Brake Failure And Truck Accidents


Statistics from the National Safety Council suggest that around 107,000 large trucks are involved in accidents that cause injuries every year in the US. In 2020, more than 4,800 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes (source). Truck accidents are often much more serious than crashes involving other vehicles due to their size, power and weight. There are multiple causes of truck accidents. In this informative guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common causes of collisions, including brake failure.

How does brake failure cause truck accidents?

The brakes play a vital role in protecting drivers and other road users. If you drive a truck, a car or a motorbike, you need to be able to slow the vehicle down and brake quickly. If your brakes fail, this increases the risk of a collision or a crash with another vehicle.

Brake failure can result from poor maintenance or mechanical faults and defects. In the US, there are strict rules in place to lower the risk of accidents. Truck manufacturers are required to ensure that brakes meet minimum standards. If the brakes fail, and this is due to not meeting the required performance standards, the brakes will be deemed a defective product.

In most cases, truck accidents are caused by driver error. However, in the case of faulty brakes, other parties may be liable. Manufacturers are responsible for meeting safety standards when selling trucks to customers, and firms and organizations that employ drivers have a duty to keep up to date with truck maintenance and checks to protect drivers and other road users. Poorly maintained brakes compromise the ability to slow down or stop, increasing stopping distance and impairing driver reactions to hazards that appear suddenly.

Examples of causes of brake failure

Brake failure is usually linked to manufacturing faults or a lack of maintenance. Examples of causes of brake failure include:

  • Overheating
  • Poorly adjusted or aligned brakes
  • Worn brakes and brake parts
  • Uneven brakes
  • Incorrect air pressure

Other common causes of truck accidents

Brake failure is a relatively uncommon cause of truck accidents, but it can result in severe injuries and fatalities due to the importance of the brakes and the impact of driving a truck and not being able to slow down or stop properly.

Other common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver errors, including speeding, careless driving, distracted driving, tiredness and driving under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Defective equipment
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Adverse or extreme weather conditions

Who is liable for a truck accident caused by brake failure?

In the case of truck accidents caused by brake failure, there may be several lines of enquiry. Suppose the driver was not at fault, and brake failure was confirmed as the cause of the crash. In that case, the accident could be due to negligence on the part of the truck manufacturer, the company responsible for the maintenance of the brakes, the truck owner, or the manager of a firm that employs truck drivers in cases where the maintenance record is incomplete or inadequate.

What should I do if I think I have a valid truck accident claim?

If you have been involved in a truck accident, and you think you have a valid compensation claim, it’s important to contact an experienced, reputable legal firm. You may be eligible for compensation for your accident. Attorneys can help you navigate the process of making a claim, build a strong case and represent you to increase the chances of getting the result you deserve.

To help you determine whether you have a strong case, here are some questions to answer:

  • Were you injured in the incident?
  • Was another party liable for the accident?
  • Do you have solid evidence to support your claim?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, it’s beneficial to seek advice today.

How much can you claim for a truck accident?

The amount of compensation you can claim for a truck accident will depend on several factors. Every case is different and some payouts will be a lot larger than others. Key factors include:

  • The severity of physical injuries
  • Long-term or chronic injuries and illnesses caused by the accident
  • Emotional distress and mental health disorders
  • Loss of income or employment
  • Other financial losses


The brakes are a vital safety component of a truck. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident as a result of brake failure due to poor maintenance, inadequate safety testing or mechanical faults, it’s important to seek expert legal advice. You could claim compensation for your accident.

If you need advice, or you’d like to talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer, call Wells Trumbull today to schedule a free consultation. You can also contact us online by clicking here.