Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are among the largest motor vehicles on our public roadways, and they pose innumerable risks to the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who share the roads with them. Because these trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, and are slow to stop or quickly maneuver, ensuring they are in proper working order and that trucking companies and truckers do their part to make safety a priority is of the utmost importance. In fact, that is precisely why the trucking industry is so heavily regulated.
When it comes to commercial vehicles that transport goods and cargo, the state and federal government goes to great lengths in ensuring they are properly maintained so as to avoid preventable accidents – including those resulting from defective or degraded tires that can explode and cause serious wrecks. Auto manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who make commercial vehicle tires available to trucking companies also have a legal obligation to ensure those tires are safe.
For victims who suffer injuries in truck accidents involving tire blowouts, including catastrophic injuries, and families who lose loved ones in fatal wrecks, determining who’s to blame for a truck tire blowout is essential to recovering the compensation they need in personal injury or wrongful death claims. Because all cases are unique, who can be held accountable in your wreck will depend on the unique facts and circumstances involved.
- Trucking Companies – As mentioned, trucking companies and their employees have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their vehicles. They must also abide by regulations that require them to properly maintain their fleet and address any potential hazards that pose risks of preventable accidents, including old and frayed tires and overloaded vehicles. When conducting truck accident investigations, our legal team looks closely at maintenance records from the trucking company, as well as past performance and inspection ratings, to determine if vehicle and tires were properly and regularly inspected, whether truckers performed required pre-trip inspections, and that vehicles and cargo were properly loaded according to applicable laws. In some cases, assistance from accident reconstruction experts can aid in determining whether tire blowouts resulted from old and unmaintained tires or tires that supported too much weight.
- Maintenance Companies – Some trucking operators in the industry contract with maintenance companies who are responsible for the upkeep of their vehicles or outsource with services for tire mounting, assembly, tire repair, and other important aspects of vehicle maintenance. If a third party worked on a truck that was later involved in a blowout accident, it becomes critical to also look into the practices of these companies. Were technicians appropriately certified? Did they perform work according to applicable standards and regulations? Were there any errors or acts of negligence that led to the blowout? These are critical questions that could highlight the failures of a maintenance company and establish their liable for victims’ damages.
- Product Manufacturers – In addition to trucking and maintenance companies, tire blowouts can also be caused by the negligence of tire manufactures. Defectively designed or manufactured tires typically involve problems that make them unreasonably prone to blowouts, including defects with tire tread or separation of belt adhesion, both of which can lead to devastating wrecks. Even when tires appear to be in proper working order, a lurking defect can make them prone to unannounced blowouts. When this is the case, manufacturers, and in some cases distributors or retailers, can be held accountable for defective products and the damages suffered by victims. These cases focus on product liability laws and the legal obligations of manufactures who produce unsafe products.
Because there are multiple possibilities when it comes to liability in truck tire blowout accidents, it is critical for victims to work with attorneys who have the depth of experience and versatility needed to handle all potential claims. At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin, our personal injury attorneys have represented seriously injured clients throughout the United States, as well as families of deceased victims, in a range of truck accident and product liability cases. The insight we have accumulated in these cases, which include many complex and high stakes lawsuits, provide us with the tools it takes to win a defective tire care.
Backed by over 220 years of combined experience, our legal team has demonstrated the consistent ability to succeed for our clients, and has recovered over $1 billion in compensation on their behalves. Following a truck wreck you believe was caused by a tire blowout, working immediately with a proven and talented firm should be your top priority. To discuss your case personally during a free case evaluation, contact us today.