Commercial motor vehicles, including 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, have a complex braking system that must be maintained in top condition in order to effectively stop. When trucks are unable to properly rely on their brake systems, or truck drivers disregard pre-drive inspections or potential brake issues, catastrophic accidents may result. Raleigh truck accident attorney Carl Nagle has decades of experience helping injured individuals pursue the compensation that they deserve. He worked for years in the insurance industry defending truck drivers and trucking companies, and he now only represents accident victims and their families. We have successfully investigated, negotiated, and litigated on behalf of commercial truck collision victims throughout North Carolina, including in the areas around Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.Proving Fault for Crashes Caused by Braking Ability
Following a truck accident, it is important to assess whether the truck’s braking ability caused or was partly responsible for the collision. This is important in part because truck drivers may try to argue that they faced a sudden, unforeseeable mechanical failure and that they were therefore non-negligent and have no financial responsibility for accident claims. Indeed tractor-trailer and commercial brakes may fail for a variety of reasons, including being overheated, being worn thin, or failing to properly maintain the braking system. Due to the weight of commercial trucks and the complexity of the braking system, there are safety mechanisms in place to prevent a total brake failure. In many situations, if a brake failure takes place, a truck driver can still stop the truck, although they will require more distance to do so.
Commercial truck drivers are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to inspect their truck’s brakes and other mechanical components before every drive. Written reports should be prepared and maintained. Professional truck drivers who properly inspect their vehicles daily certainly help reduce the risk of braking problems by providing required maintenance and adjusting the brakes as needed. Federal laws require that trucking companies keep records of their brake maintenance, and all drivers must frequently inspect and assess the condition of any key components and equipment.
When a driver or a trucking company fails to maintain a truck and a braking problem goes undetected or is ignored, they should be held legally responsible for any injuries caused by their failure to inspect and maintain a safe vehicle. For example, when truck brakes are not in alignment, and one brake works harder than the other, it may result in an imbalance that causes a trailer to “jackknife” or swing out of control, often leading to an accident. There may be several theories of liability in a truck accident case, including the potential to pursue a claim against not only the driver but also the employer under a vicarious liability or negligent hiring theory.
Truck accident victims may recover monetary damages resulting from their injuries and losses. These usually include medical costs and wages from missed work due to hospital care. Victims of serious motor vehicle collisions may suffer catastrophic injuries that prevent them from returning to work in the same capacity, and they may require medical care extending into the future. Professional experts in the vocational and medical fields may help prove the long-lasting impact of a truck crash for the victim and their family.Contact a Dedicated Raleigh Attorney to Discuss Your Truck Accident Claim
Raleigh truck accident lawyer Carl Nagle provides efficient, diligent legal representation for claims against truck drivers and trucking companies following a commercial truck accident. At Nagle & Associates, we understand all of the complicated North Carolina and federal laws governing semi-truck drivers and trucking companies, including rules specific to weight limitations and braking requirements. Our office charges a lower legal fee from our clients compared to those charged by other firms, asking only one-quarter rather than one-third of any settlement secured. Also, if we do not succeed collecting money for you following a truck accident, there is no legal fee for our efforts or services. Also, we stand ready to advance the cost of inspecting a tractor-trailer rig or commercial truck, including a black-box download and a thorough inspection of brakes and all mechanical components. This step should be taken early in all catastrophic injury cases to ensure that evidence is secured to prove all root causes of the truck accident. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact Nagle & Associates for a free consultation with an experienced NC motor vehicle collision attorney and receive further information on how our law firm can help. We can be contacted online or by calling (800) 411-1583. Our firm maintains seven offices throughout the state, and we have helped people in Raleigh, Asheville, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Hickory, Greensboro, Charlotte, and other cities throughout Guildford, Wake, Mecklenburg, Forsyth, Catawba, Durham, and New Hanover Counties.