We've all seen it: the rubber remains of a tire on the side of the road. The evidence of tire blowouts has become a common sight along Texas highways and interstates, and a majority of blowouts originate from large commercial trucks.
While some tire blowouts are purely accidental, others are the result of negligence.
If you've been injured in a truck accident caused by a tire blowout, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect compensation.
A “tire blowout” refers to a rapid loss of tire air pressure that can cause a vehicle to lose control.
Tire blowouts are particularly common among large commercial trucks carrying heavy cargo loads due to the intense friction between the wheel and pavement that causes the tire to deteriorate quickly.
Other common causes of truck tire blowouts include:
A tire that suddenly explodes can quickly cause damage to the truck itself and the surrounding vehicles on the road.
In general, a blowout will cause a truck to drop to the side of the blown tire and begin pulling in that direction. Most drivers instinctively turn the wheel in the opposite direction and apply the brakes. Unfortunately, these actions can cause a complete loss of control that may result in the truck swerving into another lane, rolling over, or jackknifing.
Even if a driver can keep the truck under control after a blowout, there's no way to determine where debris will fly. Pieces of a tire can travel at high speeds, making it impossible for other cars to get out of the way before impact.
To recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that someone else was at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. Most of the time, the fault for a tire blowout accident is placed on the driver.
Truck drivers and trucking companies have a duty to check their rigs daily to ensure the trucks are in working order. That includes making sure the tires are in good condition, free from any blatant defects, and properly inflated. If a driver or trucking company fails to do so and an accident occurs because of this failure, the driver or trucking company (or both) may be found negligent.
In addition, trucking companies must abide by certain federal and state safety standards designed to prevent blowout accidents from happening in the first place.
For example, tires can’t (in most cases) be filled with anything other than air (silicone, polyurethane, etc.).
Similarly, a commercial motor vehicle can’t be operated with tires that carry greater weight than the weight marked on the sidewall of the tires without a state-issued special permit. The failure to satisfy these state and federal safety standards can mean that the company is liable for any subsequent accident.
Truck drivers and trucking companies aren’t always responsible for tire blowouts though.
For example, the accident could have been caused by a manufacturer's error instead. Tire manufacturers have a duty to create reasonably safe products. Putting a defective product into the marketplace can cause a tire manufacturer to be held liable for an accident.
Other parties that could be held liable for a tire blowout accident include:
Determining precisely who’s liable for a blowout accident can be tricky. An experienced attorney will conduct an investigation and name every potentially-liable party in the lawsuit.
Once liability has been established, you can recover the following damages in Texas:
If you experience a blown tire in your vehicle while traveling down a Texas road, take the following steps:
Tire blowout accidents can be terrifying, and the road to recovery is often long. Don’t think you have to do it alone. Use our free online directory to locate an experienced attorney who can help you get your life back in order.Sources