New York Braking Accident
When there is a car accident, mechanical failure is sometimes cited as a contributing factor. The same is so for truck accidents. One type of mechanical failure is a problem with the brakes. According to statistics reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 29% of all truck accidents each year in the United States involved a problem with the brakes. Tractor trailers typically weigh between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds and on highways drive at speeds well over 55 miles per hour. If a massive truck that is traveling at a high rate of speed is unable to slow down because of a brake failure, the consequences are typically tragic for both the driver of the truck as well as other vehicles that are in the path of the careening truck. Victims of such accidents often suffer serious injuries such as a brain injury, contusions, broken bones, internal injuries, amputations, paralysis, or spinal cord injury. Sadly, many victims of truck accidents do not survive. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by a brake failure, it is important that you immediately contact a New York Braking Failure Lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. In addition, if while treating you for your injuries your doctor is negligent resulting in a medical malpractice claim, the truck driver may be legally required to compensate you for that as well.Federal Truck Safety Law
Those who drive large commercial trucks such as tractor trailers are required by federal law to inspect brakes before they get on the road and to maintain an inspection log detailing their visual inspections. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict rules to ensure that trucks traveling across New York highways and highways across the country are in good condition so that braking failures are less likely to occur. Under § 396.11 of FMCSA, truck drivers are required to inspect the truck’s service brakes. Any defect that is likely to affect the safe operation of the vehicle must be repaired before the driver operates the vehicle again.Common Braking Problems
There are many different types of problems related to braking that could contribute to a serious truck accident.
Defective brakes. If the brake mechanism has a design flaw or if the brakes were not properly installed, any accident that resulted from these errors would be the legal responsibility of the party who manufactured or installed the brakes.
Improper maintenance. Brakes that have thinning pads, are suffused with lubricants will affect how they function. For example, in the case of Torres v. Chapin, 2007 NY Slip Op 34057(U), Mr. Torres was injured in a truck accident. The driver of the truck was Mr. Chapin. Chapin claimed that his brakes failed. Torres filed a personal injury lawsuit against Chapin arguing that Chapin was responsible for the brake failure that caused the accident and Torres’ injuries. Chapin and the owner of the truck argued that they were not responsible for the faulty brakes, but that the company that had recently repaired the truck was responsible. The court, however, did not agree and pointed to Chapin and the owner of the truck as responsible for the faulty brakes.
Inspection failure. If a driver or trucking company fails to inspect brakes according to the requirements of federal law, a problem could go unnoticed until it is too late.
Distracted driving. Truck drivers who are distracted by cell phone use, eating, reading, or passengers may not notice a change in traffic condition or change in road condition in time to brake and avoid a collision.Pursuing a Claim
Truck accidents can be devastating to a victim as well as to the victim’s family. Because of the size and weight of large trucks, even low-impact, low-speed accidents can have catastrophic results. Truck accidents can lead to devastating injuries such as a spinal cord injury, broken bones, brain injury, amputation, paralysis, and all too often, death. Through a personal injury lawsuit, New York law allows you to hold the negligent party responsible for the losses you suffered. Victims who suffer serious injuries in truck accidents have significant medical bills. In addition, because victims of serious injuries often have to miss a great deal of work or are unable to return to work at all, victims have the right to sue for lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
If your injury was the result of a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. New York's workers' compensation laws state that injured parties are entitled to compensation if they sustain a work-related injury. Compensation often comes in the form of medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of ability to earn, and more. However, it is important to know that worker’s compensation benefits are limited. Just because the accident occurred at work does not necessarily mean that you are limited to the benefit available through workers’ compensation.New York Braking Failure Lawyer
If you were involved in a truck accident that was caused by a braking problem, it is important to immediately contact an experienced truck accident attorney since the rules that apply to a truck accident and in many ways different from those that apply to a car accident. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims resulting from truck accidents, as well as SUV accidents, car accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.