Who’s Liable for an 18-Wheeler Wreck Caused by Tire Failure?

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A tire blowout can be a frightening situation for not only a driver but also their fellow travelers. Unfortunately, those occurrences are all too common, as nearly every motorist at some point has seen the shredded remnants of tires littered on the side of the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tire blowouts are estimated to cause more than 400 deaths and over 78,000 crashes each year.

While a tire blowout is dangerous for any vehicle, it is even more so for 18-wheelers, which can weigh up to a staggering 80,000 pounds. When a tire blowout causes a semi-truck driver to lose control of their vehicle, it can cause devastating damage to one or more surrounding automobiles.

If a motorist sustains an injury because a tractor-trailer hit them after a tire blowout, they may want to seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other costs, but many do not know who exactly is liable. Depending on the situation, the 18-wheeler driver, the trucking company, the tire manufacturer, or other parties may be responsible for the tire blowout accident, which is why you need a skilled truck injury attorney who has experience handling these complex cases.

Who’s to Blame?

To help ensure the security of everyone on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict regulations for maintenance and inspections for professional truck drivers. When a tractor-trailer uses equipment that fails to comply with those standards, the results can be catastrophic.

If a driver operates as a true independent contractor and is shown to have been negligent in complying with FMCSA regulations, the driver may be to blame for a tire blowout. However, if the driver is an employee of a trucking company and the tire blowout occurred while the driver was operating within their scope of employment, the trucking company will likely be held responsible.

Sometimes, though, neither the driver nor the trucking company are to blame, but rather the tire manufacturer. Over the years, the trucking industry has seen a number of massive recalls for defective tires, with some of the most common problems involving tire tread or belt adhesion separating. If the tire manufacturer is shown to have known its tires were defective yet took no action to resolve it, then the tire manufacturer may be liable for damages.

Nationwide 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in an semi-truck accident caused by a tire blowout, you need an experience trucking injury lawyer with the knowledge and resources necessary to determine who is to blame and to aggressively prosecute your case. At Zinda Law Group, our dedicated team of truck accident attorneys will work tirelessly to help you seek the compensation you may be owed. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation about your case.