All drivers owe a duty of care to others sharing the road to ensure the vehicle they are operating is in good working order. Failure to conduct proper and regular maintenance can increase the risk of causing mechanical damage to a vehicle, which can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
This also applies especially to commercial trucks, as truck drivers often spend thousands of miles on the road every week. If a trucking company lets a poorly maintained vehicle on the road, they may be liable for damages in a truck crash caused by that vehicle’s mechanical issues. However, the truck driver may also be liable if he or she owned the vehicle.
If you have been in a truck-related accident through no fault of your own, we recommend consulting with an experienced lawyer. We have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for decades. The initial consultation we offer is free of charge and there are zero upfront fees to retain our services.
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Regulations Governing Commercial Truck Vehicles
Regulations governing commercial truck vehicles in Canada are in the Canadian National Safety Code (NSC) standards. These performance standards (15 in total) apply to any individual or entity responsible for the safe operation of commercial trucks.
For instance, Standard 11 provides detailed regulations regarding the inspection, repair and maintenance of commercial trucks. A part or accessory that could affect the safety and operation of a vehicle must be in good repair, such as the truck’s frame, axles, steering systems, wheels and rims.
The Ministry of Transportation in Ontario also helps commercial truck drivers understand the legislative requirements they must abide by to be safe and compliant on the province’s highways. This includes information on preventative maintenance and recordkeeping practices for maintenance performed.
Dangers of Poor Truck Maintenance/Mechanical Issues
Although driver error is often cited as a contributing factor in most crashes, a significant number of accidents are caused by commercial trucks in poor operating condition.
These vehicles need routine maintenance even more than regular passenger vehicles. This is because commercial trucks weigh significantly more, transport heavier loads and are on the road for longer periods. Despite this, sometimes fleets of vehicles are not serviced as often as they should be. This can lead to more potential incidents.
A poorly maintained truck on the road can be incredibly dangerous. Mechanical issues caused by negligent fleet maintenance can cause catastrophic injuries and death. Examples of these issues include:
- Not maintaining proper tire pressure or replacing worn tires
- Not replacing worn or torn windshield wipers
- Not checking the brakes regularly or replacing them
- Not replacing worn or damaged cargo restraints
- Not replacing vehicle lubricants
- Not replacing burned out lights
- Not fixing any electrical or engine problems
- Not replacing or repairing suspension
- Not properly securing trailers or using safety devices
Proving the Truck Driver or Trucking Company is Liable
If you have been injured by a poorly maintained truck, you may have grounds to take legal action against the trucking company or any other party responsible for maintenance.
For instance, the truck driver may be liable if he or she failed to regularly inspect, maintain and repair the vehicle as regulated. If the mechanical issue was the result of a defect and not a lack of maintenance, the vehicle or parts manufacturer may be at fault for a truck crash.
However, liability in these cases can be complicated because multiple parties may be involved. It is important to note that the truck driver, the trucking company, and their insurance representatives, will not be forthcoming if its truck, maintenance efforts or its fleet safety practices contributed to a crash. They will do whatever it takes to try and avoid liability.
That is why it is in your best interest to seek legal representation after a truck-related crash. A lawyer can thoroughly investigate what happened and determine if any regulations were violated. He or she can help you gather the evidence needed to prove that the truck driver or trucking company was negligent. This act of negligence not only contributed to the accident but also directly led to you being injured.
Some evidence that may be used includes:
- The truck’s inspection logs
- Maintenance records
- Signs of wear and tear
- Other data and documentation
Your lawyer can also help determine all types of losses you may be eligible to be compensated for.
Injured in a Truck Crash? Call Our Firm Today
Our Windsor truck accident lawyers are here to help if you have been harmed in a truck-related crash. We have many years of experience building strong cases on behalf of our clients and a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation. This includes $4.25 million in a truck accident case.
We offer a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation to explain your rights and discuss your available legal options. We also charge nothing up front, so there is no risk in reaching out. Our intake staff is available to take your call anytime, day or night. We only get paid if we help you obtain a recovery.
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