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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Richmond Negligent Truck Maintenance Lawyer

Richmond Negligent Truck Maintenance Accident Lawyers

Sixty-five feet long, over 70,000 pounds, 18 wheels, engines that can run nonstop, 10-18 gears, a powered tractor coupled to a semitrailer… tractor-trailers are indeed complex machines that require skilled, ongoing maintenance to run safely. Sadly, over 20% of the nation’s trucking fleet is so poorly maintained that when these trucks are pulled over for roadside inspections, they get immediately pulled from service. That’s about 400,000 behemoths on the road right now with defective tires, brakes, coupling devices, signal lights and other critical components.

Negligent truck maintenance can lead to a big rig failure at a critical moment, with the result that innocent drivers on the road can get hit and seriously hurt or killed. Understanding how a truck accident can happen and the role negligent truck maintenance can play is a complex matter. The trucking company and their insurer aren’t likely to tell you the accident happened because the truck broke down when it shouldn’t have; you need an experienced truck accident attorney on your side with the skills and resources to find out how and why the accident happened and hold the responsible parties accountable. We have that ability at Latham & Martin combined with a commitment to give our clients personal attention that meets their needs. Understanding how the truck crash came about is instrumental to getting justice and compensation for the harm done to you. Contact our dedicated Richmond negligent truck maintenance accident lawyers today for a free consultation regarding your claim.

FMCSA Truck Maintenance Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations are designed to minimize the risks associated with commercial motor vehicle operation, and they include extensive rules regarding the proper maintenance of trucks. Here’s a summary of some key FMCSA regulations regarding truck maintenance:

Regular Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance (Part 396)

  • Annual Inspection: Trucks must undergo a detailed annual inspection to evaluate their overall condition.
  • Daily Inspection Reports: Drivers are required to prepare and submit daily inspection reports.
  • Record Keeping: Truck operators must keep meticulous records of all inspections, maintenance, repairs, and parts replacements. Logs these days are often kept electronically to enhance their accuracy and ease of use and to prevent truck drivers and trucking companies from tampering with records and falsifying logs.

Brake Systems (Part 393.40-393.55)

  • Brake Performance: Brakes must meet specific performance requirements to ensure safety.
  • Inspection and Maintenance: Regular inspection and maintenance of brake systems are mandated to detect wear or defects.

Tires and Wheels (Part 393.75-393.80)

  • Tire Condition: Tires must be free of certain defects and properly inflated.
  • Wheel Assembly: Wheel assembly and mounting must follow precise guidelines.

Compliance with these regulations is critical, and any failure can result in significant penalties.

Dangers of Negligent Truck Maintenance

A poorly maintained tractor-trailer can be the source of a disastrous crash on the highway, including a jackknife, rollover, rear-end collision, or lane departure, often involving multiple cars in one incident. Some of the most common and most dangerous truck maintenance problems involve the following:

  1. Brake Failures: Improper maintenance of brake systems can lead to brake failure, causing collisions and loss of control.
  2. Tire Blowouts: Defective or worn-out tires may blow out, leading to dangerous swerving or rollovers.
  3. Steering Issues: Negligence in maintaining steering components can result in loss of steering control, causing severe accidents.

Passenger vehicles that share the road with semis, even the biggest SUVS and pickup trucks, are only a fraction of the size and weight of an 18-wheeler. Sadly, the occupants of a car that gets hit by a truck are likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries. Truck accident victims are susceptible to the following catastrophic injuries, among others:

  • Head and Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Broken Bones and Lacerations

Contact Latham & Martin Today

Negligent truck maintenance is a serious issue that can lead to tragic accidents and severe injuries. Compliance with FMCSA regulations is not just a legal requirement but a moral duty to ensure the safety of all road users. At Latham & Martin, we are committed to providing legal support to those affected by negligent truck maintenance accidents in Richmond. With our extensive knowledge of FMCSA regulations and Virginia personal injury law, we strive to protect the rights of our clients and secure fair compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us online or call 804-821-0090 for immediate assistance.

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