When a truck’s tire fails, it’s all too common for an accident to occur. While the hope is the truck driver is skilled enough to be able to pull off the road and stop, this can be difficult to do in certain situations. If an accident does occur, the injured party has the ability to gain compensation for their injuries.
Causes of Tire Blowouts
However, they do need to know who is at fault in the accident, as this party is who will owe them compensation. It is not always the driver or owner of the truck.
1. Improper Inflation of Tires
Truck drivers must check the inflation of their tires regularly, as over or under-inflated tires can be a significant hazard. If a tire is underinflated, it may not have the ability to hold up the load for the truck, leading it to end up blowing out. If the tire is overinflated, it is possible that the tire will pop due to the excess weight on it. Truck drivers should have access to information detailing how to inflate the tires properly. Drivers injured in an accident where this was the cause can visit a website like FloodTrailLawyers.com to get legal assistance.
2. Overloaded Truck
Trucks that have too much on them are more likely to suffer from catastrophic issues like a tire blowout. There are federal limits on the load for trucks, including the weight per truck and the weight per single or tandem axle. Truck drivers should be aware of the weight limits for their vehicles, though they may not be at fault if the truck is overloaded. The liable party could be the company that ordered the loading for the truck or the party that loaded the truck improperly. A lawyer will be able to determine why the truck was overloaded, who was in charge, and who is liable for an accident that arises due to an overloaded truck.
3. Defective Tires
Like most consumer products, truck tires can be recalled. Unfortunately, this will likely only happen after a number of accidents have occurred. Truck drivers may not be aware that they are driving with defective tires if a recall has not been issued. If a recall was issued and the driver had knowledge of it but continued to use the tires, they could be liable in the event of an accident. If the tires have not been recalled yet, the manufacturer of the tires may be liable, instead. It is important to have a lawyer review the case to determine whether the driver or the manufacturer will be liable, or if there is another party that could be held liable.
4. Hazards in the Road
Roads can be hazardous to drive on and it’s not possible to spot all hazards before running over them. With a truck, it can be even more difficult to avoid a hazard because they can’t maneuver the same way a smaller vehicle does. When there are hazards in the road, it’s important to look at what the hazard was, whether the driver could have avoided the hazard, and how the hazard got there. If the hazard is an object in the road that is difficult to see well ahead of time, it’s likely not the fault of the driver.
Depending on how the hazard got there, someone else could be liable. For instance, when passing road construction, if a truck drives over construction debris, the construction company could be held liable. If there is a pothole the truck driver cannot avoid and it causes a blowout, the city or municipality in charge of road repair and condition could be held liable for the accident. A lawyer is required in these cases, as there are many variables that could impact who is liable for the accident.
5. Improper Driving
Truck drivers, like any other driver, can end up causing accidents because of the way they drive. Speeding can be one factor that can lead to a tire blowout. Another is distracted driving. If the truck driver is distracted, they may not be paying sufficient attention to the road and will not see a hazard in time. This could lead to running over the hazard, which causes a tire blowout that can cause an accident. When improper driving is the cause of the accident, the truck driver will likely be found at fault and will be liable for the injuries of others involved in the accident.
Who Could be Liable for Accidents Caused by a Blowout?
The liable or at-fault party will vary based on the cause of the blowout. Generally, liability can fall on the truck driver, the owner of the truck, the company the driver works for, the manufacturer of the tires, or an unrelated party. It is important to determine the liability if an accident occurs due to a tire blowout, as they will be the only ones who are required to compensate any injured persons following the accident. If the driver is not liable, for instance, they will not be the ones to sue for compensation. If the company that owns the truck is liable for the accident, they will be the ones who should be sued for compensation.
How to Determine Appropriate Liability
Determining the at-fault party in an accident caused by a tire blowout isn’t always easy. It may not be clear from the beginning who is at fault, especially when all evidence has not been reviewed. This is why hiring legal assistance is crucial for these cases. While it may appear that the driver is at fault from the beginning, it could turn out that the accident was caused by factors the driver could not control. In that situation, the liable party could be someone else.