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Truck Maintenance Violations and Your Personal Injury Claim

When you think of the causes of a truck accident Maryland, you probably think that the accident was caused by driver error. However, it is also likely that a truck accident could be the result of a faulty part on the truck that could have been discovered if the truck was receiving the proper maintenance. No vehicle should be driven without being well-maintained and having any mechanical problems repaired. Truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs are so important that federal regulations mandate them. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and truckers fail to properly follow these federal rules, which can result in tragic accidents involving serious injury or death.

Required Truck Maintenance Under Federal Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put together detailed regulations regarding truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs that all drivers and trucking companies must follow. It is required that all truckers and trucking companies be familiar with these regulations. Trucking companies and drivers are required to

  • “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained” all trucks within their control. This is to ensure that all parts and components are in good working order and safe.
  • Ensure that a truck is not put on the road if it is in a condition that is likely to cause an accident or a breakdown of the truck
  • Make sure that any truck in a condition that is likely to cause an accident, or a breakdown of the truck be marked with an “out of service” sticker
  • Not operate a truck with an “out of service” sticker on it until all repairs have been completed
  • Perform pre-trip inspection of the truck to ensure that it is in a safe condition and that the load is secure
  • Complete inspection of the truck at the end of every day’s work and prepare a written report documenting any defect or deficiency

Trucking companies are required to keep records regarding any truck that it owns, leases, or operates. These records should include information about any inspections or maintenance performed.

What Should Be Inspected

The FMCSA regulations mandate what the trucker must inspect on a daily basis. This includes

  • All brakes
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lights and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Mirrors
  • Coupling equipment
  • Wheels and rims
  • Emergency equipment

What Can Go Wrong

If a truck is not properly maintained or inspected, problems with the truck can lead to a serious accident. Improper maintenance and inspection can lead to

  • Problems with the brake system
  • Worn tires
  • Faulty turn signals
  • Problems with brake lights and headlights

Any of these issues can lead to a serious, and maybe even deadly, accident.

Contact an Experienced Maryland Truck Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured an accident resulting from a truck maintenance violation, it is important to contact an attorney who can hold the drivers and trucking companies responsible for any failure to inspect or repair the truck. Contact the experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, online or call us at (301) 812-4777 for your free consultation.

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