Brakes on big rigs, 18 wheelers, and other commercial trucks that become “overheated” and fail are capable of causing horrific, devastating collisions on roads and highways in Texas, Louisiana, and across the United States. In fact, according to data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA), close to 30 percent of commercial truck accidents were linked to brake-related issues.
Overheating is a Major Cause of Brake Failure on Big Rigs
Commercial truck drivers who speed or lack proper training apply excessive force to their brakes, causing them to overheat and become damaged. This is referred to as “hot brakes,” which leads to brake failure. Common signs of hot brakes or impending brake failure include a burning odor, squealing noises, and/or a grinding sensation when the brakes are applied.
If commercial truck drivers and trucking companies fail to conduct necessary maintenance or neglect the signs of potential brake failure, the consequences can be devastating. A large commercial truck that collides with another vehicle, or multiple vehicles, while traveling at a high rate of speed is likely to cause serious and fatal injuries.
Truck Accidents and Faulty Brakes
According to the FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, brake failure is one of the leading causes of serious truck accidents. And many of the preventable crashes that result from failing brakes are a result of improper and deficient brake maintenance.
That’s why it’s so critical for commercial trucks to undergo routine maintenance, including regular performance-based brake tests (PBBT).
A “PBBT” is a quantitative assessment of a commercial vehicle’s braking performance that directly measures the amount of force the brake applies at each wheel and axle, in addition to the force applied to the commercial truck overall.
A commercial truck’s braking capability can also be evaluated through stopping performance tests. These tests are designed to assess a vehicle’s stopping distance when traveling in a variety of different conditions.
Holding the Truck Driver and Truck Company Accountable After an Accident
If a commercial truck driver, or the trucking company they work for, fails to routinely conduct appropriate maintenance on a commercial truck’s brake system, and that truck causes a serious accident, then both the truck driver and truck company can be held responsible for injuries suffered by other motorists in the collision.
Pursuing the maximum amount of damages is something our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers do in every case we’re involved with.
Not only have our truck accident lawyers never lost a case, we’ve repeatedly won the largest truck and 18-wheeler accident verdicts and settlements in Texas on behalf of commercial truck accident victims and their families.
Here are some examples of our results:
- The #1 Largest Truck Accident Settlement in Texas
- The #1 Largest Accident Verdict in Texas
- $32 Million Settlement for Truck Accident Victim
- $20 Million Settlement in Fatal 18 Wheeler Crash
- $23.5 Million Settlement for Truck Accident Victim
- 2 of the Largest Truck Accident Settlements in Texas
Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
There are three primary types of damages a truck accident victim can recover in a truck accident lawsuit:
- economic damages
- non-economic damages, and
- punitive damages.
Economic damages can be thought of as the harms and losses that can be added up on a calculator. For example, economic damages include medical expenses stemming from the accident, as well as any bills or expenses associated with:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Hospital stays
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
Another form of recoverable economic damages are lost wages. Truck accident victims often suffer significant, debilitating bodily injuries that may take weeks, months, or even years to recover. This is likely to require time away from work, which means lost income and diminished earning capacity. A truck accident lawsuit can seek reimbursement for those lost wages, both for wages lost in the past and for wages they’re unable to earn in the future.
Non-economic damages, in contrast, cannot be tethered to a specific dollar amount or added up on a calculator. They’re meant to compensate an accident victim for the personal losses, like the physical or emotional suffering experienced as a result of the truck accident.
Examples of non-economic damages that may be recovered through a truck accident lawsuit include:
- Mental anguish
- Anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Physical or emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
- Scarring and disfigurement from injuries or surgeries
If the big rig driver was reckless or grossly negligent, punitive damages are also available.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.003, punitive damages are recoverable if there is “clear and convincing” evidence that the accident was caused by malice or “gross negligence.”
Gross negligence requires evidence that the truck driver and/or the trucking company acted with conscious indifference to the safety or welfare of others. If you can show, with evidence developed in the case, that the truck driver or trucking company was grossly negligent, then you are also entitled to recover punitive damages to punish for the reckless or dangerous behavior.
Injured in a Trucking Accident? Contact our Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck or big rig accident, contact our Undefeated 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers for a free, no commitment, consultation.
With a track-record of the largest commercial vehicle accident recoveries in history, we know how to hold trucking companies accountable and ensure you are fully and fairly compensated for your harms and losses.
Please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to submit a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.
The consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a dime unless we win your case.