Most of us have experienced it: the need to “slam” on our brakes in order to stop just in time to keep from hitting another vehicle that has stopped short, or to avoid an obstruction in front of us. We count on our brake systems to work, to help us stop quickly whenever needed. But in some cases, brake systems fail, sometimes causing serious accidents and injuries. The failure or explosion of a brake chamber on a truck is an example of an accident that can cause severe damages.
Air brake chambers are a crucial component of commercial truck and trailer braking systems. They are round metal containers, located at each wheel, which contribute to stopping the vehicle by converting compressed air into mechanical force.
Sadly, brake chamber defects can happen unexpectedly, causing serious injuries — and even death. Some of the causes of brake chamber explosions and defects can include the mechanical disablement of a spring brake or disconnection of the air line to the brake chamber. Those events may disable the driver’s ability to brake.
Fault Liability for Brake Chamber Defects and Explosions
There are several issues that may cause the brakes on a truck to fail. First, the brakes themselves may be defective, putting the manufacturer at fault for creating a defective product. The trucking company may also be to blame, particularly if they failed to inspect, maintain, and keep safe the brake systems on their trucks. And in some cases, a brake failure may be caused by human error, putting the driver at least partially at fault.
When someone suffers injuries and damages in a brake chamber-related accident, it is essential to investigate the causes of the accident as soon as possible.
Several personal injury claims might arise from a brake chamber accident. For example:
- The victim or injured person may bring a negligence claim against the trucking company, particularly if they failed to inspect and maintain the brake system or otherwise failed to provide safety precautions.
- In the case of a defective product, the victim may bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the brake system.
- If the driver is at fault, it may be possible to bring a claim against the driver, as well as against the trucking company in respondeat superior, holding the “master” responsible for the negligent actions of its employee.
Recovering Damages that Resulted from a Brake Chamber Accident
Accidents involving a brake chamber issue can cause significant personal injuries and damages. The types of damages that result can include pecuniary losses, meaning damages that can be easily quantified. They can also include non-economic losses, like pain and suffering, which are harder to put a dollar figure on and are typically determined by the jury. Some examples of damages include:
- Medical, hospital, and pharmaceutical bills for personal injuries
- Mechanics’ bills for damages to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income, where a victim is out of work due to their injuries
- Other types of non-economic damages, such as mental anguish and loss of companionship
- In the event of a fatal accident, potential recovery for wrongful death.
The Process of Recovery
Recovering for your damages in the case of a brake chamber accident can make for a complicated and lengthy process — particularly without a knowledgeable and experienced attorney working with you. You will need to establish liability for the actions of the party that caused the accident, whether that be the manufacturer of the brakes, the trucking company, the driver, or all of the above.
Your lawsuit will involve extensive investigation of the facts around the accident, allowing you to prepare a successful case. It will involve proving every element of your claims. In the case of a negligence suit, this means proving that the wrongdoer’s actions were a direct cause of your injuries and that they breached a duty to you on the road. In the case of a product defect claim, it will entail proving all of the requisite elements of product liability in your state.
In addition to choosing the proper claims to file, you will need to prepare an effective personal injury lawsuit, which is a difficult process without the help of an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help negotiate with the other parties, ensure that all factual claims are stated correctly and backed by evidence, and present your legal arguments to the jury.
FVF Can Help
Figuring out who is at fault, navigating potential claims, and preparing an effective personal injury suit can be a complex and involved process. An experienced personal injury lawyer can be instrumental in helping you recover from your injuries.
At FVF, we are committed to helping you understand your options in car accident injury cases. We are intricately familiar with Texas personal injury law and can help determine how it applies in your specific case. Having significant experience with truck accident cases, we work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve from your accident, whether it’s fair payment for your damages or compensation for loss of future income.
We work on a contingency fee basis, so you always know what to expect from your truck accident case. Our free, no-commitment case consultations are intended to help you feel informed enough to make decisions about your situation that are in your best interest. Contact us today to arrange your free consultation.