Tractor-trailers pose a unique risk to others on the road because they can outweigh the typical passenger car by 26 times or more. While a forty-ton fully loaded commercial truck barreling down the interstate poses a serious traffic safety threat under any circumstances, the danger increases exponentially when commercial drivers do not conduct mandatory safety inspections and necessary maintenance. Our Chicago trucking accident maintenance lawyers understand that a tire blowout or air brakes out of adjustment can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we have over 45 years of collective experience navigating the special issues involved in trucking accident litigation. Trucking litigation involves far more complexity and sophistication than a typical traffic accident claim, so you need attorneys with knowledge of trucking regulations, access to respected trucking reconstruction experts, and familiarity with the tactics used by commercial carriers to mitigate the amount paid to injury and fatality victims and their families. Because we bring extensive experience navigating these complex issues, our law firm has obtained over $40 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Duty to Perform Inspection & Maintenance
Both the commercial carrier and the truck driver must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA) Regulation 396, which specifies the maintenance duties of commercial carriers and truck drivers. The trucking company must maintain all vital working parts of a big-rig in proper working order. A qualified inspector also must inspect the vehicle annually, and documentation confirming this inspection must be displayed on the vehicle. If problems with any vital parts are detected during these inspections, the truck cannot be operated until the issue is rectified.
Semi-truck drivers also have a duty to perform inspections of vital components each day of operation and keep an official log of the results in an inspection log. This daily inspection must include the following:
- Service brakes including trailer brake connections
- Rims and wheels
- Emergency equipment
- Parking brake
- Reflectors and lights
- Coupling devices
- Rearview mirrors
- Windshield wipers
Our experienced Chicago trucking accident maintenance attorneys seek discovery of driver inspection logs, annual expert logs, and other documents related to maintenance of large trucks. Our law firm also seeks discovery of other documents like tire purchase receipts and other documents that might expose inaccuracies or fraud in the inspection logs. Our investigation of maintenance issues in trucking accident lawsuits also includes obtaining state and federal records regarding a commercial carrier and truck driver’s inspection and maintenance performance.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Our experienced Chicago poor maintenance semi-truck accident lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC have the experience and skill to assist clients facing large trucking companies and their national insurance carriers. Our law firm has recovered over $40 million for our clients. We invite you to contact us today at (312) 422-0506 or email us to schedule your free case evaluation.