Milwaukee Accidents Due to Improper Truck Maintenance
While every vehicle needs routine care to drive safely on the road, large trucks pose a much greater threat when not properly maintained. Commercial trucks far outweigh passenger cars, increasing the severity of a crash. 18-wheelers can also haul hazardous materials. When a truck’s brakes fail or the trailer hitch breaks, it can cause devastating injuries.
Accidents due to improper truck maintenance can be challenging. A thorough investigation by a Milwaukee truck accident attorney and automotive experts can help uncover critical evidence of this negligence. Let the experienced personal injury lawyers of Mingo & Yankala, S.C. hold careless parties accountable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by clicking here or calling (414) 273-7400.
Why You Need a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney in Milwaukee
Truck collisions must be handled differently than car accidents. Immediately following your accident, the trucking company and its insurance carrier will conduct their own investigation into the crash and gain control of the evidence.
Commercial trucks are typically equipped with an onboard computer that records important data, like how fast the vehicle was driving and the hours of use before the accident. When the collision may have resulted from a mechanical failure, it is critical to have our attorneys gather the data as soon as possible. Additionally, your attorney will need to gather logs, inspection reports, and see if there is a history of improper maintenance.
Without a knowledgeable attorney by your side, key evidence may be mistakenly erased once the truck is repaired and placed back in service.
What Are the Dangers of Improper Truck Maintenance?
When a trucking company cuts corners by failing to maintain their vehicles or follow a strict inspection schedule, lives are put at risk. In Wisconsin, accidents involving large trucks accounted for 61 deaths. Studies collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that “most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants.”
The studies also point to the dangers of mechanical failure:
- Truck inspections after a collision show that nearly 55 percent had at least one mechanical violation.
- 30 percent of those violations would have put the truck immediately out of service.
- 42 percent of large truck accidents involved brake defects.
- Lighting systems accounted for 19 percent.
- Brake violations greatly increased the likelihood the truck would hit another vehicle in crossing-path crashes and rear-end collisions.
If you have been seriously injured from an accident due to improper truck maintenance, call our dedicated personal injury lawyers today.
FMCSA Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Regulations
The commercial trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There are several regulations that govern vehicle maintenance requirements:
General – § 396.3(a)
- Every motor carrier shall systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control.
- Parts and accessories must be in safe and proper condition at all times.
- Pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights must be inspected at least every 90 days
Required Records – § 396.3(b)
For vehicles controlled for 30 consecutive days or more, except for a non-business private motor carrier of passengers (PMCP), the motor carrier shall maintain, or cause to be maintained, the following record for each vehicle:
- An identification of the vehicle including company number (if so marked), make, serial number, year, and tire size. If the motor vehicle is not owned by the motor carrier of passengers, the record must identify the party providing or leasing the vehicle.
- A means to show the nature and due date of the various inspection and maintenance operations to be performed.
- A record of inspection, repairs, and maintenance showing their date and type.
- A record of tests conducted on pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights on buses.
Unsafe Operations – § 396.7
Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must not be operated in such a condition as to likely cause an accident or a breakdown of the vehicle.
The FMCSA also requires that drivers inspect their vehicles daily. Access to these records is crucial in determining if improper maintenance was involved in a trucking crash.
Our Milwaukee Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here for You
If you or a loved one has been hurt due to mechanical failure, call our truck accidents attorneys in Milwaukee today. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case by clicking here or calling (414) 273-7400.