Every year, thousands of big trucks are involved in roadway accidents. A leading cause of these accidents is tire blowout. In fact, over 11,000 tire blowouts occur every year, causing substantial property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.
If you are in a wreck caused by a big truck tire blowout, who is responsible? The answer to this question depends on the situation. While truck drivers and their employers can’t prevent every tire malfunction, laws and regulations are in place to greatly prevent them from occurring. When these processes are disregarded, everyone on the road is at greater risk.
The Truck Driver Could Be Responsible:
Drivers are required to do pre-trip safety inspections of their truck and trailer. The safety inspection is required by law and includes examining the tires and wheels.
- When inspecting the tires, care should be given to make sure the tires are not underinflated or overinflated.
- Tires should have the proper amount of tread. The steering tires should have at least 4/32-inch tread and all other tires need 2/32-inch tread depth.
- Tires should not have any bulges, cracks, or cuts.
- Valve caps must be properly secured
- Retread tires should not be used on the front steering wheels of the truck.
- Lug nuts must be properly secured
- Wheels must not have any rust.
- The rim face should not have cracks or any other damage.
- Illegal welds are not permitted.
- No fluids should be leaking from the wheel well.
- The valve stem must be properly attached and not leaking.
The Trucking Employer Could Be Responsible:
The trucking company is responsible for the unsafe behavior of its drivers. When an employee drives unsafely or fails to inspect the truck properly, the employer may be held liable. The company can also be responsible in a blown tire example when:
- The company failed to properly train and maintain continual training for the employee to perform tire and wheel inspections
- The company put trailers on the road that exceeded legally allowed weight limits, putting too much stress on the tires.
- The company continued to use tires that were not retreaded properly or came from manufacturers with a history of defects.
- The company did not pay attention to post trip reports regarding tire issues or did not require employees to file post trip reports.
The Tire Manufacturer Could Be Responsible:
Tires are required to be able to handle certain common driving conditions. In the rare case a tire is defective, liability could be placed on the manufacturer.
The Freight Broker Could Be Responsible:
Freight brokers act as a middleman on transporting goods, being hired by trucking companies to help coordinate deliveries. If the broker hires a company that has a bad safety history, they can be held partially responsible.
Accidents involving big trucks are often devastating, causing physical damage and emotional and mental damage as well. The trucking industry has taken great strides to prevent wrecks and make the roads safer for every driver. However, when a driver, employer or other party doesn’t follow the trucking laws or regulations, their negligence can have real consequences. When big truck accidents happen, we can help you get your life back to normal.
The Attorney in the Truck
Attorney Chad Jones has his CDL and has hands-on experience operating an 18-wheeler. He understands the trucking industry, making him uniquely qualified to represent you in an 18-wheeler accident case. At Chad Jones Law, we provide legal representation for those injured in big truck accidents. If you have questions, call or text us anytime.