Understanding Liability for a Truck Braking Failure Accident in Oregon
Large commercial vehicles like semi tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, box trucks, tankers, and other big rigs have one thing in common—a lot of wheels. These wheels help to balance and distribute weight, stabilize the trailer, and of course help the truck move. With all of those big and powerful wheels on the go, it is obvious that they also need to stop sometimes. Stopping all of these wheels is done through an advanced braking system. This is a very powerful braking system that can stop a massive 18 wheeler that is over 80,000 pounds. These are air brakes which are powerful but they are limited in the amount of time that the brake can be applied before needing to be reset. This is the opposition of a disc braking system from passenger vehicles. While most of air braking systems work perfectly nearly every time, unfortunately it is not uncommon for a truck braking failure accident in Oregon to occur.
Whenever a victim or a family member is injured by a truck braking failure accident in Oregon, there may have been negligence. The negligence may have been caused by the failure of a truck driver or trucking company. But with a truck braking failure accident, it could also have been the maintenance company or mechanics responsible for servicing and maintaining the vehicle. This means that a skilled lawyer is needed to investigate the cause of a serious trucking accident in Oregon.
Liability for a Truck Braking Failure Accident
It is the responsibility of a driver to always maintain his or her vehicle in proper working condition. For truck drivers, the trucking company is responsible for the conduct of the truck driver under the doctrine of respondeat superior. This means that the truck driver and trucking company are responsible for the braking system and its maintenance. Failures of the braking system could result in liability for the trucking company.
Legal Requirements and Imposing Liability
Not only is this under the common law (or judge-made law), but it is also under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These regulations apply to all truck drivers and trucking companies operating commercial vehicles in the United States, no matter what state the truck driver is from, going to, driving in, or where the trucking company is based out of. These requirements set the minimum standard required.
The FMCSA regulations place a lot of emphasis on wheels and the braking system. This is because these are the most important components of the system. As it relates to braking systems, 49 CFR section 392.7 (a) provides that ““[n]o commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good working order, nor shall any driver fail to use or make use of such parts and accessories when and as needed: [including] Service brakes, including trailer brake connections . . . [and] Parking (hand) brake.”
A truck driver who has his or her brakes fail and causes a rear end collision could be liable under the FMCSA regulations for the crash. This could be done under the doctrine of negligence per se which allows the violation of a statute to automatically impose liability by the violator. However, since the FMCSA regulations are not statutory but regulatory, the violation of the FMCSA regulations is just evidence of negligence.
Ask Our Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.