Mechanical Failure Truck Accidents
If you’ve been in an accident with a semi, chances are high that the accident was related to some kind of mechanical failure – many of which could have been prevented by the trucking company. Here’s what to do if you’re in an accident with a semi with mechanical failure.
How to Avoid the Truck Accident
Unfortunately, mechanical failures are one of the most difficult problems to anticipate in advance. A truck with poor tires, for example, might clearly have trouble staying in its own lane, but a truck whose brakes are about to fail isn’t going to indicate it until he’s already started to skid. To avoid accidents with semis, in general, however, it’s best to follow three basic safety precautions:
- Never tailgate. Give semis a wide berth.
- Pass quickly and efficiently, and stay as far away from the side of the semi as you can.
- Keep both hands on the wheel and be extra aware of your surroundings as you pass.
- If you suspect a truck may be overloaded and is serving or having difficulty operating the truck due to overloading, avoid that truck.
These precautions can help you avoid a collision if the truck driver loses control, blows a tire, or minimize the damage if a collision is unavoidable.
Who’s Responsible if you’re in an accident?
If you are in an accident, handle it as you would a regular car accident: get the driver’s name and insurance information, the name of the trucking company, and the license plate number of the truck. Also be on the look out, if you suspect that the truck driver might have been intoxicated or impaired while driving notify the police once they arrive. You should also call 911 and get highway patrol on the scene, especially if anyone has been injured. If the truck driver says anything that indicates a mechanical failure was the cause of the collision, make sure to get as many details as you possibly can.
Give a full statement to the police and ask for a copy of the accident report. Call your insurance company and file a claim, and let them know that you filed the accident report with the police. Give them the insurance information of the trucking company which will help your own insurance company investigate which may be to your advantage.
When Should I Get a Lawyer?
It’s actually wise to contact a lawyer in any cases where the truck had a mechanical failure. This is because semi trucks transporting goods are legally required to adhere to certain standards of mechanical maintenance, and if the trucking company (or the manufacturer of the truck) has fallen short, they can be liable for the resulting accident.
Possible mechanical failures include failed brakes, failed steering mechanism, engine problems, transmission issues, or electrical failures. Any of these problems can interfere with the driver being able to steer and control the truck properly.
There are regulations that dictate how trucks ought to be maintained and what each system should be capable of doing. For example, brakes should be able to bring the semi to a full stop in a specific time frame that is usually dictated by the size of the semi. If the brakes failed, it is because either the trucking company was not maintaining their vehicle correctly or the manufacturer designed them poorly. In either event, you will have reason to pursue damages.
If you are in an accident involving a semi and you suspect or are certain that a mechanical failure was the cause, seek out an experienced lawyer to help you prove such a case. Contact Peter Ventura for a free consultation.