Tractor-trailers and large semis can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. An accident with a truck can cause serious damage to a regular passenger car. The safe operation of a truck requires brakes in good condition with proper care and maintenance. When truck brakes fail, it can cause a serious accident, injuring multiple drivers, passengers, bikers, and pedestrians.
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have represented victims injured in truck accidents. We will investigate your claim, deal with the insurance company, and fight to get you the money to replace your car, pay your medical bills, and cover your lost income after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Truck Brake Failure or Malfunction in Denver Auto Accidents
Most drivers are familiar with the runaway truck ramps along the steep highways in Colorado canyons. These runaway truck ramps are there specifically because truck brakes do fail. However, even on flat surface roads at regular speeds, a truck with brake failure can plow through normal size cars with ease.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2017, there were 4,237 fatal crashes involving large trucks. There were more 102,000 injury crashes involving large trucks over the same period. The majority of those killed or injured in large truck accidents were in passenger cars and light trucks.
After a driver is involved in an accident with a semi or tractor-trailer, they may face additional hurdles in dealing with the trucking company and the truck insurance provider. The trucking company may give the injury victim the runaround, delaying any payout as long as possible, or trying to get blame the accident on the other driver. An experienced truck brake accident attorney will work to get you compensation after an accident so you can get back to your life.
Braking Systems in Commercial Trucks
Large trucks generally use different types of braking systems compared to passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles generally use a hydraulic brake system that uses brake fluid. Trucking brakes generally rely on compressed air to compress brake drums and pads to slow or stop the truck. Air brakes are generally reliable but problems in the braking system, lack of maintenance, or brake part defects can all cause the brakes to fail, increasing the risk of an accident.
Problems and Defects in Truck Brake Systems
There are a number of reasons why truck brakes can fail. Truck brakes should be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired or replaced as needed. Unfortunately, some trucking companies may try and cut corners to save money, using substandard materials, or failing to properly maintain brake systems.
Brake drums can become overheated, and expand, providing less contact between the brake shoe and the drum. Over time, the brake system can overheat lead to brake failure. It may also cause a fire to start in the brake system.
Trucking operators may also rely on partial braking systems to take the full load when front and rear brakes need to be kept in proper repair. This can increase the risk of brake failure or increase braking distance.
Another truck brake problem involves overloaded trucks. When trucks are overloaded, the brakes need to work harder to slow or stop the truck, which can increase the risk of failure by using a heavier truckload than is intended for the safe operation of the vehicle.
Personal Injury Claim Process for Truck Accidents
When filing a personal injury claim against the truck driver or trucking company, the injury victim may be unsure who is at fault. Multiple parties may also share some of the blame for causing the truck accident. When filing a personal injury lawsuit for a truck brake accident, the plaintiff may end up naming multiple defendants, including:
- Truck driver,
- Truck owner,
- Trucking company,
- Insurance provider,
- Brake manufacturer,
- Truck manufacturer, and
- Repair company.
In most motor vehicle accidents, the injury victim has 3 years to file a claim for damages. The statute of limitations allows the victim to file a claim within 3 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. If a claim is filed even a day late, the accident victim may have their claim denied.
Three years may sound like a long time but your personal injury attorney may need time to investigate the claim and identify all the possible defendants. Contact your Denver accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to make sure you get the full amount of compensation for your injuries.
Your case may go to a judge or jury to determine who was at fault for the accident and the amount of damages to be awarded. However, most accident injury claims are settled before they go to trial. Your attorney will discuss any settlement offers with you and it is up to you to decide whether to accept a settlement offer or continue to take your case to court. The benefits of a settlement can provide a faster resolution to your case and a guaranteed outcome.
Damages in a Trucking Accident Claim
As part of a truck brake accident claim, the injury victim will seek financial damage. Damages in an accident personal injury claim can include:
- Medical expenses,
- Continuing medical treatment,
- Vehicle damage or replacement,
- Loss of income,
- Loss of future earnings,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of support, and
- Loss of consortium.
Fatal Accident Claims
If a truck brake accident caused the death of the truck driver, another driver or passenger, or pedestrian, the family may be able to file a claim to hold the negligent party responsible for the accident.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in a fatal trucking accident is generally two years from the date of death. In the first year after the death, the spouse or someone designated by the spouse can file a wrongful death claim. If there is no spouse, then the heirs or designated beneficiary can file a claim. If the spouse does not file a claim within the first year, then the children or heirs can file a wrongful death claim.
Damages in a wrongful death claim can include:
- Loss of income,
- Loss of services,
- Loss of support the deceased would have provided,
- Funeral expenses, and
- Medical expenses before the individual died.
Denver Truck Brake Accident Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients and families who were involved in accidents caused by truck brake malfunctions or defects. Our attorneys understand how the insurance companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.