Semi-trucks have many more tires than smaller vehicles—12 more, in many cases. They help large trucks maintain traction. Manufacturers must sell truck tires that are safe for use. Commercial truck drivers and the companies that employ them have a duty to regularly inspect and replace worn tractor and trailer tires.
Defective tires can blow out on the roadway, causing a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and cause a severe accident. When these accidents happen, the accident victim can bring a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible truck driver, the trucking company, or the tire manufacturer.
If you have injuries from a truck tire blowout accident and believe someone else was to blame, you have legal rights. Seek medical care at an emergency room or urgent care facility immediately. Then, speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area.
Your lawyer can review what happened in your truck accident and determine how it occurred. Your lawyer can then bring a claim with the appropriate insurance company seeking monetary compensation for your injuries. If the insurance company does not compensate you fairly, your lawyer can file a lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties in court.
What Can Happen When Truck Tires Are Defective?
Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are enormous vehicles with up to 18 tires. When one or more tires on these vehicles are defective, serious accidents can happen.
First, defective truck tires can cause blowouts when a trucker is out on the road. If a blowout occurs, the driver may lose control over their vehicle, causing them to veer into another travel lane and strike a single vehicle or group of vehicles. Moreover, a blowout may cause a trucker to strike a stationary object on the side of the road. After a blowout, the truck tire may remain in the middle of the roadway. If another vehicle strikes the tire, an accident can occur, which leads to injuries and fatalities.
Truck tires are also defective when the tread becomes worn. This can result from excessive use. To prevent truck tires from wearing down, drivers and trucking companies must regularly rotate the tires and, if necessary, replace them. Truckers may have difficulty stopping quickly when tractor and trailer tires become worn, especially in wet weather.
Moreover, in rainy or snowy conditions, the tractor/trailer might hydroplane when travelling at highway speeds, causing the driver to lose control and strike another vehicle.
You may recover monetary compensation if your truck accident and injuries result from defective or worn tires. A truck accident lawyer in your area can meet with you to discuss the facts of your case and advise whether you can file a claim. If so, your lawyer can file the claim on your behalf and work to negotiate favorable settlement compensation for you.
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Truck Accidents that Result from Defective Tires
When truck tires are defective, serious accidents can leave accident victims injured and debilitated.
Typical truck accidents that result from defective tires include sideswipe collisions, rear-end accidents, broadside collisions, and head-on impacts:
- Sideswipe collisions – A sideswipe collision happens when the side of a truck strikes the side of another vehicle that is moving in the same direction. These accidents are common on multi-lane roadways where all traffic moves in the same direction. When a truck tire is defective, it might blow out, causing the driver to lose control and veer into another travel lane, causing a severe accident. The same can happen if the truck hydroplanes in wet weather due to worn-down tire treads.
- Rear-end accidents – Rear-end accidents happen when the front of a truck strikes the back of another vehicle. These accidents can happen when traffic backs up quickly on a highway. They may also occur at traffic intersections where a trucker is driving too fast. When a truck’s tires wear, the truck may hydroplane, preventing the driver from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a crash. In some instances, the force of a rear-end impact may cause the accident victim’s body to move around violently inside their vehicle—or to strike something in the vehicle, such as the headrest, dashboard, steering wheel, or window, causing a severe injury.
- Broadside collisions – A broadside accident, or T-bone collision, happens when the front of a truck strikes the side of another vehicle. These accidents usually happen when truckers fail to yield the right-of-way while merging onto a highway—or at a traffic intersection, where a truck driver runs a red light or stop sign. Worn truck tires may also contribute to these accidents if they prevent the trucker from stopping in time to avoid a collision. For example, a truck that hydroplanes through an intersection may not stop at a red light, causing a crash with another vehicle.
- Head-on impacts – A head-on impact occurs when the front of a truck or tractor-trailer strikes the front of another vehicle. These accidents are common on two-lane roadways equipped with a single travel lane in each direction. As the truck’s tires wear, they might blow out, causing the truck to careen out of control and cross the centerline or median strip. A head-on crash may occur, leaving accident victims severely injured or dead. This is especially true if the vehicles are travelling at high speeds.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident resulting from negligence, you should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can conduct an independent investigation of the crash and, if necessary, retain an accident reconstructionist or expert who can determine the cause. Your lawyer can then file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and pursue settlement negotiations with the insurance company adjuster.
Injuries That Truck Accident Victims Suffer
The injuries that truck accident victims suffer depend upon various factors, including the type of accident that occurs, the respective speeds of the vehicles, and how the accident victim’s body moves in the car at the time of impact. Truck accident victims’ most common injuries include traumatic head and brain injuries, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, fractures, abrasions, bruises, and soft tissue injuries—including muscular contusions and whiplash.
Right after a truck accident, you should seek medical care at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. When you receive treatment, the responding healthcare provider can examine you and order the necessary imaging studies to ascertain your medical condition, including X-rays and MRIs. The doctor or nurse can then provide the necessary medical treatment or make recommendations for follow-up treatment, such as with a neurologist or orthopedic doctor.
Seek prompt medical attention after a truck accident—even if you don’t know whether you suffered an injury. This is because many injury symptoms do not manifest immediately. They may not appear until days or weeks after your truck accident. Injuries that go untreated can become much worse over time. Therefore, you want to ensure that you receive the medical treatment you need immediately.
Moreover, seeking prompt medical care after a truck accident can benefit your injury claim. When accident victims do not seek prompt medical treatment, insurance company adjusters often become skeptical and refuse to offer fair compensation.
While you focus on recovering from your truck accident injuries, your lawyer can begin advocating for you. Specifically, your lawyer can gather your medical treatment records, lost wage documents, photographs, and victim impact statements and assemble them into a demand package for the insurance adjuster’s review. Once you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can send your demand package to the adjuster. If the adjuster accepts fault for the accident, your lawyer can begin settlement negotiations on your behalf and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Truck Driver and Trucking Company Negligence
Truck drivers and the trucking companies that employ them owe other drivers a very high duty of care. Specifically, they are responsible for regularly inspecting truck tires and ensuring that the treads do not become worn. If they do, truck drivers and trucking companies must promptly repair or replace the defective tires. If they fail to do so and a truck accident occurs, the accident victim can bring a claim against the negligent truck driver and the employer trucking company for damages.
In some instances, an accident victim’s lawyer might need to retain an accident reconstructionist who can causally connect the defective or worn tire(s) to the subject accident.
In addition to proving that a truck driver or trucking company is negligent, an accident victim must establish that they suffered an injury—and that their injury directly resulted from the subject accident. The accident victim’s lawyer may need to retain an expert medical provider to prove this causal connection. The provider might also establish that you suffered a permanent injury in the accident that will not improve over time.
A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in your area can hire the necessary experts to prove the legal elements of your injury claim—increasing your chances of recovering fair monetary compensation.
Damages That Truck Accident Victims May Recover
If you suffered injuries in an accident that resulted from a truck driver or trucking company negligence, you might be eligible to recover various damages. All truck accident cases are different, and the types and amounts of damages that one accident victim recovers may differ from those another accident victim recovers.
The final damage amount will depend upon various factors, including the venue where the case is pending, the insurance company you are dealing with, the insurance company adjuster, the nature and extent of your injuries, and whether or not you suffered a permanent injury.
First, truck accident victims can pursue lost wage compensation if they had to miss time from work after their accident. To prove lost wages, the accident victim’s employer will typically need to submit documentation that states the number of days missed and the amount of money lost. Moreover, if the accident victim had to switch jobs and take a pay cut, they might be eligible to bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition, truck accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering, inconvenience, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of spousal companionship, and loss of the ability to use a body part—such as with paralysis.
A truck accident lawyer in your area is in the best position to evaluate your claim and determine which of these damages you are eligible to recover. Your lawyer can help you pursue maximum compensation through settlement or litigation. Your lawyer can also help you decide whether to accept a pending settlement offer or take your case to trial or arbitration.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Right Away
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident that resulted from defective tires, time is of the essence. In a personal injury case, accident victims only have two years from their accident date in which to file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages. In almost all circumstances, they will not be eligible to recover these damages if they file their lawsuit even one day late. Therefore, you must involve an experienced truck accident lawyer in your case right away.
Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident, retain the necessary experts, and pursue settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
If the insurance company refuses to accept fault for the accident, or if they refuse to offer you fair monetary compensation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your case in the court system.
Finally, your lawyer can represent you at all court proceedings, including jury trials and binding arbitration hearings, and advocate for your legal interests. Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you maximize the compensation you recover for your truck accident injuries. Contact a lawyer today to receive your consultation.