A truck driver may lose control of a large commercial truck that has a tire blowout at interstate speed. The drag caused by losing a tire may cause the truck to swerve out of control into other lanes or jackknife.
Semi-truck blowouts may be caused by worn or separated tire treads, improperly inflated tires, defective tires or other failures. Commercial truck drivers have a legal duty to inspect their trucks daily, and trucking companies are legally required to ensure that the trucks they put on the road are adequately maintained and in safe operating condition. Too often after a semi truck’s tire blowout has caused serious injury or the loss of life, an investigation reveals that the trucking company was trying to save a few dollars by getting another run out of tires that should have been replaced.
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, our Indiana truck accident lawyers have extensive experience representing victims injured in large truck crashes, including crashes caused by tire blowouts. Indiana truck accident attorney David W. Craig has handled hundreds of commercial vehicle accidents on behalf of clients in Indianapolis, Batesville, Richmond, Fort Wayne and throughout Indiana.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck accident, we urge you to contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless as soon as possible. Motor carriers respond quickly to major accidents and do everything they can to minimize their responsibility and limit their liability. We have even seen instances of trucking companies trying to hide evidence by moving wrecked trucks out of state to make it harder for investigators to examine the vehicle.
Once you engage Craig, Kelley & Faultless, we can stop the trucking company from destroying potential evidence. We can begin our independent investigation on your behalf and ensure that all evidence is preserved.
Accidents involving large trucks frequently involve serious injuries because of the greater size and weight of the commercial vehicle compared to passenger cars, motorcycles, and pickup trucks. Passenger vehicle occupants are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a truck accident than the driver of the truck. Discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer during a no-obligation consultation. Speak to an experienced Indiana truck accident attorney at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC.
What Happens in a Truck Tire Blowout?
A tire blowout involves a rapid loss of air pressure in the tire. A truck’s weight and speed and high road temperatures all put stress on a tire. When a tire is overinflated, underinflated, or worn or defective, the tire may rupture. In some cases, a blowout is an explosive event, with the heat of the fast-rolling tire suddenly causing it to shred.
Large trucks hauling cargo depend on balanced loads for stability. A blowout can cause cargo to shift suddenly and alter a truck’s center of gravity, causing it to roll over. If cargo spills from the truck, it can cause secondary accidents and property damage, as well as personal injury.
A blowout also can send a tractor-trailer’s cab and trailer skidding toward each other, which is known as a jackknife accident. An out-of-control truck immediately after a tire blowout can damage anything in its path.
Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts
A tire blowout occurs when the pressure on the structure of the tire becomes too overwhelming for the tire to maintain its integrity. Pressure increases with heat, whether from added friction, weight or the heat of the day. In most cases, a worn tire that is vulnerable to rupturing should be discovered and replaced before a blowout causes a catastrophic accident. The causes of blowouts include:
- Overinflation / Underinflation. Tire pressure is critical. An overinflated tire puts unintended pressure on the walls of the tire. An overinflated tire also wears faster than normal, particularly in the center of the tire tread. An underinflated tire cannot properly support the weight of the vehicle. Instead of rolling cleanly along the surface of the road, parts of the tire sag. When a tire’s pressure is incorrect, it is more susceptible to tread failure and a blowout.
- Overloaded Truck Trailer. An overloaded truck increases the pressure and wear on the truck’s tires. Unfortunately, a trucker who knows his truck is overloaded may compensate by putting extra air in the tires. However, instead of strengthening the tires, this only increases the pressure put on the tires.
- Unchecked Wear-and-Tear. Worn tires are more likely to have a blowout. The heavy-duty tires used on long-haul tractor-trailer trucks are composed of up to seven layers of material, ranging from an inner liner composed of synthetic rubber to the cap ply that is made of polyester. Truckers are required to check tire treads at the start of every driving day as part of general maintenance requirements. But a better long-term solution is for the trucking company to track the mileage on tires from the date of installation and not cut corners when they need to be replaced.
- Tire Manufacturer Flaws. In some cases, a truck’s tires were dangerous from the start. Commercial truck tire recalls involve tens of thousands of tires with identified flaws that could lead to blowouts. Often, recalls are announced after accidents are traced back to the flawed tire. A tire manufacturer may be held liable for a truck blowout accident if it can be shown that the manufacturer should have known about the manufacturing flaw. A distributor, retailer or motor carrier may be held responsible if they ignored a recall instead of replacing a flawed tire in a timely manner.
- Truck driver error. During the course of a driving day, truck drivers can damage their tires in many ways. They may hit potholes, hit debris in the road, misjudge turns and hit the curb, slide off the roadway and drop off a low shoulder. It is the driver’s duty to inspect tires for possible damage.
How Our Attorneys Prove Tire Blowout in A Truck Accident Claim
There’s no hiding the evidence that a large commercial truck has had a tire blowout. Large sections of shredded truck tires are common on interstates across Indiana and the nation. However, obtaining evidence that a tire blowout caused an accident and injuries requires a detailed investigation. Craig, Kelley & Faultless can help you identify the blowout as the cause of the accident that injured you. We can identify which party or parties may owe you compensation for the accident.
After gathering medical records that describe your injuries and show the ordeal that you have been put through, we would gather additional evidence, such as:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Photos of the crash scene
- Physical evidence at the crash scene, including tire debris
- Vehicle damage
- Truck maintenance records
- Security camera footage when available.
Tire purchase, installation, and maintenance records are crucial to a claim regarding a blowout accident. Once we are engaged as your truck accident attorneys, we will move quickly to issue one or more spoliation letters to advise the recipients of a pending injury claim and the need to preserve potential evidence listed in the letter. A spoliation letter to the trucking company would ensure the preservation of a variety of records, including tire installation and rotation schedules.
In addition to the truck driver, liable parties may include the trucking company and the tire manufacturer, distributor and/or retailer in the case of a flawed tire. In some cases, commercial trucks are loaded by third-party service vendors. The vendor also may be liable if the truck was overweight at the time of the blowout.
A truck accident investigation can be complicated, even when caused by something as obvious as a blowout. This is what makes it important to work with an established Indiana law firm that has the resources to pursue an investigation wherever it leads. We seek to identify all the potentially liable parties and the insurance policies available to compensate our client after serious truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) conducted a landmark study, Large Truck Crash Causation Study Analysis Brief, and found these associated factors in large truck collisions with truck tire blowout accounting for 6% of all truck accidents.
Contact Our Indiana Truck Accident Lawyers Today
If you have suffered serious injuries in a truck accident that was caused by a tire blowout, contact our Indianapolis truck accident attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC for a free case review. If we see a way forward, we will move to secure evidence from the accident, identify the responsible parties and calculate the compensation you are due.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident in Indiana, contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless today. We have a track record of aggressively and successfully pursuing truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis. We only charge a legal fee if we recover money for you. Contact us now by telephone or online for a free, no-obligation consultation about a truck accident in Indiana.