Justice Demands Diligence

How maintenance records can support your truck accident case

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Truck Accidents

Truck accident victims are often left struggling to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Their medical needs are oftentimes extensive, they’re often diagnosed with serious mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, and their financial losses can leave their future hanging in the balance. While all of that can be incredibly stressful to deal with, these victims may find relief by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

But when you file a personal injury claim against a negligent trucker and their employer, you’re going to need strong evidence to support your allegations. If you don’t, then you could end up walking away with less than you deserve, or you might be denied compensation altogether. While there are several places you can look for this evidence, one area to be sure to address in your case is truck maintenance.

Federal truck maintenance requirements

Pursuant to federal trucking regulations, routine inspections must be conducted on big rigs. For example, drivers of these commercial vehicles must conduct an inspection at the end of every day. This inspection should cover everything from the truck’s brakes and steering to its horn, tires, lights, coupling devices, windshield wipers, and emergency equipment. If defects are identified that would jeopardize the safety of the truck, then a written report must be submitted to the motor carrier or employer. The motor carrier or employer is then required to remedy the defect before the truck can be taken out on the road again.

But truckers are also required to conduct pre-trip inspections, too. If a written report had been previously generated identifying a safety issue, then they must ensure that proper repairs were made before taking the rig back out onto the road.

Truck companies must also routinely inspect their vehicles. This inspection must occur at least once every 12 months and has to include analysis of the truck’s braking, exhaust, fuel, lights and steering systems, just to name a few.

What happens when a truck is improperly inspected or repaired?

When truckers and their employers skimp on inspections, maintenance, and repairs, then dangerous trucks can hit the road. These rigs may have increased stopping times and distances, inadequate lighting to allow the driver to see during nighttime driving, and steering issues that make it difficult for a trucker to avoid unexpected driving conditions. This, in turn, puts motorists like you at risk of being involved in a serious accident.

What should you do if you’ve been harmed in a truck accident?

If you’ve been hurt in a truck wreck, you should focus on building a holistic case. Part of that should involve subpoenaing inspection and maintenance records from the truck company. Once you have your hands on these records, you might be able to see if errors were made that allowed a dangerous vehicle out on the road.

If so, then you have strong evidence to show that negligence was in play in your case, which can support your claim against the truck company that’s more likely in a stronger financial position to compensate you for your injuries.

Are you ready to start building your truck accident case?

If so, then think through your legal strategy and the evidence you need to support it. Then, get to work gathering what you’ll need to build a robust case focused on proving causation and damages. By being thorough, you’ll increase your chances of succeeding on your claim, which could protect your future and allow you to reclaim the life that was unfairly taken from you at the time of your accident.