When New York Trucking Companies Fail to Maintain Their Commercial Vehicles

New York City Truck Accident Lawyers

Trucking companies are required to maintain their vehicles and ensure unsafe trucks are kept off the road. The truck driver and their employer, as well as a maintenance contractor, are responsible for ensuring a truck is properly maintained. When poor truck maintenance leads to a trucking accident in New York, these parties can be held accountable for their negligent actions.

Tractor Trailer Maintenance: Driver Responsibility

Truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicles at the beginning of each work day. Additionally, they must read the post-trip inspection report prepared by the truck's previous operator. If the inspection report indicates that repairs are needed, the driver must obtain confirmation from their employer that the repairs were performed before signing off on the report.

When performing a daily inspection of their vehicles, drivers must ensure the following parts are functioning properly:

  • Service brakes
  • Parking brake
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear-view mirrors
  • Reflectors
  • Trailer brake connections
  • Steering mechanism

When a truck driver finds a worn out or broken part during inspection, they must report any necessary repairs to their employer immediately. If the driver fails to carry out an inspection or report a needed repair, they can be held accountable if the defect leads to an accident.

Responsibility of Trucking Companies

Ultimately, truck employers are responsible for the condition of their vehicles. Trucking companies cannot permit or force their employees to drive vehicles that are in need of repairs and must keep maintenance records detailing repair requests, parts purchased and repairs performed. In addition to regular driver inspections, trucking companies must have their vehicles inspected every year by a qualified inspector.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration agents have the authority to inspect commercial vehicles. If the FMCSA agent finds that a truck has been poorly maintained and poses a safety risk, they can declare the truck "out of service" until the required repairs have been completed, and the trucking company cannot force or allow their employees to drive the vehicle.

New York City Truck Accident Lawyers

When a poorly maintained truck causes a crash, it can be difficult to determine liability. In these instances, the victim will need a lawyer who works closely with accident reconstruction specialists who understand maintenance issues that can arise in truck accidents. The lawyers of Block O'Toole & Murphy have the resources to obtain federal and state records, company documents and files that trucking companies and their employees must maintain. We also understand federal trucking regulations and can detect when fraudulent documents are created after a tractor trailer crash. Our lawyers are dedicated to ensuring accident victims are properly compensated for their injuries and will evaluate inspection records, vehicle condition reports and other documents that can help substantiate a claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer crash, contact us today for a FREE case review. Serving Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, all of NYC and New York State.

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