Determine Why Big Rig Tire Problems Occur and Who May Be Responsible
One of the most common sights on our highways is the long, twisted strip of mangled rubber that remains after a large tractor-trailer truck has lost one of its tires to a flat tire or other tire problems. truck tires. The reason this is common is that truck tire problems themselves are relatively common and can be a major factor in truck accidents, personal injuries, and even fatalities. When such an accident has occurred, a personal injury attorney representing accident victims or their families will need to carefully review the history of that tire and the records of who did or did not pay attention to it until the when he missed.
Ways a truck tire can fail
An early and thorough inspection of the tire, the rest of the vehicle, and the accident scene can often point directly to the cause of truck tire problems that may have turned into a serious truck accident. Sometimes this may be obvious, while at other times it may require careful review and analysis by expert consultants. Some of the most common methods of truck tire failure include:
- Problems with the design or the manufacturing process. Fundamental design flaws in modern tires are rare but can still occur. While the tire manufacturer is obviously most responsible for these issues, those who sell, own and service the tires are also responsible for following up on notifications of issues as they arise. Errors in the manufacturing process can cause problems in a particular “batch” of truck tires.
- Installation and assembly. When a tire is mounted incorrectly on a rim, it can immediately appear as a problem or lead to damage that takes time and wear to appear. If the wrong size tire is mounted on the wrong size rim, it may suffer rapid damage when inflated, or it may take several months before the seal between the rim and the tire (or the tire itself). -even) does not suddenly break down.
- Under-inflated or over-inflated. Both conditions are detrimental and potentially dangerous to truck tires – they can lead to structural damage to the tire when stresses and pressure are moved to parts of the tire not intended to support them. Underinflation can result from punctures or valve issues that allow air to escape, but can also result from poor maintenance practices. Overinflation is more obviously a vehicle maintenance issue.
- Wheels. Tires should be mounted on clean, smooth, even rims to maintain proper sealing and inflation. Dented, hollowed or otherwise damaged rims can prevent a good seal. Rusty steel rims or oxidized aluminum rims can also lead to poor seals and leaks.
- Valve, tread or belt failures. These are failures in the structure of the tire. They can be the result of either long-standing manufacturing defects or problems with the way the tires were assembled, mounted and maintained. These types of sudden physical failures can produce the type of unexpected blowouts that lead to serious truck accidents.
Inspect for evidence of truck tire problems
There are three critical areas of evidence that may point to truck tire problems as the cause of a particular truck accident. Indeed, any investigation of a motor vehicle accident resulting from mechanical or equipment failure will look at similar locations. These include:
Physical evidence. For a suspected tire failure, this would certainly include whatever is left of the tire and as many parts as can be collected. The wheel and rim on which the tire was mounted is also important, if there is evidence that damage to these or a problem with the mounting of the tire may have caused its failure. The crash site itself may also contain important physical evidence in the form of skid marks or lateral tire tracks that may describe the stresses placed on the tire when it failed, as well as any traces of tread on softer ground prior to failure which may indicate under inflation, over inflation or other truck tire problems.
Documentary evidence. The tire documentation would include the entire sales chain, from manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to the point where the truck company took possession of the tire as a new or retreaded item. It would also include any daily inspections from truckers that may have signaled a potential problem with the tire, as well as records of periodic inspections and maintenance of the tire while it was on the vehicle.
Testimony. Testimonials are typically used to tie conclusions from physical and documentary evidence – the “who knew what and when” of truck tire problems. This can be traced back to the original manufacturer if a fundamental design or manufacturing defect was present in the tire. More generally, testimonials would be used to verify who did or did not properly inspect the tire or who did or did not repair or replace a problematic tire if anything of concern was found. It may also include expert testimony as needed to explain the physics of how and why a tire may have failed, as well as best practices for truckers and trucking companies to inspect and maintain vehicle tires over time. .
Importance of Truck Tire Problems for Personal Injury Claims
Most truck accidents, just like most motor vehicle accidents in general, are the result of driver error. When a truck accident results from obvious driver error, the investigation of the accident and its causes follows a single track. When a driver error is not the obvious cause, things can get more complex. One of the most common types of accident causes other than driver error is mechanical failure, and tire failure tops the list of these types of problems. In order for personal injury claims or lawsuits to be successfully concluded, it is necessary to establish responsibility – legal liability – for the accident that caused the injuries. For a truck accident resulting from truck tire problems, it is a matter of determining what type of physical failure occurred with the tire, and then determining who was responsible for that failure. This may be the driver of the truck, the trucking company that owns the vehicle, the trucking company or a separate supplier responsible for maintaining the vehicle, or a combination of these. For a tire with a defect in the original product, this may include the designer and manufacturer or anyone in the sales chain to the end user. Solving this puzzle and identifying who is responsible for a client’s injuries – and whose insurance policies or company assets may be available to provide compensation – is a crucial service that the experienced damages attorney may provide to a client.
Watch this dramatic video from CTV News showing how a sudden blowout of a truck tire – in this case on a large dump truck – can lead to immediate loss of control and potentially a serious accident:
California Truck Accident Lawyers
Hello, my name is Ed Smith and I am a California truck accident attorney. Determining how an accident causing injury occurred and who may be legally responsible is a key first step for any personal injury claim or lawsuit – especially for truck accident cases where injuries and damages may be more important and the various possible defendants can be lengthy. list of individuals and companies with an equally long list of respective insurance companies and defense attorneys. When a truck accident results from mechanical issues such as truck tire issues, understanding this can become even more complex, and sorting out the possibilities is one of the most important services a personal injury lawyer can provide. to its customers. If you or a member of your family has suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a truck driver, please contact us today at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
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