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Defective Brakes Lead to Tragedy

A tragic truck accident involving a 24-foot moving truck left a man dead after the truck lost its brakes and started rolling down a hill towards a hotel lobby. The truck was initially parked outside the Plaza Place Apartments in Kansas City. Witnesses indicated that movers were unloading the truck when the accident occurred. The brakes failed and the truck slowly started to roll away. One man was able to get inside the cab and steer the truck away from the InterContinental Kansas City hotel. However, the man was thrown when the truck hit the curb and was severely injured when the truck ran him over. He later died at the hospital.

Officials hail the man as a hero, as his rescue attempt prevented what could have been a disastrous situation if the truck rolled through the nearby intersection.

Liability for Faulty Brakes

This situation presents a number of legal questions; the most prominent being whether the truck owner was negligent in maintaining the brakes. Generally, a vehicle owner does not owe a duty to every driver (and pedestrian) to keep the car in mint condition, but he must use reasonable care in keeping it in safe and proper condition. This expectation is exemplified by statute. Missouri Statute 307.170(3) requires all motor vehicles to be in working condition and to have proper brakes while being driven on public roads.

A breach of this law could be viewed as negligence. In cases where evidence shows that brakes were in defective condition for some time, and that the vehicle owner paid no attention or made no effort to correct the defects, courts have held offending drivers liable for accidents caused by their vehicles.

As such, the moving company in this instance could be held liable for the injuries, property damage and loss of life caused by the runaway truck.

If you have been involved in an accident, and have reason to believe it was caused by another’s defective vehicle, an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and advise you of your rights and options.