What Causes A Truck Tire Blowout Accident?
Truck accidents can have a devastating impact on the people involved in the accident. A collision with a large truck often results in death or catastrophic injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, annual reports consistently show that over 60% of the deaths in accidents with large trucks were occupants of passenger vehicles. When you consider the fact that trucks can weigh over 25 times more than the average-sized passenger car, this figure is not surprising. If you have been injured in a truck tire blowout accident, you may be facing a long road of recovery and medical bills ahead of you. You should consider visiting with a truck accident attorney who is experienced and can fight for you to get fair compensation for your injuries. At Labrum Law, we understand the legal complexities involved in a truck tire blowout accident. We can help you make sense of it all. Consider speaking with the experienced attorneys at Labrum Law at 615-338-9500 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many different causes of truck accidents which include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
- Mechanical failure
- Road conditions
- Excessive speed
Handling a truck is not the same as a passenger vehicle, which is why truck drivers must go through extensive training before they can get their Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The trucking industry is also highly regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Regulations prescribe how the trucking industry operates to maintain the safety of truck drivers and other road users. The regulations are also aimed at reducing the occurrence of truck accidents, and the resulting injuries and deaths from them.
All trucking companies or truck owners must maintain their trucks and keep them in good condition. They are also required to maintain good records when the trucks are operating in commerce. When and for how long the truck driver is on the road, how many interstate and intrastate trips they make a month, and how much load they carry. They are also required to keep records of all maintenance and servicing carried out on their trucks.
Factors That Contribute to Tire Blowout Accidents
Truck tires are manufactured with materials that can handle the pressure and load that they bear. Although tire manufacturing technology has improved the quality of tires in use today, tire blowouts still occur. Truck tires bear a lot of weight and suffer wear and tear at a much faster rate than passenger vehicles. Tires in use must be maintained to ensure that their threads are not worn and that they are inflated at the recommended air pressure levels.
Tire blowouts occur due to a sudden loss of air pressure in the tire and the tire explodes. This usually happens when the vehicle is in motion. When a truck is moving on the highway at high speeds, a tire blowout could cause the truck driver to lose control of their vehicle, resulting in a very serious accident. Apart from possible impact with other cars on the road, flying debris from the blowout can cause damage to property and injure other road users.
Tire safety is so important that the FMCSA has detailed regulations with guidelines for tire safety. The regulations provide for details such as:
- the allowable depth of tread groove patterns on a tire;
- the allowable tire inflation pressure on different vehicles;
- the condition of tires used on vehicles in operation;
- the size of tires for different types of vehicles;
- the use of regrooved tires; and
- the materials that can be used to fill or inflate tires.
Common Injuries from Tire Blowout Accidents
Injuries from truck tire blowout accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic injuries including traumatic brain injury. Catastrophic injuries are injuries that permanently prevent a person from living their life in the same way they could before their injury.
In Tennessee, catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries that result in paraplegia or quadriplegia;
- Third degree burns affecting over 40% of the body or face; and
- Wrongful death of a parent with minor or dependent children.
Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries?
When you are injured in an accident, after establishing the cause of the accident, the parties at fault must be identified to hold them responsible for their actions. Insurance alone may not cover the losses of a person injured in a tire blowout accident. In such accidents, there could be several legally responsible parties. Apart from the driver of the truck, other parties absent from the accident scene could also be held responsible for the losses suffered as a result of the accident.
If the truck driver is employed by a trucking company, the trucking company could be held vicariously liable for the actions of their driver. Vicarious liability is the legal principle that allows injured persons to hold an employer legally responsible for the actions of their employees. In order to hold the employer vicariously liable, the employee must have been performing their regular duties for the employer when the accident occurred. For example, if the accident took place when the truck was on the road making a delivery for the employer's business.
It is also possible for a tire manufacturer to be responsible for injuries suffered in a tire blowout accident. If tests show that the tire in a blowout was defectively manufactured and the defect was a substantial cause of the accident, then the tire manufacturer could also be held responsible.
Trucking companies are required to ensure the safe operation of their trucks, and that includes ensuring that their tires are properly maintained. They must operate in compliance with all laws and regulations. When a company knowingly turns a blind eye to the rules and regulations, and they are at fault in an accident, they could also be sued for punitive damages. Consider visiting with our experienced accident attorneys at Labrum Law to learn more about punitive damages.
Consider Contacting a Tire Blowout Accident Attorney
Tire blowout accident cases can be very complex, involving many different parties. Trying to establish fault, legal cause of your injuries, and the parties to hold legally responsible requires the skills of experts. Accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, economic experts, and product engineers may all be required to establish your claim. Having an experienced tire blowout accident attorney can take the stress of pursuing your compensation off your shoulders so that you can focus on your recovery. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a tire blowout accident, consider contacting Labrum Law today at 615) 338-9500 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.