Truck Accidents Caused by Brake and Tire Failure

By Greg Kohn

Who is liable for a truck accident caused by brake or tire failure?

Tractor trailers are massive vehicles, often weighing in at 80,000 pounds fully loaded and equipped with a complex braking system along with 18 tires.  If any component within the braking system fails or a tire bursts, serious and potentially deadly accidents can result.  A study conducted by the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently found that nearly 30 percent of all truck crashes are caused by brake related issues.  Our Essex County truck accident attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP, explore brake and tire failure in commercial trucks and your rights if injured in a truck accident below.

Defective Truck Brakes

Tractor trailer brakes vary significantly from traditional brakes found on your motor vehicle.  Foundation air brakes are the most common systems found in trucks, as well as buses.  These brakes use a triple valve principle, allowing air to build up within the brake pipes or air lines, then releasing the brakes. Truck brakes are delicate systems that must be manufactured to careful specifications and consistently well maintained.  

When a truck’s brakes fail, fault for the ensuing accident may rest with the truck driver, the manufacturer of the brakes, the company that loaded the truck, or the party responsible for maintaining the trucks (which could be the owner or trucking company).  When a truck accident occurs involving brake failure, a thorough investigation is necessary to uncover the responsible party.

Truck Tire Failure

Tire failure can send a truck careening off the road, potentially into other vehicles.  Tire failure can happen due to defective tires, failure to maintain the tires, or failure to inspect the tires before setting off on a trip.  Often, defective tires will be recalled, but if the truck driver does not watch for recalls or keep their records accurate, they may miss a lifesaving recall.  

Truck drivers must carefully maintain their tires so as to keep them in safe working order.  Tires with worn tread must be immediately replaced.  Truck drivers and their employers are responsible for inspecting all tires before a trip to avoid blowouts.  Tires that are showing wear or have an improper tire pressure could lead to serious accidents.  

If you are injured in a truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney right away.  Truck accidents often result in significant injuries that could cost you greatly in the long run.  Your truck accident lawyer will review your case and determine whether you may be able to seek compensation from the truck driver, trucking company, or parts manufacturer responsible for your injuries.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.