Have you been injured in an accident involving a truck? Contact Burg Simpson to find out your options. You may be entitled to compensation.
Commercial trucks already introduce an element of peril on the roadway due to their immense weight and size, traveling at fast speeds on interstates and highways. When one of these vehicles blows a tire, the consequent collision can be absolutely devastating to those in nearby passenger vehicles. If you sustained an injury or lost a family member in a truck tire blowout accident, you could be entitled to collect financial compensation for your injuries and damages once you know who is liable for the crash.
An experienced truck tire blowout lawyer from Burg Simpson can help you determine who is liable for your tire blowout accident and what damages you could be entitled to. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Truck tires are designed to withstand an enormous amount of pressure. On average, an unloaded commercial truck weighs somewhere from 10,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds. When you take that into account along with the additional 80,000 pounds contributed by the cargo pushing down on the tires along with the several hundred miles they travel every single day, it is not hard to see how a tire could blow if even the tiniest mistake is made. Regrettably, the majority of truck tire blowouts are caused by human error.
Some of the most common causes of truck tire blowouts are:
Each state has a Department of Transportation. One of its tasks is to oversee the removal of roadway debris and the general upkeep of safe road conditions. States that are more prone to inclement weather tend to sustain far more damage to their asphalt than those with mild climates. The extreme changes in weather and the scraping caused by snow plows result in large potholes and other dangers that can lead to a truck tire blowout accident.
Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important in preventing serious truck accidents. When a tire is overinflated, it can pop due to the friction and heat it generates. An underinflated tire is even more hazardous because the truck’s weight pushes the tire’s sidewall beyond its capacity, which can cause it to crack or split.
Similar to the tires on any other motor vehicle, commercial truck tires have to be replaced once the tread begins to wear down. As tires start to bald, they do not handle heat and pressure as well. For instance, a worn-out tire cannot withstand a pothole as well as a brand new tire can.
There is a reason for the federal rules and regulations surrounding the weight limits on commercial trucks. The more the freight weighs, the more pressure it places on the vehicle’s tires. When they are inflated properly, each individual tire has a maximum weight that it can withstand. When a truck’s freight exceeds these limits, the tires can stretch beyond their natural capacity until they split.
It is not uncommon for outside factors or a combination of factors to play a role in a truck tire blowout. Trucks are more heavily regulated by state and federal law mostly due to the hazards that they pose when they are not properly and regularly maintained.
Heat often has a hand in truck tire blowout accidents. In fact, truck tire blowouts occur much more frequently during the summer months during long-distance hauls. They also take place when a truck driver runs over objects in the roadway or drives over potholes.
Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, issues with truck tires and the corresponding accident are the direct result of negligent actions. In addition to those previously mentioned, tire blowouts that lead to personal injury cases can also be the result of:
When a commercial tractor-trailer is transporting a full payload and a tire blowout occurs, it becomes a situation where tens of thousands of pounds are moving at interstate speeds, and suddenly changing speed and direction in the blink of an eye. This sort of violent, unexpected shift can lead to jackknife accidents, head-on collisions, chain-reaction accidents, and vehicle rollovers.
There is also the added danger of the truck’s freight being thrown from the vehicle and hitting other drivers or even pedestrians and children in the area.
Before you can file a suit concerning any injuries sustained in a truck tire blowout accident, you first need to determine who is liable for your damages. It is also possible, and sometimes necessary, to file a suit against more than one defendant. Depending on the events leading up to your accident, you could have proof of a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or retailer of the tire as well. Potentially liable parties are as follows:
Not every truck operator is employed through a trucking company. Many of them are independent contractors that own their truck and contract their services out to individual companies based on the job on offer. If that is the case, then the driver is responsible for the truck’s routine maintenance and repairs.
Any company that uses commercial trucks is in charge of performing its own inspections, maintenance, and repairs on their trucks. As part of their inspections, the company is supposed to check the tire condition and tire pressure. Each inspection needs to have a checklist that can be referred to for later reference and proof of upkeep. If the trucking company is negligent in conducting its inspections, that checklist, or its absence, it could be strong evidence for your personal injury case.
The majority of freight companies outsource their repairs, inspections, and maintenance to third-party companies rather than handling them in-house. Regrettably, these repair companies sometimes use poorly or improperly trained technicians that overlook or ignore crucial portions of the inspection process. If a tire blowout was caused by an error that was made during maintenance, the third-party repair company might be liable for the accident and your damages.
In the event that a tire blows due to a defect, the manufacturer might be to blame. Manufacturers can sometimes produce defective designs or use faulty materials that make the tire prone to blowouts. If the manufacturing company failed to issue a recall on the defective tires, they can be named in your lawsuit.
Keep in mind that it is possible for liability for a defective tire to fall on the truck operator or the freight company instead of the manufacturer. For instance, if the manufacturer realized the tires were defective and issued a recall, but the independent trucker or freight company failed to respond and address the issue, then fault would fall on one of them instead of the tire manufacturer.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a tire blowout on a truck, you may be eligible to collect financial compensation. The kind of lawsuit you file will depend on what exactly happened, and whether anyone died.
The two most common kinds of cases that arise from a truck tire blowout accident are wrongful death and product liability.
If a member of your family was killed in a truck tire blowout accident, you would file a wrongful death claim. As a relative of the deceased, depending on where you live, you could be eligible to collect damages such as:
Those entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit typically include the spouse, children, or parents. In some states, life partners, other immediate family members, distant relatives, the victim’s dependents, and anyone who experienced a financial loss from the death could possibly be eligible to bring the suit. Some states even allow you to file a wrongful death lawsuit for an unborn baby if the deceased person was pregnant when they were killed.
If the manufacturer of the tires is determined to be liable for your truck accident, then the lawsuit you file will likely be a product liability case. In a product liability lawsuit, there are two types of claims that are commonly associated with a tire blowout accident:
In order to achieve a successful outcome to a product liability case, you will have to show that the tires were faulty and that fault was the immediate cause of your accident and the ensuing losses.
If you find yourself in an accident due to a truck tire blowout, it is imperative to take steps that ensure your safety and protect your right to economic recovery, including:
The consequences of a truck tire blowout accident are overwhelming, and stressful. Filing a lawsuit requires specific skills which only an experienced lawyer will have. Some of the benefits of working with a legal professional are: