Liability for Poor Truck Maintenance: How to Determine That a Truck Was Improperly Maintained?

January 4, 2019
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Truck Accident

Colliding with a commercial truck is dangerous as it is, but when the truck is not properly maintained, it increases the force of impact and can result in a more devastating truck crash.

“California law has very specific and mandatory rules for inspection and maintenance of commercial trucks in the effort to make the roads and highways safer and reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents,” says our Los Angeles truck accident attorney at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg.

Unfortunately, many truck drivers and trucking companies do not comply with California’s truck maintenance regulations and end up causing thousands of horrific truck accidents every year.

That isn’t to say, however, that had all trucks been properly maintained there would be no truck accidents ever. Sadly, there are plenty of other causes of truck crashes, including but not limited to drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, fatigue driving, poor weather and road conditions, and many more.

The dangers of improperly maintained trucks

Nonetheless, poorly maintained trucks account for a large percentage of truck crashes in California and all across the United States. Poor truck maintenance can either lead to a truck accident or aggravate a crash caused by other factors. Our truck crash lawyer in Los Angeles explains that improper maintenance of a truck can lead to the following:

  • Larger blind spots and diminished blind spot visibility;
  • Defective brakes or brake malfunctioning;
  • Broken taillights;
  • Tire blowouts or shredding;
  • Poorly lubricated engine;
  • Engine component problems;
  • Trailer defects;
  • A detachment of cargo from the truck; and
  • Steering equipment malfunction or defects.

Truck maintenance guidelines by the FMCSA

How do you determine that a truck was improperly maintained after a truck accident? In order to answer that question, you need to have a better understanding of the truck maintenance guidelines required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

First and foremost, the FMCSA requires regular inspection and maintenance of each individual truck in the fleet in each and every trucking company. “How often should truckers inspect and maintain their vehicles?” you may wonder. The FMCSA requires each truck driver to inspect his or her commercial truck before embarking on a trip.

Both a truck driver and his or her trucking company are required to keep records of inspections and maintenance of each truck for 12 months at the location where maintenance was conducted. If the trucking company sold, transferred, retired, or lost the truck, the truck maintenance records must be kept for six months from the date the truck left the company’s control or possession.

Proving that a truck was improperly maintained can significantly increase the value of your personal injury claim against the truck driver and/or his or her trucking company after a truck crash. More often than not, only a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer can determine whether or not poor truck maintenance caused or contributed to the crash.

If a truck driver and/or trucking company violated any of the truck maintenance regulations required by the FMCSA, and your lawyer can establish a link between the improper maintenance of the truck and the accident, the value of your claim will skyrocket. Let our truck accident attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg investigate your particular case. Contact our offices at 310-997-0904 today.


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