Truck and bus accidents caused 4,440 fatalities and 119,000 injuries on U.S. roads in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual report. Large commercial trucks pose a danger to smaller passenger vehicles on the roadway. Due to the possibility of serious accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires every motor carrier to systematically inspect, repair, and maintain their vehicles. Unfortunately, many motor carriers fail to take this responsibility seriously and allow improperly maintained trucks to take to the road.
Types of Truck Maintenance Errors That Lead to Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 44,000 accidents between 2005 and 2007 were due to a maintenance issue involving a commercial vehicle. Some common issues related to truck maintenance that may be responsible for truck accidents include:
- Tire blowouts
- Brake problems
- Steering problems
- Engine or transmission issues
- Suspension problems
- Unintended acceleration
- Trailer hitch problems
- Cracked windshield
- Missing mirrors
- Missing lights, reflectors or turn signals
- Faulty headlights
Any truck problem that interferes with a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle can potentially cause a serious accident.
Steps to Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident
If you are involved in a truck accident, here are some steps you can take to protect your right to receive compensation for any injuries:
- Call for emergency medical assistance.
- Report the accident to law enforcement.
- Get the driver’s information, including his or her contact information, employer’s name, the name of the truck company responsible for the truck, any US DOT number or identification, license number, license plate number and any other information regarding the truck and driver.
- Get the names and contact information for any witnesses
- Take pictures of the scene. Photograph any debris in the roadway, such as tire treads or broken pieces of light. Take pictures of the vehicle to your damage and the truck. Photograph the accident scene from various angles. Take pictures of your injuries as they progress.
- Contact a lawyer to assist you.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Legal Team Can Help
The moments after a truck accident are often very confusing and scary. It is usually not obvious that improper truck maintenance caused or contributed to the accident. An experienced truck accident legal team can take steps to discover the underlying reasons for an accident.
We conduct thorough truck accident investigations. We interview witnesses and gain access to maintenance records and other evidence that can determine whether the truck’s condition was a factor in the accident. We request black box data to see the rate of speed the truck was traveling and when the driver applied the brakes. We can also send demands that instruct the motor carrier not to dispose of any evidence related to the accident. We also often review any dashcam footage or other video footage of the accident.
Contact an Aggressive Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a truck accident in the Portland area, contact the experienced truck accident team at the Richard Rizk Law Office online or by phone at (503) 245-5677 to schedule a confidential consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.