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Truck Tire Blowout Accident Lawyer

Of all the many things that can cause a motor vehicle accident, perhaps the most frightening is a tractor-trailer tire blowout — especially if your vehicle is in close proximity to the truck when the blowout occurs.

Many car owners today choose to drive smaller vehicles so as to not only save on the cost of gasoline, but also to help protect the environment. If you are one of these people, however, this puts you at about eye level with the tires of a tractor-trailer. If a blowout occurs, you could, and likely will, sustain serious injuries in the resulting accident.

What Causes Truck Tires to Explode?

Many things can cause a truck tire to explode. Here are just a few common reasons why they do so:

  • The owner-operator or trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck.
  • The tire was under- or over-inflated.
  • The truck carried a heavier than safe cargo load.
  • The driver was driving too fast.
  • It was a particularly hot day, and the pavement was excessively hot, causing the tire to overheat.
  • The driver hit some road debris that punctured the tire.

In addition, the following mechanical issues can lead to a blowout:

  • The truck’s tires were misaligned.
  • The truck had loose wheel bearings.
  • The truck had a bent axle.
  • The tire was improperly installed.
  • The tire had been recapped or overused.

What Possible Aftermaths Can Occur?

A truck tire blowout, especially if it occurs at highway speeds, is a very serious occurrence indeed. Possible consequences include the following:

  • The driver loses control of the truck.
  • The truck can jackknife.
  • The truck can collide with one or more other vehicles.
  • The truck can flip on its side or roll over, blocking the traffic behind it.
  • Flying debris, especially shredded tire tread, can hit other cars, causing them to wreck as well.

What Injuries Can Result?

Given the explosive nature of a truck tire blowout, your injuries could be catastrophic, especially if the truck collides with your vehicle. Common injuries in such accidents include the following:

Who Is Liable For Your Injuries?

As with any accident involving a large truck, it can be difficult to establish blame, and therefore liability, for its blown out tire. This is where having a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, especially one with a good deal of experience in handling truck accident cases, can make all the difference in the amount of compensation you likely can ultimately obtain.

Depending on the results of your lawyer’s thorough investigation of the accident, he or she may conclude that liability rests with one, or even all, of the following:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company that employed him or her
  • The maintenance company, if any, to which the trucking company outsourced truck maintenance
  • The tire manufacturer

Truck Driver

If the truck driver was an owner-operator, or if he or she drove as an independent contractor for a trucking company, primary liability for your injuries likely rests with him or her. For instance, consider the following:

  • Did he or she conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection of the truck, including its tires?
  • Did he or she have a current and valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)?
  • Did he or she drive above the speed limit or otherwise too fast for existing road conditions?
  • Did he or she drive while overly fatigued?
  • Did he or she drive while distracted?
  • Was he or she under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the blowout?

Trucking Company

Assuming the driver was an actual employee of a trucking company, that company may also be at least partially liable for your injuries. Such companies have the duty to maintain their vehicles in good operating condition, including preventing blowouts if at all possible.

Maintenance Company

If the trucking company, or the owner-operator himself or herself. relied on a maintenance company to keep the rig in tiptop condition, you may also have a cause of action against such company. Your lawyer will want to delve into its hiring practices to determine if its employees were properly trained and skilled.

Tire Manufacturer

Finally, depending on the results of your lawyer’s accident investigation, you may have a cause of action against the tire manufacturer, especially if its tires have a history of blowing out more often than those of other tire manufacturers.

What Else Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Do For You?

In addition to conducting a thorough accident investigation, your lawyer can also do the following:

  • Bring in an expert to study the blown-out tire for minute defects and signs of wear
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf against the appropriate party or parties
  • Negotiate with the insurance company representatives in an effort to favorable settle your case
  • If necessary, conduct a full-blown jury trial to hear all the facts and evidence

Under Which Legal Theory Will You Proceed?

Depending on who you ultimately sue, you likely will proceed under one of two legal theories: negligence or defective product.

Proving Negligence

If your lawsuit is one for personal injury, you undoubtedly will proceed under the theory of negligence. In other words, you will not claim that the defendant or defendants deliberately caused the blowout, and therefore your injuries, but rather that they negligently did or failed to do something that caused it.

Generally, to win a negligence-based lawsuit, you must prove the following:

  • That the defendant(s) owed you a certain duty of care
  • That the defendant(s) somehow breached his, her, its or their duty
  • That because of the breach, the tire blew out, causing an accident in which you sustained injuries
  • That the breach(s) was or were the proximate cause of the accident and therefore of your injuries
  • That your injuries are compensable in nature, and the defendant(s) bear liability for compensating you

Proving Defective Product

If you wind up suing the tire manufacturer, you likely will proceed under the theory of product liability. Here your proof must be that the manufacturer, or someone in his or her supply chain, produced and placed an inherently dangerous tire into the market that contained one or more of the following defects:

  • A defect in its design
  • A defect in its manufacturing process
  • A defect in its marketing

What Damages Can You Recover?

Under either theory, you will be seeking to recover two types of damages: economic and noneconomic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are amounts that you lose in medical expenses and income, both now and in the future. Examples include the following:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Lost salary or wages

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are subjective in nature and include such things as the following:

  • Physical and psychic suffering
  • Loss of the use of your legs, i.e., paralysis
  • Loss of one or more of your limbs, i.e., amputation
  • Disfiguring scars, especially on your face

Where Do You Find Your Lawyer?

This one is easy. Simply contact Fielding Law. We are one of the premier law firms in Texas and Utah, and have been been helping our injured clients, including those hurt in truck accidents, for decades. We have the big firm power to aggressively pursue your truck tire blowout claim, plus the small firm approach that gives you the personal attention that you seek and deserve.