Trucking companies and drivers are responsible for their brakes.

Regulations covering breaks and break maintenance are:

> As a general rule, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require that all motor carriers “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained,” all motor vehicles under its control, and all “parts and accessories must be in safe and proper condition at all times.” (CFR 396.3(a))

> CFR 396.3(b) also requires that for all vehicles which the motor carrier controls for 30 consecutive days or more, the carrier has to maintain detailed records for each vehicle” including “a record of inspection, repairs, and maintenance showing their date and type,” including review and repair of brake systems.

> The FMCSA also requires all drivers to complete a post-trip inspection report in writing at the end of each driving day. If any problems are found, the carrier has to certify in writing that any listed defect or deficiency has been repaired or that immediate repair is unnecessary. The motor carrier must maintain an original copy of the report for 3 months, (CFR 396.11)

> CFR 396.17 mandates that all commercial vehicles must undergo, at a minimum, a thorough inspection at least once a year. A copy of the report must be maintained for 14 mos.

> Specifically with respect to brakes, CFR 393.40 – 393.55 contains detailed technical regulations about specific brake parts and systems and how they’re to be maintained.

> CFR 393.40(a) – “Each commercial motor vehicle must have brakes adequate to stop & hold the vehicle or a combination of vehicles. Each commercial motor vehicle must meet the applicable service, parking, and emergency brake system requirement provide in this section.”

> There are different technical requirements and regulations for services brakes, air brake systems, electric brake systems, vacuum brake systems, surge break systems, parking brakes, emergency brakes, and so on.

> CFR 393.48 provides that “all brakes with which a motor vehicle is equipped must at all times be capable of operating.”

> CFR 393.53(b): Every commercial vehicle manufactured on or after October 20, 1994 and equipped with an air brake system must be equipped with Automatic Slack Adjusters.

> CFR 393.47(d) sets out specific minimum standards re: thickness of brake lining/pad:

  1. Steering axle brake lining/pad thickness
    • Shoe center with continuous strip; shall not be less than 3/16
    • Shoe center with two pads; shall not be less than 1/4
    • Air disk brakes; shall not be less than 1/8
    • Hydraulic disk & electric brakes; shall not be less than 1/16
  2. Non-steering axle brakes
    • Shoe center for drum brakes; shall not be less than 1/4
    • Air disk brakes, shall not be less than 1/8
    • Hydraulic disk & electric brakes; shall not be less than 1/16

> There are also very specific requirements for who may inspect and repair brakes on a commercial vehicle. CFR 396.19 sets out the following requirements:

  • Brake inspector qualification – The motor carrier is responsible for ensuring that all inspections, maintenance, repairs, and service to brakes of commercial motor vehicles comply with these regulations. The carrier must ensure that the employees responsible for brake inspection, maintenance, service, or repairs meet minimum brake inspector qualifications.
  • Qualifying Brake Training or Experience – Qualifying brake training or experience includes successful completion of a State, Canadian province, Federal agency, or union training program, a State-approved training program, training that led to attainment of a State or Canadian Province qualifying certificate to perform assigned brake service or inspection tasks, including passage of CDL air brake test in the case of a brake inspection, or one year of brake-related training, experience, or combination of both.
  • Maintaining Evidence of Brake Inspector Qualifications – Motor carriers must maintain evidence of brake inspector qualification at the principal place of business or the location where the inspector works. Evidence must be retained for the period during which the brake inspector is employed in that capacity.

The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Created in 2000, the FMCSA has specific rules and regulations governing the trucking industry and trucking accidents. These rules cover an extremely wide range of issues, including requirements for drivers and how records should be preserved by trucking companies and drivers.

If you or a loved one has been in a serious accident caused by a commercial truck driver, it’s critical you have an attorney on your side that thoroughly understands FMCSA rules and knows how to apply that knowledge specifically toward your case.

For example, if a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel and cause an accident, he might have violated the “hours-of-service rules” which spell out how long drivers can operate at one time. Trucking companies can be held accountable in such accidents. They sometimes put pressure on their drivers to work longer hours, which increases the risk of accidents.

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has imposed other strict rules for trucking companies to follow to ensure drivers are qualified. With a few minor exceptions, a driver must be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Able to read and speak the English language sufficiently, especially to read road signs
  • Able to safely operate the commercial vehicle
  • Able to meet certain physical requirements
  • Able to provide a list of prior moving violations and accidents to the hiring company
  • Able to successfully complete a road test

At Bell & Pollock, we are well-versed in the FMCSA rules and regulations. This knowledge enables us to build a solid case and hold truck drivers and trucking companies responsible for their actions.

You can count on Bell & Pollock to handle your truck accident

You have so many things to worry about after a truck accident. Whether you hired the right truck accident attorney in Colorado should not be one of them. That’s why it’s important you contact us to discuss the details of your case. One of our highly skilled personal injury attorneys can give your case the attention it rightfully deserves.

Don’t simply assume that investigators and insurance companies will take care of everything. Often, insurance companies only care about one thing: paying injury victims as little as possible. That’s not right. That’s why we work so hard for injury victims. Bell & Pollock cares.

Your best interests come first at Bell & Pollock. We take this approach because we value your opinions and your needs. That’s why we work closely with every client to carefully design a legal strategy that fits your specific needs.

One call can change your life. Discover what Bell & Pollock can do for you. Call (303) 795-5900 or (877) 744-5900 today and schedule a free case evaluation.

Contact Us

Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.

Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.

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Case Results


CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000



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