Truck Accidents and Tire Failure
Sometimes, when an accident happens, it isn’t always clear who the negligent party is. It is also likely that defendants to a claim will point the finger at one another and exploit this uncertainty. For that reason, attorneys often find themselves in the position of naming multiple parties to an action in the lawsuit, even when the investigation hasn’t conclusively determined how much each party has contributed a particular accident event. One of the most common cases where this happens is truck accidents that involve a tire failure. This is because there are several possible defendants who could have contributed negligence to the death or serious injury of another person.
Is the Trucking Company Liable?
In almost every accident involving tire failure on a large commercial truck, the trucking company should be investigated. Trucking companies are expected by law to perform diagnostics on all vehicles in their fleet and truck drivers themselves are expected to inspect their vehicles every 24 hours. This, of course, includes the tires which are among the most vital components of a large truck.
Consider the fact that a tractor-trailer can haul up to 80,000 lbs of goods. If one tire blows, the driver will almost always lose control of the vehicle. When that happens, not only is their own life at risk, the lives of anyone else in the nearby vicinity are as well.
If the tire is not replaced or retreaded when the tread is worn down, the tire could fail. Tires also fail when they’re not properly inflated, when the truck is overloaded, or when periodic maintenance is not properly performed.
When a tire fails on a large commercial truck, the trucking company must be investigated as a primary defendant in the lawsuit, in addition to the tire manufacturer.
The Tire Company
The company that manufactured the tire is liable when they manufacture a defective tire. This can happen for any number of reasons, but the most common reason is a reduction in quality control that allowed the tire to enter the stream of commerce when it was unfit to do so. Proving the tire is defective can be tricky. Tire companies generally will blame the driver or the trucking company for failing to properly care for the tire. Attorneys for injured plaintiffs must show that a tire failed because it was defectively designed or defectively manufactured. For this, they require expert witnesses to testify as to the most likely cause of the tire failure after a forensic inspection of the tire and other evidence.
A tire company would not necessarily be responsible if a retreaded tire failed. That’s because the tire has left the stream of commerce, been worked on, and then reentered the stream of commerce after being modified. If the tire is a retread, the liability would more likely fall on the business that improperly retreaded the tire and not the company that manufactured the tire.
Talk to a Defective Tire Attorney Today
If a defective tire has contributed to your injuries, the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can help you recover damages related to your injuries. Talk to us today for a free consultation.