Trucking accidents are a dangerous situation that can be very troubling when they occur. One of the most likely contributing factors to a trucking accident is a tire blowout. Understanding why these situations occur and when the trucker is liable can help you know how to defend yourself and your company.
Causes Of Blowouts
Tire blowouts on a big rig are typically caused by a variety of different circumstances. For example, the tire may simply suffer from a defect that caused it to blow under severe pressure. However, there is also a chance that the trucking company that owned the rig did not take proper steps to perform regular tire maintenance and let it wear down to a dangerous point.
Poor maintenance, including improper inflation, are often common contributors to blowouts in big rigs. When this happens, a serious accident is likely to occur. The size and speed of the average truck mean it is likely to be a nearly deadly situation in most cases.
When The Trucker Is To Blame
A trucker will be held liable for a tire blowout accident if their actions contributed directly to the accident. For example, if they were negligent in checking the tires for damage or failed to repair them properly, they will be liable for the accident.
However, the company itself may also be liable if they did not take steps to force the driver to follow minimum DOT tread depth requirements of mismatched tire sizes. It all depends on where the negligence lay in the case. In some instances, though, it is possible to successfully defend against a case of this type.
Using The Inference Of Defect Defense
The best and most likely defense in a case like this is arguing that there was an inherent flaw in the tire that caused it to blow. For example, a tire made by a manufacturer who had recalled several tires in the past could be considered inherently defective. This is particularly true if the tire was recalled but the trucking company did not receive a warning of this recall.
The key to this defense lies in showing that the trucker who drive the rig followed all regulations for checking the safety of their tires and were flawless in their diligence regarding maintenance. One way to prove this is to show maintenance logs indicating inspections, repairs, and replacement of tires. While this isn't always enough, it is a good start.
So if you or a trucker in your company is under investigation for a case of this type, you should take the time to contact a trucking accident attorney. It can help protect you and your truckers from the kind of lawsuit that will cripple your investment.
Contact a law office like Wells and McElwee for more information and assistance.