Liable Parties in Semi Truck Tire Blowout Accidents
When tire tread becomes old or worn, there can be a sudden tire failure. This is a dangerous situation for any vehicle, but big rig accidents can be especially hazardous. This is why truck drivers and fleet companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding truck maintenance, including commercial vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections, daily trip reports that include tire observation, and periodic inspections that evaluate tire condition.
If poor tires caused you or a family member to suffer injuries in an 18-wheeler or bus crash, the truck driver, his employer, and other parties may be found guilty of negligence and responsible for your injury compensation.
Causes of Tire Blowout Wrecks
A large truck tire blowout is much different than a flat tire on a passenger vehicle. Commercial tire manufacturers base load and inflation tables on tire axel positioning—steer, drive, or trailer—consideration of pounds for a loaded vs. unloaded vehicle; the difference in cargo load, e.g. light vs. heavy runs; and road conditions.
The general expert consensus is commercial truck tire pressure should be between 75 psi and 100 psi, depending on all these factors.
Any variance in air pressure might contribute to a blowout, as could:
- Improper or inadequate maintenance
- Defective tires
- Use of mismatched tires
- Overweight load
- Excessive use of brake pads
- Weather conditions
- Defective road conditions
Parties That Could Be Liable for Compensation
A case involving a truck tire blowout can be more complicated because of the multiple reasons the truck crash may have occurred. However, identifying the cause of the accident and the liable parties is critical to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Here are possible at-fault parties:
- Truck driver. During pre- and post-trip inspections of the truck, tires, and other components, a truck driver must also verify that any problems listed on the last post-trip inspection were corrected. When the tires are in need of replacement or repair, the trucker is prohibited from driving the truck whether he notices the problem before, during, or after his trip. If he was negligent in his inspection duties, he could face liability for compensating you.
- Trucking company. The fleet employer also has maintenance and inspection duties under FMCSA rules and is prohibited from allowing a truck on the road in need of repair where it could cause a truck breakdown or accident. In addition, the company can be held vicariously liable for the trucker’s negligence as his employer.
- Maintenance facility. Many transportation fleets utilize truck maintenance facilities to perform necessary inspections and repairs. They could be an additional party to file a claim with if a lack of maintenance or replacement of the tires caused your wreck.
- Shipper. If a shipping company or other business was responsible for loading the transport cargo, you would need to file a claim with its insurance company if improper loading caused the tire blowout.
- Tire manufacturer. If the truck tire was defective or subject to a recall, you may have a products liability claim against the tire manufacturer.
Why You Need the Assistance of an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
As with any commercial vehicle accident claim, you must prove your right to compensation when a truck tire blowout caused you to suffer injuries.
To do this, your case needs evidence such as inspection and maintenance records for the vehicle involved in your truck accident. You may also need to hire an expert to review the driver’s and trucking company’s records and inspect the truck’s tires in order to prove your case. You cannot hope to do this without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the importance of a thorough investigation and the federal regulations that transportation companies and vehicle operators must follow.
Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.