The cause of a truck’s tire blowout determines liability for the damages caused by the resulting truck accident. Thus, any truck accident related to a tire blowout requires sufficient investigation to identify the contributing factors. The parties that are potentially liable in these wrecks include:
- The driver of the truck that has the blowout. Federal rules require truck drivers to inspect their rigs before driving. The mandated inspection includes tires. If the driver should have discovered a tire defect but failed to, he can be liable. But the carrier may be vicariously liable for the truck driver’s negligence.
- Parties responsible for debris on the road. Driving over debris or swerving to avoid debris in the road can cause a tire blowout. If another party is responsible for the debris, such as, improperly secured items that flew out of the back of a truck, that driver can be liable.
- Entities with the duty to maintain the roads. Potholes can cause tire blowouts too. If the entity charged with maintaining the roads has been derelict in its duties, it can be liable for a blowout caused by grossly negligent road maintenance. We will have to prove that the government entity knew about the pothole and did not repair it within a reasonable amount of time. Suing the government is challenging because it enjoys protections that ordinary citizens do not have, such as sovereign immunity. Despite this, it may be possible to sue a government entity.
- The tire manufacturer. Sometimes tires blowouts are due to defects in the tires themselves. In these instances, the tire manufacturer can be liable. These cases may require expert witnesses to prove fault. We always expect a hard-fought battle in these cases because tire manufacturers are large corporations that keep teams of lawyers on standby to defend them.
- A mechanic or tire technician. Improper installation of an otherwise good tire can result in a blowout too. When this happens, the tire installer can be liable. We may use expert witnesses to testify about the incorrect installation of the tire.
- The trucking company. The carrier has the duty to implement safe inspection practices and maintain its trucks in a good operating state. The company can be liable for the failure of either of these duties. The carrier can also be responsible for the blowout under the theory of vicarious liability, meaning the truck carrier may be liable for its employee’s (i.e., the truck driver’s) negligence if it led to the tire blowout.
If you suffered injuries from an accident caused by a tire blowout and another party is to blame, contact the Montero Law Center. Give us a call at 954-767-6500 to schedule your free consultation with a truck accident lawyer.