for faulty hardware, but this is very difficult to prove. Even if a piece of hardware fails to work properly, for the manufacturer to be liable, it needs to be proven that the company knew about an issue and failed to properly handle it.
Ultimately, responsibility and liability for a collision due to faulty brakes or a runaway trailer depends on the specific nature of a crash. That is why you need an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer on your side to examine the evidence and determine how to act. If you have been involved in a crash with a large truck or trailer, call us at the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. today at (602) 267-1280 to discuss your case.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer