Colorado Truck Crashes Hospitalize Five, Injure One – Were Defective Brakes to Blame?

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Vail Pass on Interstate 70 has been the site of several truck accidents in recent months. Most recently, a minor truck accident occurred in late August, after a truck driver transporting milk lost control of his brakes and crashed. In that case, only the driver was injured. Less than a month prior, a truck crash involving three vehicles left five people hospitalized and resulted in five charges against the driver. In this crash, it is suspected that defective brakes may, too, have been to blame.

Who Is Liable When Defective Brakes Cause an Accident?

Brake failures are often catastrophic when it comes to vehicles the size of tractor-trailers. Semi-truck brakes regularly endure – literally – tons of pressure. If designed defectively or not maintained, this pressure can lead to spectacular failures in the braking system, which endangers every other person on the road.

The issue is not uncommon, either. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of semi-truck accidents involve brake failure.

When it comes to determining liability for brake failures, it might seem easy to place blame solely upon the driver. But it can actually be much more complicated than that. Many parties may be liable after a brake failure, including:

  • A manufacturer: it is possible that the brakes in question were manufactured incorrectly, or that the manufacturer failed to inspect the parts properly.
  • Maintenance workers or mechanics: Trucking companies typically rely on third parties to ensure that trucks are maintained and repaired regularly. If one of these mechanics fails to notice or repair a defective brake, that mechanic may be liable.
  • Cargo crew: trucks are rated to carry specific amounts of cargo based on the capabilities of the truck as well as the safety of carrying large loads. Load crews may overload a truck, or stack cargo wrong, in such a way that leads to catastrophic brake failure.
  • The driver: regardless of what led to the accident, the driver will often share some culpability. After all, driver error is also a major contributor to truck crashes, and the driver is the only person with the capability of driving safely to prevent crashes. The driver is also expected to perform routine safety checks before taking their vehicle out on the road. Failure to do so can result in crashes.

If you have been injured in a truck accident and believe defective brakes were to blame, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Written on behalf of Phillip Chupik by™