Serving Gainesville, Jacksonville, Atlanta areas
Tractor-trailers are complex vehicles that require frequent maintenance to stay in proper working order. Both the trucking company and the driver are responsible for inspecting trucks to ensure their safety at all times. If a faulty truck is allowed out on the road and causes a truck accident, the company, the driver, and any other party that was involved with the truck's maintenance can be held responsible for negligence.
Trucking Company Liability
Trucking companies are responsible for keeping detailed maintenance logs that document the type of work that was performed, the parts that were purchased, and all repair requests made by drivers. Apart from regular driver inspections, commercial trucks must also have an annual inspection by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
If the FMCSA agent who inspects the truck decides it is unsafe due to inadequate maintenance, it can be declared "out of service" until every required repair is completed. Trucking companies cannot force a driver to operate a truck that is out of service.
Truck Driver Liability
At the beginning and end of every work day, truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicle. If this is the driver's first time operating a particular truck, they are also responsible for reviewing the last driver's post-trip inspection report. If any repairs are needed based on that report, the driver must get certification from the trucking company that the repairs were successfully made before signing off on the report.
Some of the key parts that drivers are required to inspect are:
- Coupling devices
- Emergency equipment
- Lights and reflectors
- Rear-vision mirrors
- Under-ride protection
Drivers play a significant role in truck maintenance, since they are usually the first to know when something is amiss. If a driver fails to notify the trucking company of a necessary repair, or fails to complete a thorough inspection at the required intervals, they can be held responsible if a vehicle defect causes a serious truck accident.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, or if your loved one has been killed because of inadequate truck maintenance, please contact The Chestnut Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Gainesville truck accident lawyers.
We represent injured truck accident victims nationwide, with offices in Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia.