In the state of Texas, 525 people died and 12,480 were injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles in 2012 alone; 5,287 of those injuries were catastrophic, many of them resulting in brain and spinal cord damage.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific regulations applying to commercial vehicles: many of these regulations pertain to truck maintenance and inspection. Faulty truck maintenance is a major cause of injury and death on the highway, and it is the responsibility of owners, drivers, inspectors, and maintenance companies to follow the appropriate regulations meticulously. If a truck is involved in a fatal or injury accident and is found not to be in compliance, it is an indication of negligence and liability.
The law requires trucking companies to keep maintenance logs and inspection records as evidence that they are in compliance with FMCSA regulations. The records must show that various parts such as brakes, lights, signals, reflectors, tires and mirrors (among many other items) have been inspected and that proper maintenance procedures have been performed. If insufficient maintenance results in an accident that injures or kills another person, the owner or operator of the vehicle and/or the maintenance contractor charged with inspecting and maintaining the vehicle can be held liable for any injuries, wrongful deaths, or property damage.
Maintenance problems may not always be readily apparent, and finding proof of improper maintenance can add to the complications in proving liability in a commercial vehicle accident. It is essential to have an attorney with experience in commercial vehicle accident cases. Brent Cordell is familiar with federal and state maintenance and inspection laws as well as trucking industry standards and procedures. He also has the resources to to review the records and evidence needed to show where the negligence occurred and who can be held liable.
There can be multiple liable parties in cases of improper truck maintenance. We can examine both government and company records including the Drivers’ Daily Vehicle Condition Report, the Drivers’ Vehicle Inspection Record, and records from the truck’s on-board computer.