Myrtle Beach Failure to Maintain Vehicle Attorneys
Strict state and federal truck maintenance regulations exist to keep passenger vehicle drivers safe when they share the road with commercial trucks. However, many accidents involving trucks occur when truck companies, operators, or mechanics fail to properly maintain their vehicles. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, it may have been the result of a failure to maintain the vehicle.
Failure to maintain a vehicle is particularly dangerous when it applies to commercial trucks. Because of their size, mass, and cargo, commercial trucks can cause more damage in accidents than other vehicles. For this reason, truck drivers and companies abide by very specific safety requirements.
Commercial truck laws under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require a regular process of inspection and maintenance. At the start and end of every trip, truck drivers are responsible for ensuring the following items are functioning correctly:
- Brake connections
- Coupling devices/trailering hitches
- Lighting systems
- Rear-view mirrors
- Steering mechanisms
- Suspension devices
Drivers must file a report to notify the truck company of the status of these parts both pre- and post-trip. Each report is checked and signed by truck company representatives. Then, it is the responsibility of the truck company to repair or replace any malfunctioning, defunct, or worn equipment before the truck is put in service. The company is required to keep the driver’s maintenance reports for review for three months following an inspection.
Throughout this process, there are several points at which a failure to maintain can take place and increase the risk of an accident. Sometimes, drivers fail to check equipment or file correct reports. Or, companies receive reports, but do not make necessary maintenance changes. Mechanics and manufacturing companies can also be at fault for providing faulty fixes. Companies that lose or fail to maintain inspection reports are also liable for accidents. Finally, truck companies can violate the law by requesting or forcing drivers to operate trucks that either party knows to be faulty.
Once on the road, a vehicle with mechanical malfunctions is extremely dangerous for all drivers. If a truck driver is unaware of worn brakes or tires, increased stopping time can cause rear-end or t-bone accidents. Damaged steering equipment makes turning and lane changes dangerous. A defective horn can prevent truck drivers from alerting other vehicles of issues, and a malfunctioning lighting system can cause visibility limitations that lead to accidents. Faulty fixes of coupling and suspension mechanisms can cause a truck trailer to jackknife.
With proper maintenance and record-keeping practices, trucks pose much less of a threat to other drivers on the road. But failure to maintain these vehicles is dangerous and can be even more dangerous in inclement weather conditions or during nighttime driving.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Because of the number of regulations, responsible parties, and records that make up a failure to maintain case, having a seasoned lawyer is important. The complexity of truck liability can be overwhelming for an individual, especially someone already stressed by a devastating accident. A skilled personal injury attorney will know the federal and state laws guiding truck operators and companies and can investigate each opportunity for failure in the maintenance process.
An attorney can also shift the fault to the appropriate party by discovering which groups are liable. Though determining whether a truck driver, company, mechanic or manufacturing agency is difficult for an individual, an attorney can conduct the informed research needed to build a case with a high chance of success.
After a harrowing truck accident, our clients turn to the Law Office of William J. Luse to identify each aspect of reporting and maintenance that should have taken place. An attorney can review the paper trail with an eye trained to detect discrepancies so that your case can focus on the liable person or party. Lawyers know how to look for and read the information contained in inspection records, including maintenance repairs, truck identification documents, and notices of upcoming inspections.
Negligent truck companies have deep pockets and experience in winning cases against individuals injured by their vehicles. To match these resources, you need the support of a practiced attorney ready to investigate and fight for you and your loved ones.
Why Choose Us
Law Office of William J. Luse is your best choice for representation when you’re up against a truck company. William J. Luse has won settlements throughout the Myrtle Beach area for more than a decade. He has been named Best Attorney by Best Attorneys of America, LLC, as well as a Top Ten Personal Injury Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine.
William J. Luse values open communication and accessible legal counsel, so you can make informed decisions as we work to obtain your lost wages and medical compensation. Our office treats each case and client with the dedication, attention, and care they deserve. We consider each case a way to give back to members of the community in their time of need.
We know that truck accidents can be devastating. Our office works on a contingency fee basis, so your case is free of charge until we secure you the compensation you need to recover. We consider each case an opportunity to stand up for your rights as a victim of the acts of negligent corporations.
What Cases Do William J. Luse Attorneys Handle?
The Law Office of William J. Luse has more than ten years of experience dealing with all types of personal injury cases. Our attorneys are skilled at providing council to clients injured through the careless actions of truck companies, drivers, and other parties. In addition to accidents involving failure to maintain a vehicle, the Law Office of William J. Luse will pursue your case if it was caused by any of the following:
- Brake failure
- Employer negligence
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequate driver training
- Inclement weather
- Mechanical defects
- Overloaded trailers
- Unsecured loads
Any of these factors can cause a terrifying truck collision, though negligent truck maintenance practices are a major cause of accidents.
According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), out of 7,698 vehicle inspections completed in one day in 2017, 1,680 vehicles, or 22 percent, were deemed inoperable for regulation violations.
Just over 1,000 vehicles, or 14 percent, were put out of service for violations specific to brakes. Brake failure is a common cause of truck accidents, though proper inspection prevents brake-related injuries.
These statistics offer alarming insight into the nature of truck maintenance. They also speak to the need for experienced attorneys, as truck companies are well-prepared for accident cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I was injured in a truck accident?
In any truck accident, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. A hospital will treat you and begin an important record of your injuries that may be used in court. It is also important that you or someone at the scene documents the crash with photos that can be used later to piece together the cause of the accident.
For a full recovery, you need compensation for your medical bills and lost pay. Call an attorney to help you determine the parties responsible for your accident and seek justice for your injuries.
What should I do if I was partially at fault?
Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still claim compensation with the help of the Law Office of William J. Luse. South Carolina operates on the doctrine of comparative negligence, which deducts compensation from victims based on the percentage of their fault. For example, if a passenger vehicle driver is deemed by the court to be 30 percent responsible for the accident and is seeking $100,000, they would receive $70,000.
In order to seek compensation, you must be 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. An attorney can help build a case that keeps you from being faulted more than 50 percent. No matter how responsible you think you may have been for your accident, consulting with an attorney can help you determine the best legal course of action.
How expensive is a lawyer?
The Law Office of William J. Luse works on a contingency fee basis. All fees are contingent upon our attorneys settling your case, so you pay nothing until we win you maximum compensation.
We offer a consultation to learn about you and your accident, explain how we can build your case, and discuss what compensation you could be eligible for receiving.
Contact Us Today
If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of William J. Luse today. You can schedule a confidential consultation by clicking here, or by calling (843) 839-4795.