It’s horrifying to imagine a tractor-trailer rolling up behind you, if it can’t slow down as it approaches. The resulting impact could be catastrophic and potentially fatal to anyone in your vehicle.
Unfortunately, truck brake failure accidents are all too common; about 30% of commercial truck accidents are caused by brake failures. The reasons for truck brake failures vary, but the resulting accidents are almost always serious.
If you were hurt in a truck brake failure accident, our Nix Patterson truck accident attorneys may be able to help. If the other party caused the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Conventional passenger vehicles weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, and simple hydraulic pressure lines work fine in their brake systems. However, trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds and require a much more robust braking system.
On a commercial truck, a compressor creates and feeds air pressure to tanks, which then apply pressure to the brakes. But if the driver overuses the brakes, air drains from the compressor faster than it can be replenished. Then, the brakes have no air pressure, possibly leading to a brake failure and a runaway 80,000-pound big rig.
This can be a severe problem on long descents down large hills and mountains, which is why you’ll sometimes see ‘runaway’ truck ramps on the sides of highways on a long descent. Sometimes the complex truck brake system will fail because of overuse, but lack of maintenance also is a common explanation.
Glazed brakes are a common brake problem on tractor-trailers that may lead to failure. This refers to the glazing of the brake pads because of excessive heat and use. When you touch brake pads, they can seem hard, but they are softer than the brake rotors they press on to slow the truck. If there are long periods of heavy braking or improper brake use, the brake pad temperature can exceed design specifications, causing it to melt or break down.
Too much heat on the brake pads repeatedly can crystalize the brake pad material, making the pads harder. This reduces the friction applied to the rotors and renders them much less effective. Once the pad is glazed, it has to be replaced, but sometimes the trucker or company will not replace these defective parts, leading to accidents.
Other causes of truck brake failures can be an overloaded truck, poor braking adjustment or balance, or a manufacturing or design flaw in the truck or trailer. Whatever the reason, a Nix Patterson truck brake failure accident attorney will find the cause and hold the responsible party to account.
Unfortunately, a truck brake failure can lead to a terrifying, high-speed collision that can seriously injure or kill smaller vehicle occupants. Some of the most common and severe truck brake failure accident injuries are:
Both state and federal laws require trucking companies to obey strict safety regulations. The company can be punished with fines and penalties for violating the rules. Many parties can be held responsible for a truck brake failure accident, including:
There could be more than one party at fault for the truck crash. If that is the case, you can rely on Nix Patterson’s truck brake failure attorneys to sort it out and hold them accountable.
If the accident occurred in a comparative negligence state, the insurance company could try to blame you for the accident partially. Our attorneys will stand up for your rights and ensure that the proper party is held liable for the accident.
After a tractor-trailer accident caused by brake failure, Nix Patterson’s attorneys will thoroughly investigate the root cause of the accident. Evidence that our truck crash attorneys may examine in a brake failure investigation are:
If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a truck brake failure accident recently, you could receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. A truck accident attorney with experience in catastrophic injuries from truck brake failure accidents can review your case to determine the next steps.
Our truck accident injury team at Nix Patterson is ready to help with your case, so please contact us today. Remember, your initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis. That means we only get paid if we win your case.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
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