TIRES/WHEELS FELL OFF TRUCK
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Truck accidents can be devastating for drivers and passengers alike. These accidents may cause serious injuries or property damage.
Truck accidents caused by defective or blown tires are especially dangerous, with some resulting in death or permanent injuries. Victims may have some legal avenues for redress depending on the specifics of their claim.
What is a truck tire accident?
Semi and larger trucks usually have more tires than the average vehicle. The increased number of tires helps to add stability to the vehicle by spreading out the truck’s weight and decreasing the amount of pressure on any single tire. Despite these engineered prevention tactics, large trucks are still susceptible to defective tires and tire blowouts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 738 people died in tire-related crashes in 2017. Tire blowouts are especially dangerous because they create instability in a vehicle, which can in turn cause collisions or turnovers. Unlike in other situations, trained drivers can still easily lose control of his or her vehicle after a tire blowout. These blowouts may occur unexpectedly or abruptly, which may give truck drivers little time to adjust and react to the event safely.
Tire blowouts may hinder a driver’s ability to safely operate or maneuver their vehicle. In these situations, trucks often continue moving at high speeds, even after the driver has hit the brakes. Unfortunately, resulting collisions can cause devastating damage to other unsuspecting drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured after tires fell off of a truck, you should contact an accident attorney as soon as possible. An accident attorney may be able to help you evaluate your claim, assess your damages, and allocate liability accordingly.
Causes of truck tire blowouts
Tire blowouts may cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and, in the process, injure other drivers. These blowouts may cause devastating injuries and property damage. Automobile experts have identified six common causes of tire blowouts in the United States. They include:
- overloaded vehicles
- road hazards
- defective tires
- improper maintenance
These experts claim that knowing the underlying causes of tire blowouts may help drivers plan and react accordingly in those situations.
An overloaded vehicle causes consistent and substantial pressure on the vehicle’s tires. These overworked trucks may have excessive wear and tear on their tires due to that constant pressure. Many semi-trucks have weight restrictions to avoid blowouts and brake malfunctions. Overloading your truck may increase your likelihood of being involved in a tire blowout accident.
Trucks are not known for their smooth turns or quick movements. Instead, many drivers appreciate trucks for their size and space. Despite their benefits, trucks may not be able to react as quickly as smaller vehicles to upcoming road hazards. Roadway hazards can also cause a tire accident to occur. If a tire were to hit a pothole or some other roadway debris, the tire may sustain damage. The impact between the tire and the hazard may deteriorate the inner lining of the tire, making it more susceptible to a blowout.
Punctures are another common cause of tire blowouts. When a nail or other sharp object penetrates your tire, your blowout risk increases exponentially. Even though a blowout may not happen immediately after an initial puncture, this type of damage can set you up for a future blowout. As air seeps out around the nail or sharp object, your tire weakens. Over time, this seepage wears down the sides of the tire. Damaged tires are guaranteed to eventually blow if the nail is not removed in a reasonable amount of time.
Old or defective tires are more susceptible to blowouts. Unfortunately, defective tires may be pushed into the marketplace and put onto big trucks, with or without the distributor’s knowledge. Defective tires may be unable to hold air appropriately, which makes them dangerous for vehicles designed to travel long distances. Drivers should be careful and inspect their tires regularly to avoid tire-related accidents.
Prompt maintenance is key to keeping the roads safe for drivers. Truck drivers should adhere to all prescribed safety guidelines regarding vehicle maintenance and upkeep. Tires that are overinflated, underinflated, too big, or too small may impact the functionality of your truck or vehicle. Failure to fulfill your truck’s maintenance needs may make tires more susceptible to blowouts.
While the aforementioned list presents the most common causes of tire blowouts, it is not exhaustive. A truck’s tires may blow for a variety of reasons, many of which were not previously listed. If you have been injured in a tire blowout accident, regardless of the cause, it may be beneficial to consult with a legal expert about the specific facts of your claim.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IN A DEFECTIVE TIRE ACCIDENT?
Depending on the specifics of your accident, you may be able to file a claim in court seeking compensation for your resulting damages. Your ability to file a claim may depend on a variety of factors, including your jurisdiction, the facts of the accident, and the extent of your injuries.
When filing a claim, you should first determine whom to sue. In a defective tire case, you may be able to recover damages from a long list of parties or companies, including, but not limited to, the following:
If the tire manufacturer produced and sold a defective tire, the tire manufacturer may be held liable for the damages incurred out of this defectiveness. Defective tires may lack the strength needed to support the heavy weights carried by semi-trucks and may be more prone to blowouts.
Tire distributor companies are business entities that contract with tire manufacturers to market, sell, and distribute their tires. Tire manufacturers rarely sell their products directly to consumers. Instead, manufacturers usually rely on distributors to fetch the best price for their tires. By agreeing to sell a product, distributors essentially guarantee that the product meets a certain level of quality. If this guarantee proves untrue, distributors may be liable for any resulting damages.
Some trucking companies have a team of mechanics responsible for maintaining the vehicles in the company’s trucking fleet. In some cases, a mechanic or maintenance crew may be held liable if they failed to recognize or repair a tire defect. A court may rule that the crew was not acting reasonably when it failed to fix the impairment and may hold them monetarily responsible for any injuries incurred because of the faulty tire.
Most obviously, the driver operating the truck may be held liable for your injuries. Drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely when on public roadways. Depending on your jurisdiction and local laws, a truck driver may be held responsible for your injuries, even if the accident was initially caused by faulty equipment. Even in the face of unexpected defects, truck drivers are still required to operate their trucks reasonably; a failure to do so may result in legal liability.
Many trucking companies purchase insurance coverage to protect their drivers when they are transporting loads for the company. If an accident occurs during a delivery, the company may be responsible for any resulting damages. A company may also be held liable if they ignored any suspected defects or disregarded mechanic recommendations.
Your likelihood of recovering damages in court may depend on the specific facts of your case. Courts often consider many factors when balancing the interests of the involved parties. Once you recognize that a defective truck tire caused your accident, your next step may be to determine who to include in your lawsuit.
Depending on the facts of your case, it may not be immediately obvious as to who is most responsible for your injuries. Thus, it may be beneficial to contact an accident attorney who can help evaluate your case and allocate party fault accordingly.
Trucking accidents can be devastating for drivers. These collisions can cause significant injuries to the drivers of smaller vehicles. Many of these injuries may require extensive medical treatment and care, which can burden victims financially and emotionally. Truck accident claims can also consume significant amounts of time and effort, depending on the complexity of the case. If you or a loved one was injured after tires fell off of a truck, you should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim’s merits, and negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries.
DON’T WAIT, CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or a loved one was injured in a defective tire accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.