Any person or business owning a vehicle is responsible to use reasonable care in ensuring the vehicle is properly maintained. An owner may be liable particularly if they had notice or were aware the vehicle had a malfunction that could affect the vehicle’s safety. An example might be failure to respond to a factory recall of the vehicle/ part, allowing tires to become “bald” and worn to an unsafe tread depth or ignoring dashboard service or warning lights for an unreasonable length of time
Section 396.3 of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations requires commercial trucks to undergo systemic inspection, repair and maintenance, which is generally understood to mean a regular or scheduled program to keep vehicles in safe operating condition. The statute doesn’t specify the exact intervals, as the question of how often maintenance is needed may be fleet specific, but the carrier has to keep proper records of those inspections and repairs. Failure to do this can result in the malfunction of a part or system that could have devastating consequences on the road.
Our auto accident attorneys are committed to carefully combing through these records to determine whether vehicles were adequately maintain and, if not, whether this was a causal factor in the crash. This should be done for collisions involving any vehicle, but especially commercial trucks. Continue reading →