Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, accidents involving them often have devastating consequences for the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. It is crucial for trucks to have brakes that are in good condition so that they can stop in time to avoid accidents. Brakes in commercial trucks are completely different from the brakes in passenger cars. The latter typically use hydraulic braking systems, while trucks usually use an air brake system. If you are hurt in a crash that may have been affected by braking ability, it is important to retain an attorney who understands the unique features of commercial vehicles and how they may have affected an accident. At Neumann Law Group, our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an experienced Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids truck accident lawyer. Each year for the past several years, she has regularly secured over $3 million in personal injury cases.Pursuing Compensation for a Crash Caused by Inadequate Braking Ability
Although there are many positive consequences of using an air brake system rather than a hydraulic brake system in large trucks, these systems also require a truck driver to brake quickly. A truck driver who is not appropriately trained or who is fatigued may not have the ability to brake in time to avoid an accident. The result may be multiple catastrophic injuries or fatalities among people in smaller vehicles.
Often, a truck driver's negligence causes reduced braking ability. For example, a truck driver who is fatigued may not react quickly enough to an unexpected event on the road. In that case, a plaintiff may need to establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that he or she will need to prove the truck driver's duty, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. If the truck driver was in the course and scope of employment, the driver’s employer may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for damages caused by the driver's negligence.
Sometimes a lack of training can be attributed to a truck driver's employer. Employers of commercial drivers owe a duty of care to make sure their drivers are adequately trained and drive safely on the road. They are also bound by federal regulations related to the maintenance of their trucks. A failure to follow these regulations is likely to be considered negligence by a jury.
If a truck driver's ability to brake was impeded by a manufacturing defect in the air brake system, you may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit. In Michigan and other states, you must establish that a product was defective in order to recover compensation for your injuries. Three types of defects are actionable: manufacturing, design, and marketing defects. In other words, the air braking system must have had one of these types of defects in order to recover compensation from the manufacturer. Moreover, the product must not have been altered since the time it was in the manufacturer's control. If it has been altered, there may be a cause of action for negligence against a repairman or another party.Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Truck accidents can have horrifying consequences for people in smaller vehicles. If you have been involved in this type of collision, it may have been caused by the driver's inadequate braking ability. At Neumann Law Group, our Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City truck accident attorneys are familiar with the trucking industry and the regulations that govern it. We represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in Massachusetts and California. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.