Semi-trucks are a constant sight throughout New York and across America. These giant vehicles can be daunting, especially to individuals who have heard news stories about deadly truck accidents. The scary reality is that these trucks and their drivers cause accidents all the time, leaving victims and their families with extensive losses. While most people assume that these accidents are caused by negligence caused while driving these big rigs, and that certainly does account for a fair share of these wrecks, improper truck maintenance can also result in a devastating crash.
This is why the federal government has regulations in place to better ensure that trucks are routinely inspected and repaired. Truck companies are required to systematically inspect their fleets and make appropriate repairs. Additionally, truckers must complete a post-trip inspection report at the end of each day that is spent on the road. These reports must identify any defects, each of which must be rectified by the truck company before resumption of operations.
Trucks must also be inspected on a yearly basis by an individual who possesses the appropriate qualifications. These individuals must have certain trainings or experience that often includes the passage of a federal or state-sponsored program. Those who fail to conduct these yearly inspections may miss serious defects that otherwise would be detected and repaired. Sometimes these matters are not as easily detected during post-trip inspections conducted by truckers who may not possess the same certification as an individual who is trained to conduct yearly inspections.
When an improperly maintained truck causes a truck accident, victims may be justified in taking legal action. To prove the legal elements necessary to succeed on one of these claims, a victim may need access to trucker and truck company reports. This may require subpoenaing documents, issuing interrogatories and conducting depositions. This is the best way to develop a strong legal case that can position a victim well for success at negotiation and trial.