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Poorly maintained trucks cause significant danger in Ontario

This article discusses the dangers of poorly maintained transport trucks.

When most Ontario residents think about accidents involving transport trucks, they often consider driver error before any other potential cause. While it's true that truck drivers make mistakes that cause serious and deadly crashes, poorly maintained vehicles also put the lives of everyone on the roadways at risk.

Unfortunately, drivers in smaller, more vulnerable vehicles have no way of knowing if the transport truck next to them would fail a mechanical inspection. Considering the massive weight and size of these vehicles, any collision involving a smaller, more vulnerable vehicle could have catastrophic results.

The numbers bear this out

From 2012 to 2016, Ontario's roadways saw 1,342 collisions involving fatalities. Of that number, a transport truck was involved in 266 of them. In those fatal transport truck crashes, 330 people lost their lives. Within that period, 286 of the 330 fatalities occupied smaller passenger vehicles. The remaining deaths were truck drivers.

Some of the most recent data regarding crashes involving poorly maintained transport trucks is from July 2014 to June 2017. During that time, 344 of the trucks were defective in some manner. Six involved fatalities, and 37 of them involved injuries. These numbers may not be large, but for those individuals and their families, they remain significant. Moreover, even one death on the road is too much, especially when it occurs due to completely preventable factors.

Common mechanical problems with transport trucks

Analyzing the data more closely revealed that the following mechanical defects were common to many of these crashes:

· Blown tires

· Damaged axles

· Defective hitches

· Faulty brakes

· Unsecured loads

At times, pieces of these trucks, or of their loads, flew off the truck and caused accidents. Drivers and trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that the vehicles they put on the road with innocent motorists and their passengers are safe. Many would say the same about the drivers themselves. They still pose a danger if they become fatigued, impaired or distracted while behind the wheel of their trucks.

The aftermath of a transport truck accident

Whether serious or fatal injuries result from a transport truck accident, the victims may be able to pursue restitution for their financial losses and other damages that were sustained. However, they should be wary of settlement offers from the truck driver and/or trucking company's insurance carriers. More than likely, they will not adequately cover the damages incurred now or any that may arise in the future.

Victims are not required to accept those offers, and may want to consult with a lawyer prior to engaging in any communications with the other side. In many cases, insurers attempt to get to victims or their families as quickly as possible. During the first days and weeks after an accident, individuals may not be considering the future and may be more willing to accept an offer.

Instead, they may only be worried about their recovery, their losses and the expenses that continue to mount. Taking the time to slow down and consider all of the options may make it clear that further negotiations, and possibly litigation, would provide the best outcome for those who suffered in these crashes.

In The News

  • July 12, 2018 - Mississauga Nursing Home Found Negligent In Death of Elderly Patient
  • April 9, 2018 - Hamilton Health Sciences 25th Annual Conference on Neurobehavioural Rehabilitation in Acquired Brain Injury
  • February 9, 2018 - Michael Smitiuch Represents an Alberta Dentist in a $5.6 million Lawsuit
  • January 22, 2018 - The Winter 2018 issue of our newsletter, Disclosure, is now available
  • January 11, 2018 - THE LAWYER'S DAILY - Multiple Hospital Suicides Result in Legal Action
  • December 5, 2017 - CBC News interviews Michael Smitiuch about Auto Insurance Reforms
  • October 30, 2017 - BREAKING NEWS: Families Seek to Hold Hamilton Hospital Accountable for Patient Suicide Deaths
  • October 11, 2017 - Hamilton Jury Returns Verdict In Favour of Injured Police Officer
  • September 11, 2017 - THE LAWYER'S DAILY - Ontario Provincial Police using GPS darts make roads safer, could threaten privacy
  • September 7, 2017 - BREAKING NEWS: Suit Against City of Mississauga Raises Questions About Safety of Summer Students
  • July 31, 2017 - Smitiuch Injury Law welcomes two Student-at-law. Caroline Tarjan and Gurjiwan Brar will be articling with the firm for the next 10 months.
  • July 14, 2017 - THE LAWYER'S DAILY - Rethinking the cap on pain and suffering damages
  • July 3, 2017 - THE LAWYER'S DAILY - Will Toronto’s new trial sitting pilot project stand the test?
  • June 30, 2017 - Recipients of the 2017 Smitiuch Injury Law Legal Studies Scholarships are announced
  • June 7, 2017 - Premium sponsorship of FORE the Kids Charity Golf Tournament
  • May 11, 2017 - BREAKING NEWS: $1,000,000 Breach of Privacy Lawsuit Started Against the William Osler Health System and a nurse
  • May 1, 2017 - A Brantford jury awards our client $2.4 million after a five week trial
  • April 24, 2017 - Michael Smitiuch discusses the Marshall Report and the vital role that lawyers play in helping injury victims fight for justice
  • April 6, 2017 - Michael Smitiuch discusses the Madeleine Petrielli $4M lawsuit on Global News - The Morning Show
  • April 5, 2017 - Family files $4M lawsuit against the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel and others, after their daughter was killed while crossing the street
  • April 3, 2017 - Gold Sponsorship - HHSC 24th Annual Conference on Neurobehavioural Rehabilitation in Acquired Brain Injury
  • March 8, 2017 - UPDATE - The Adam Bari Story - Changes to Accident Benefits entitlement adds to family’s struggle
  • February 15, 2017 - Smitiuch Injury Law staff volunteers at The Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program.
  • February 1, 2017 - The Dangers of Wired Glass
  • January 19, 2017 - Father and son file $4M lawsuit against TTC over violent Union Station confrontation
  • January 11, 2017 - "Reduced damages a tough fight for killer drunk driver" - Toronto Sun
  • January 11, 2017 - What should you do if you are in a car accident? CBC News Toronto
  • December 23, 2016 - 50th Annual CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish 2016 Toy Donations
  • December 14, 2016 - Toronto man who was wrongly convicted files $4.5M lawsuit against Toronto Police
  • December 12, 2016 - Paralyzed in crash, man wins damages from City of Hamilton over faded stop line at rural crossing (CBC Hamilton)
  • December 7, 2016 - Go to the Trial & Arbitration Awards page to read the Chiocchio v. City of Hamilton et al. summary
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