While the dangers of car accidents are discussed regularly, the frequency and severity of truck accidents are less publicized. Yet, truck accidents often cause devastating injuries or result in multiple fatalities. In 2019, 5,005 people died in collisions involving a large truck, meaning a truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds. And of those fatalities, 71% were occupants of other vehicles.
Along with the fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported an estimated 159,000 people were injured in crashes involving a large truck in 2019, a five percent increase from the number of people injured in 2018.
The sheer size and velocity of a commercial truck make truck accidents incredibly dangerous and likely to result in severe injuries. Because trucks are often owned by trucking companies who hire drivers to transport goods, confusion can arise as to who bears liability after a truck accident. Quite often, there may be several liable parties. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck blowout tire accident, contact a truck accident lawyer at The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC, today.
How Likely Is a Truck Tire Blowout?
The NHTSA reported 664 motor vehicle fatalities in 2020 from tire-related crashes. In 2015, the NHTSA conducted an investigation into multiple Michelin tire blowouts and discovered that high speeds and lack of tire maintenance were to blame for the crashes. The investigation found that no truck tires are rated in excess of 81 mph, while most are rated at 75 mph. Yet, sixteen states have truck speeds equal to or greater than 75 miles per hour, with four states imposing speed limits of 80 miles per hour.
Truck Tire Blowout Causes
Causes of a tire blowout may include:
- Overinflated tires,
- Underinflated tires,
- Overloaded vehicle,
- Improper tire maintenance,
- Bald tires,
- Tread separation,
- External tire damage, and
- Defective tires.
The cause of a tire blowout will likely affect who is at fault in a tire blowout accident.
Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by a Truck Tire Blowout?
As stated above, the party liable for injuries after a truck accident depends on the facts of your case. Typically, a driver expects the opposing party to face liability if they caused an accident. However, that is not always the case with large trucks. Issues stemming from improper maintenance of the truck, like faulty tire maintenance, could fall on the trucking company that owns the truck rather than the driver. If a defective tire causes a truck accident, the tire manufacturer may face liability for the crash.
The most obvious party facing liability is the truck driver. Drivers must conduct a pre-trip inspection of their truck, which includes inspecting their tires. If a truck driver notices they have a low tire and fails to take action, their negligence could foreseeably result in a tire blowout. If the tire blowout causes an accident, the truck driver may be liable for any injuries you suffered due to the accident.
Many trucks and trailers are owned by a company that employs truck drivers to transport goods from place to place. Thus, issues stemming from improper maintenance of the truck tires could fall on the trucking company. Proper tire maintenance can prevent accidents caused by tire blowouts. The trucking company can also face vicarious liability if the truck driver caused the accident during the course of their employment.
If a truck tire is defective, the tire manufacturer may be liable for any injuries suffered in an accident caused by a blowout. A tire defect can occur in the form of a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or failing to provide adequate warnings or labels for a tire. A design defect occurs when a product is produced according to design specifications, but the design poses a foreseeable risk to consumers when used for its intended purpose. If a tire falls apart when it reaches speeds of 65 mph on the highway, this might be proof of a design defect with the tire.
Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or development of a product and typically affect one or more units but not the entire line of products. For example, a tire with a manufacturing defect may be susceptible to a small air leak or a weak sidewall.
You can hold a tire manufacturer liable for your injuries if a tire is labeled incorrectly or is missing important instructions about how to safely use the product. For example, if a tire manufacturer inaccurately labels tires as snow tires when they are not snow tires, they may face liability for any injuries that occur due to the mistake.
Injuries Caused by a Tire Blowout
Many truck accidents result in devastating, sometimes life-threatening, injuries. Injuries commonly seen in truck crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Loss of limbs,
- Back injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries, and
The at-fault party may be liable for any medical bills you incur as a result of your accident. If you have questions about who is liable for your damages, contact an attorney at The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett today.
Questions About Liability for an Accident Caused by a Tire Truck Blowout?
We have over 47 years of experience representing the rights of injured truck accident victims. We will take the time to meet with you and learn the details of your truck accident. Then, we can prepare a personalized strategy to demonstrate the at-fault party’s responsibility and negligence in your case.
Our team will walk you through the lawsuit process and prepare you for what to expect as we work towards a resolution. Let us worry about the complexities of the civil court system while you focus on your recovery. Contact The Law Office of Carlton F. Bennett today to schedule a free consultation.