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Brake Failure

Brake failure is one of the most common causes of catastrophic and deadly trucking accidents. In fact, the Department of Transportation says that nearly 30 percent of all commercial truck accidents involve brake failure. When the brakes fail on an 80,000-pound big rig or semi-truck, the resulting injuries are often horrific and life-changing as evidenced by the 2014 Highway 17 truck accident that resulted in one death and numerous injuries.

Defective Brakes or Improper Maintenance?

When brake failures occur, it can be difficult to determine who is ultimately responsible for the failure.

Did the truck driver use the brakes improperly? Were icy or slick roads to blame for the brakes locking up? Were the brake pads or anti-lock brake system defective? Or did the trucking company simply fail to inspect and properly maintain the brakes?

In order to establish who is at fault for your accident—and your injuries, your San Jose trucking accident attorney will investigate your accident closely to uncover the answers to those questions.

There are many ways brake failure can cause a trucking accident, including:

  • Manufacturer did not design brakes properly
  • Brakes are defective from manufacturing process
  • Trucking companies depowering front brakes
  • Improper brake settings
  • Failure to maintain brakes
  • Improper loading
  • Defective tires
  • Failure to maintain or change tires routinely
  • Using tires that fail to meet minimum DOT tread depth requirement
  • Mounting mismatched or different brands of tires
  • Mixing bias and radial tires on same axel (this would also be mismatched?)
  • Failure to perform brake or tire inspections
  • Faulty or worn brake pads

Trucking companies that are looking to reduce the costs of tire replacement and brake wear may deliberately depower the front brakes. They then encourage or rely upon truck drivers to downshift in order to stop the vehicle using the brakes on the trailer—a dangerous and negligent practice that should be eradicated.

Truck drivers and trucking companies are also routinely tempted to cut corners on maintenance and repairs—thus increasing the risk of brake failure and deadly trucking accidents. Sometimes they don’t properly balance the truck’s load, which can cause brakes to overheat and malfunction.

When brake failure causes your trucking accident, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and for any damages. An experienced San Jose trucking accident attorney will investigate all aspects of your accident, obtain the truck's black box, and review all maintenance records to determine if brake failure was the cause of your crash.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a commercial trucking accident due to improper maintenance contact the trucking accident lawyers at Corsiglia, McMahon, and Allard, LLP at (408) 289-1417.

The trucking accident lawyers at Corsiglia, McMahon, and Allard, LLP have successfully handled truck accident cases throughout Northern California, including accidents on highways 1, 5, 17, 33, 101, 152, 580 and 680.

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I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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