Maintenance Failures Are a Leading Cause of Truck Accidents in Kansas City
With 18 wheels and a weight of about 80,000 pounds (40 tons), commercial tractor-trailers are massive vehicles that are increasingly common on highways and roads in Kansas or Missouri. As the number of truck accident fatalities continues to rise, it is critical that safety laws regarding the regular maintenance and repair of trucks are followed so they do not create dangers to their drivers and other road users.
A simple equipment malfunctioning on a commercial truck is capable of causing severe or fatal accidents which ultimately results in loss of several lives and valuable property. The trucking company, as well as the driver, the maintenance team, and the shipper may be exposed to legal liability for the damage caused by such truck accidents.
Requirements For Truck Maintenance
Every Missouri and Kansas driver seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive a semi-truck must undergo a vehicle inspection test as part of the license exam. This exam requires the driver to walk around a truck in person while identifying specific parts or components of the vehicle to be inspected and what to observe during such an inspection.
This is in line with the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which demands that all drivers perform an inspection of their truck before embarking on a trip and record all their findings in an inspection report. They must also revisit the previous inspection report to make sure that all due repairs were completed.
Below are some of the frequently-reported areas in need of truck maintenance:
- Tires. A truck that runs on old, worn, or damaged tires risks experiencing a tire blowout while in motion, and this can lead to the truck losing control and running into the surrounding traffic. Likewise, such truck runs the risk of releasing tire debris, and if these strike other vehicles, it may lead to a loss of control and subsequent loss of lives and properties.
- Steering. Steering failure, irrespective of the magnitude, means the truck cannot be controlled effectively, and this subsequently results in massive damage and severe injuries to everyone and everything in the truck’s surrounding.
- Brakes. Every component of the braking system – pads, lines, fluids, and others – must always be in the best shape. A worn or damaged brake system may fail to stop a 40-ton load running at highway speed. Thus it is important to inspect and maintain it regularly, alongside air brake systems and parking brakes.
- Turn Signals. Turn signals are quite important when on the road. A truck with a broken turn signal cannot signal a turn or lane change, and this may lead to a terrible chain of events.
Other notable truck components that must be regularly inspected are horns, running lights, mirrors, emergency kits, windshield wipers, reflectors, headlights, and the connector (the equipment that connects the tractor truck part of the vehicle to the trailer part).
When this inspection is not carried out regularly, it may lead to accidents, and if in the process, there is are damages or injuries, the driver will be held responsible.
Legal Recovery After A Truck Accident
Often, it is difficult to prove that the failure of a truck driver to maintain his or her vehicle is the cause of an accident. As a result, a truck accident victim should seek the guidance and assistance of a truck accident lawyer who has a vast experience handling legal claims arising from accidents involving commercial trucks.
Our Kansas City truck accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident situation, alongside the driver’s record, while requesting the vehicle maintenance reports of the truck(s) in question. We can also identify and evaluate other sources of insurance that may be available for a truck crash and help guide our clients through the various legal options to recover compensation for their injuries.
Based on the particular circumstances of a truck accident, the types of damages and the financial award that may be available can vary. However, with the help of a Truck Accident Lawyer, most truck accident victims are entitled to compensations for:
- Replacement and repair of the victim’s vehicle parts and belongings
- Past medical treatment and future medical care associated with the crash
- Lost wages from time spent outside work
- Loss of future wages if injuries from the accident will prevent you from returning to your job
- Past and future pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability and more.
In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Our Kansas City truck accident lawyer is in the best position to offer you more information about the recoverable damages in your case.
Contact Our Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Our Kansas City truck accident law firm understands how difficult it can be for you and your family after a truck crash. For that reason, we will make the guidance and support of our legal team available to you right away. You can call us at (816) 203-0143, or send us a message using the contact form below.
Contacting us is free and there is no obligation to hire our firm, so call us today. Our experienced Kansas City truck accident lawyer will be ready to discuss your truck accident case and offer guidance as to next steps.