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Who Is Liable for a Truck Blowout Accident?
Posted in Truck Accidents on February 15, 2023
Large commercial truck tires undergo gradual wear and tear with use, making regular inspection and maintenance crucial for safe operation. Neglecting this upkeep can result in dangerous truck tire blowouts. Accidents involving tire blowouts can be incredibly dangerous, causing damage to property, injuries to individuals, and even loss of life.
While it may be easy to assume that the driver of the truck is solely responsible for these accidents, determining liability can be a complex and multifaceted process. Several parties may share liability for a truck blowout accident, including the driver, the trucking company, the tire manufacturer, and even third-party maintenance providers.
How Do Tire Blowouts Happen on Large Trucks?
Commercial trucks are notably massive, weighing up to 80,000 pounds with a fully loaded trailer. This weight places additional pressure on their tires compared to other vehicles on the road, which can increase the chances of a blowout.
Several factors could lead to a tire blowout, such as:
- Underinflation or Overinflation: Properly inflated tires are crucial for carrying the weight of the truck and its cargo. Underinflation causes the tire components to flex beyond their capacity while overinflating the tire puts excessive pressure on the tire components. Both of these factors can increase the chances of a blowout.
- Overloading: Trucks are only allowed to carry a specific weight as mandated by the law. If a trucking or cargo-loading company overloads a truck beyond its capacity, a blowout can occur.
- Potholes: Poorly maintained roads can cause severe damage to any tire, especially in larger trucks. Striking a pothole hard enough can seriously damage the tire, increasing the likelihood of a blowout.
- Neglected Maintenance: Trucking companies are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their trucks regularly, including their tires. Neglecting tire maintenance heightens the risk of blowouts.
Who Is Financially Responsible for a Tire Blowout?
Multiple parties can be held liable for a truck blowout accident, depending on the cause of the collision. If you were injured in one of these accidents, the truck owner, any company responsible for truck maintenance, or even the tire manufacturer may be financially responsible for any damages that you suffered.
For example, truck companies and owner-operators have a legal obligation to regularly inspect all components of their vehicles. If they fail to carry out proper inspections and maintenance, and a tire blowout causes an accident, they may be liable.
Defective tires can result from various factors, including design defects, damage during the manufacturing process, or a failure by the manufacturer to provide adequate warnings or instructions for proper tire use. In such cases, the tire manufacturer may be held financially responsible for any resulting accidents and injuries.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Pursue a Truck Accident Claim?
Determining liability for a tire blowout accident can be complex, especially if you are unsure who was responsible for the collision. However, identifying the liable party is critical to understanding your legal options.
In these situations, a Washington truck accident lawyer can help. Your attorney will conduct a full investigation into your accident, determine the cause of the accident, and take your first steps toward recovering the compensation that you deserve. As soon as possible after your collision, schedule a legal consultation to discuss your case and plan your next steps.