Truck drivers, truck owners, and trucking companies must regularly inspect and repair their fleets. When their failure to perform required maintenance leads to truck accidents, they can and should be held responsible for the consequences. If you suffered injuries in a tractor-trailer accident in West Virginia caused by maintenance problems, you could be entitled to compensation. The truck accident attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, can explain your legal options after reviewing your case. 

Consequences of Poor Truck Maintenance

Poor maintenance on commercial trucks increases the risk of breakdowns and accidents on the road, jeopardizing the safety of everyone in the vicinity. Trucking companies that fail to perform routine checks on essential parts such as brakes, tires, lights, and engines risk causing catastrophic accidents and devastating injuries. Truck accident victims can hold them financially accountable for their negligence by filing a personal injury claim. 

Types of Accidents Caused by Poor Truck Maintenance

Common examples of maintenance problems that can result in severe truck crashes include:

  • Insufficient tire maintenance – Wear and tear on truck tires leads to loss of traction and even longer stopping distances. Low or high tire pressure can cause blowouts, a dangerous outcome often resulting in loss of control and rollover accidents.
  • Brake issues – Worn brake pads and rotors can cause catastrophic brake failures. Given commercial trucks’ large size and heavy weight, brake failures can cause rear-end collisions with heartbreaking results.
  • Faulty lights, signals, and reflectors – Faulty lighting systems contribute to visibility issues, increasing the likelihood of collisions, particularly in adverse weather conditions or during nighttime driving. In poorly lit rural areas, neglected lights and reflectors can render a large truck nearly invisible, increasing the risk of dangerous high-speed crashes.
  • Engine malfunctions – Engine problems due to poor maintenance can lead to sudden stalls, causing unexpected breakdowns on busy roads.
  • Unsecured cargo – Improperly secured cargo due to lax maintenance or worn cargo straps can cause potentially deadly spills across multiple lanes of traffic, triggering multi-vehicle crashes.
  • Malfunctioning couplings – Couplings connect the truck to the trailer. A broken coupling can cause the trailer to disconnect from the truck, making it an unpredictable hazard for oncoming motorists.

Who is Liable for Truck Accidents Caused by Poor Maintenance?

In addition to the truck driver, parties that may be liable include:

  • Trucking company – If the truck company fails in its maintenance and inspection duties, it can be liable for accidents caused by broken components.
  • Maintenance company – Sometimes, trucking companies outsource vehicle care and repair duties to outside truck maintenance companies. If a third-party mechanic or company fails to inspect and repair a semi-truck when necessary, it may be liable for any resulting truck accidents.

Proving liability in truck accident cases is complex. An improper truck maintenance attorney can investigate the accident, assess fault, and build a solid case against the negligent party(s).

Contact our West Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers if You’ve Been Hurt

Commercial truck companies are protected by powerful insurance companies who do everything possible to minimize payouts to accident victims. Let an experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, guide you through the claims process. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.