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Texas Semi-Truck Tire Blowout Accident Lawyer

Texas Semi-Truck Tire Blowout Accident Lawyer
texas truck accident lawyers merritt and merritt attorneys

Texas Semi-Truck Tire Blowout Accident Attorney

Tire blowouts are sudden, scary, and often devastating incidents that can lead to catastrophic accidents. They can occur without warning and can have a domino effect that leads to further damage. While there are many proper precautions you can take, the causes of tire blowouts are varied and unpredictable.

As a result of the myriad of potential causes, liability for semi-truck tire blowouts can be just as varied. If you have been involved in a semi-trailer truck accident that included a tire blowout, it is vital that you speak with an experienced and qualified attorney right away. A skilled personal injury lawyer can determine which party was at fault and hold them responsible for damages.

Semi-Truck Tire Blowout Accident Personal Injury Lawyers

The team at the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm has been exclusively taking on big truck accident cases for several decades. By targeting our practice, our lawyers have developed a focused approach to dealing with accident liability, negligence, and the resulting personal injuries. We have consistently worked tirelessly to fight for our clients, protecting their rights and securing favorable outcomes in a variety of circumstances.

Each case is unique, so it is wise to allow us the opportunity to discuss the details of your case. That way, we can determine a strategy and approach that is personalized to you and your needs. If you’ve been injured or have suffered loss as a result of a tire blowout, let us help you hold the proper parties responsible and secure fair and just compensation on your behalf.

What Kind of Damage Can a Tire Blowout Cause?

Tire blowouts are among the most devastating incidents that can occur to one’s vehicle, and they can also wreak significant damage to others’ vehicles. This is particularly true when traveling at high speeds on the highway or when the tire in question is a tire from a large truck. When a tire blows out suddenly, it can cause tread and other materials to be thrown into the roadway or onto other vehicles. The following are some of the more common kinds of damage a tire blowout can cause to your vehicle:

  • Tire rim damage
  • Fender damage
  • Wheel damage
  • Damage to undercarriage
  • Damage to the rear panel

Additionally, a tire blowout could cause damage to other cars or injure nearby pedestrians if tread or other debris is thrown. In those cases, a tire blowout could:

  • Crack or shatter windshields.
  • Damage the underside of other cars that run over the loose tread.
  • Strike a pedestrian, causing abrasions, contusions, head injuries, or death.

Lastly, one of the dangers of sudden tire blowouts is the chain reaction that they can cause. Many types of damage are not directly caused by the tire itself but by the accidents that result from a blown tire.

What Happens When a Tire Blows Out?

Tire blowouts are not synonymous with flat tires. Their explosive and sudden nature makes them extremely dangerous to surrounding vehicles and the truck drivers themselves. When a tire blows out:

  • There will be an immediate drop in speed.
  • Steering will be difficult to control.
  • The truck could become unstable.
  • The semi-truck becomes prone to tipping over.
  • Tread fragments can fly around, endangering others.
  • Cargo can break loose.
  • Road hazards could be created for others.

Most crucially, the unexpected and unnerving nature of tire blowouts can lead many drivers, both truck drivers and other drivers on the road, to panic. Typically, blowouts occur with an extremely loud bang, which can frighten most and send adrenaline spiking. Unfortunately, panic can lead to more unexpected movements, such as sudden swerving, braking, and changes in speed.

What Happens If a Rear Tire Blows Out?

While many of the same consequences will ensue when any tire blows out, no matter which tire does so, there are differences in blowouts of the front and rear tires. If a rear tire blows out, you will likely feel the vehicle start to wobble back and forth. Generally, the vehicle will begin to veer in the direction of the blown tire. However, with rear tire blowouts, there is a greater risk of skidding, spinning, or jackknifing if you don’t maintain proper control over the vehicle. This is especially true when a big rig has a sudden blowout.

What Causes a Tire Blowout?

A blowout occurs when the tire loses air suddenly and rapidly, rather than slowly. If the tire bursts or ruptures, the blowout can be explosive, especially when traveling at high speeds. The following are some of the most common immediate causes of tire failure that leads to blowouts:

  • Road hazards, such as potholes or debris. The sudden impact of hitting a pothole or other object can cause the internal compression of a tire to blow. Sharp objects can slice or tear the rubber and fabric that tires are made from.
  • Inadequate maintenance. All tires should be inspected, rotated, and replaced regularly. Failing to do so leads to uneven wear and makes them more susceptible to hazards, such as potholes, nails, or other sharp objects.
  • Underinflation. Underinflated tires can more easily overheat, as more of the tire’s surface area is in constant contact with the road.
  • Overinflation. Overinflated tires wear down faster and more unevenly than normal. Worn or bald tires are more likely to rupture.
  • Overloaded trailers. When a load exceeds a vehicle’s capacity, it places too much pressure on the tires. This can also occur if a wrong-size tire is used to replace an old one.
  • Hot weather. Tire blowouts tend to happen more often during the warmer summer months when air is already expanding more quickly. The hot roads can lead to tires overheating.
  • Defective tires. Sometimes, even if a driver or trucking company has done their due diligence in maintaining tires, they can still experience a blowout as the result of a defect. Liability can become tricky if the defective tires were recalled, as it may be difficult to determine whether it was the driver or the trucking company that was negligent in failing to replace the recalled tires.

Who Is Liable for Semi-Truck Tire Blowout Accidents?

Primarily, it is the truck driver’s responsibility to operate their vehicle safely. They are required to follow regulations and traffic laws while adapting to road conditions. This includes the responsibility of properly maintaining their vehicles, including their tires. Doing these things allows them to properly uphold a duty of care. Failing to do so, however, would constitute a breach of duty of care. This could lead to liability if their negligence directly resulted in a tire blowout that caused an accident.

However, not all tire blowouts are the result of driver error. A loading company may be held liable, for example, if they were responsible for overloading a truck that led to a blown tire. If improper maintenance was performed by a mechanic, or if an oversight during an inspection led to a failure to notice a problem, then the shop would bear the responsibility. Additionally, if road conditions led to the blowout, the municipality responsible for maintaining the roads could be held liable.

Sometimes, while a truck driver may be responsible for keeping tabs on the truck, the responsibility for addressing issues falls on the trucking company. In those cases, the company may be found liable for failing to address known concerns. Lastly, if fault is found with the tire itself, such as discovering a defect, the manufacturer could hold some amount of responsibility for the accident.

Is a Tire Blowout Covered by Comprehensive or Collision Insurance?

There are two types of insurance that cover damage to vehicles, depending on the circumstances of the incident:

  • Collision insurance. This insurance is used when damage to your vehicle is caused by an accident, such as a collision with an object or another vehicle.
  • Comprehensive insurance. This insurance is used when damage to your vehicle is caused by factors other than an accident or collision, such as when an object strikes your vehicle.

When a semi-truck experiences a tire blowout, it is usually covered under comprehensive insurance. This circumstance assumes that the tire blew out for reasons other than driver negligence, such as driving over hazardous terrain or failing to avoid objects on the road. If a collision with another vehicle or object caused the tire blowout, it would then fall under collision insurance.

It is important to note that, in most cases, the tire itself is not covered by insurance and won’t be replaced. That is usually left to the tire manufacturer’s warranty. However, any damage to the vehicle or an injury to the driver or others would be covered if it was caused by the tire blowout.

What Kinds of Injuries Can a Tire Blowout Accident Cause?

In the most fortunate of cases, a tire blowout remains an isolated occurrence, and the driver is able to safely pull the semi-truck to safety. Unfortunately, tire blowouts can have a domino effect that more often leads to accidents. These accidents can range from minor to severe. When an 18-wheeler goes into a spin after blowing a rear tire, for example, it could lead to a multiple-vehicle crash, causing serious injuries. Potential injuries can include:

  • Crush injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Nerve damage
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Burns
  • Limb loss
  • Fatalities

In addition to injuries, accidents can cause significant property damage. Whatever the damages, a skilled accident attorney understands the types of compensation to pursue in a claim.

What Kind of Compensation Can You Pursue in an Accident Claim?

If you’ve suffered a loss or injury because of an accident, it is important to ensure that you are properly compensated by pursuing a personal injury claim. Those who are not at fault for the accident are entitled to recover:

  • Medical expenses for injuries. Semi-truck accidents are some of the most severe types of accidents, leading to many possible expenses related to medical care. These include emergency services, hospitalization, medical procedures, and surgery, as well as ongoing care such as physical therapy, medication, and follow-up appointments.
  • Lost wages. Severe injuries do not heal overnight. In addition to those who are unable to work during their recovery, many who have been injured experience long-term or permanent injuries that prevent them from ever returning to their previous work. Personal injury claims should include both reimbursement for lost wages from being out of work and compensation for reduced earning capacity.
  • Property damage. Tire blowouts lead to all kinds of property damage, especially if an accident ensues. Collisions with semi-trucks most often lead to a total loss in vehicles, especially smaller ones that are directly impacted by the truck. Flying tread and other debris kicked up by blown tires can also cause damage to vehicles, such as cracked windshields. Victims are entitled to recover damages for these losses.
  • Pain and suffering. In most personal injury claims, courts will award victims additional compensation for pain and suffering to compensate for the non-economic costs incurred by the accident. This amount is intended to cover the physical, emotional, and mental pain and stress that accompanies the injury. The victim should not merely be reimbursed for medical expenses when their quality of life has been diminished.

Generally, the burden of proof lies with the claimant. They must provide proper documentation, proof, and records for all injuries and losses that were experienced as a result of the accident. They must also demonstrate that those injuries were the direct result of the other party’s action or inaction.

Speak With a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck that included a tire blowout, or if you’ve experienced any other type of big truck accident, it is imperative that you partner with the right attorneys as soon as possible. Our lawyers at the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm have focused their entire practice around big truck accidents and can leverage decades of targeted experience in handling your case. For a consultation to discuss the details of your case, contact our office today.

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