Negligent Truck Maintenance Attorneys in Richmond & Tappahannock, VA

Negligent Truck Maintenance

Commercial tractor-trailers can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. This makes a semi-truck a significant safety hazard if the vehicle is not kept in proper working order. And while driver error is often cited as the critical factor in accidents involving commercial vehicles, negligent truck maintenance is often just as much to blame.

Trucking operators must follow strict federal regulations when it comes to regularly inspecting and maintaining their vehicles. If ignoring or neglecting this duty leads to an accident, the victims have the right to demand compensation. A qualified Richmond negligent truck maintenance lawyer can advise and represent you in bringing a personal injury claim. Attorney Ryan Wind has more than a decade of experience in helping victims and their families in seeking damages following a serious commercial trucking accident.

Are Trucking Companies Following FMCSA Rules?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates interstate commercial trucking in the United States. Among other things, the FMCSA requires any truck operator to “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control.” Individual drivers are also responsible for periodically inspecting their vehicle during trips to identify any potential safety problems.

Negligent Truck Maintenance

The FMCSA regulations, however, should only be considered as a minimum baseline for safety. A truck owner or driver can still be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit for negligent truck maintenance even if they complied with the letter of the regulations. And in many cases, the maintenance failures are fairly obvious.

For example, a common cause of trucking accidents is brake failures. As you can probably guess, a semi-truck requires a substantially longer stopping distance than your passenger car. This means that it is especially crucial that a truck’s brakes are routinely inspected and maintained. The last thing that anyone wants–including the truck driver–is for the brakes to fail at a critical moment.

Another common area where poor maintenance can lead to an accident is the truck’s tires. If a tire is worn, over-inflated, or otherwise damaged, the driver can lose effective steering control over the vehicle. Even a single bad tire could trigger a catastrophic accident.

Other maintenance issues that can arise involve an 18-wheeler’s system for properly securing its cargo. If the internal restraints are not working properly, cargo can become loose during transit. This can shift the weight of the vehicle–again, affecting the driver’s ability to control the vehicle–or loose items may even fall off the truck and damage other vehicles.

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Contact Our Negligent Truck Maintenance Lawyers in Richmond & Tappahannock Today

An experienced Richmond negligent truck maintenance lawyer understands that one of the first steps in investigating a commercial trucking crash is to make sure the trucking company preserves its maintenance logs with respect to the accident vehicle. FMCSA rules require companies to keep such records. If those records are unavailable or do not exist, that is a major red flag that something is not right.

So if you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck and need legal advice on how to proceed, contact our Richmond personal injury lawyers at Wind Law, LLC, today to schedule a consultation.