It’s not uncommon for big rigs to travel several thousand miles each month as they transport tons of cargo around the country. For this reason, commercial truck tires are designed to withstand extensive wear and tear.
When a truck tire ruptures, the consequences can be devastating. A tire blowout can affect the vehicle’s handling and ultimately make it impossible for the driver to avoid a collision.
Although truck tire designs have come a long way over recent years, blowouts still happen due to poor maintenance and manufacturing defects. If you were injured in such an accident, read on to learn the answers to four FAQs about filing a personal injury claim:
- Who Could Be Liable for a Truck Tire Blowout?
Depending on the cause of the blowout, there are several parties who might be liable including:
- The trucker;
- The motor carrier;
- The maintenance contractor;
- The tire manufacturer; and
- The municipality responsible for maintaining the roads.
In some cases, multiple parties share liability for a single accident. For instance, if the tire was overinflated, both the maintenance contractor and the driver might be responsible. The maintenance contractor has an obligation to fill tires to the correct PSI, and the trucker has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure his or her vehicle is safe to drive, which may include monitoring tire pressure.
- How Can I Prove Liability Following a Tire Blowout?
There are several types of evidence your attorney might use to prove liability. The most valuable evidence will ultimately depend on the cause of the blowout but may include:
- The tire itself;
- Vehicle maintenance records;
- Mechanic receipts;
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- Blueprints and schematics related to the tire’s design;
- Recall data;
- Previous complaints related to the same tire; and
- Testimony from tire and accident reconstruction experts.
- How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In many states, personal injury claimants typically have three years from the date on which they were hurt to file a formal lawsuit. If you want to sue a government entity—for example, if the tire blowout was caused by poor road conditions—you must submit a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident, and the lawsuit must be filed within one year and 90 days.
- What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue?
In many states, truck accident victims can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Domestic help and/or child care;
- Alternative transportation;
- Home care;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of consortium.