Houston Lawyers for Accidents Caused by Heavy Truck Tires
When Heavy Trucks Lose Control, Others May Suffer Serious Injuries
Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers weigh 20-30 times more than most passenger cars and, because of their size and weight, are more difficult to maneuver. There’s a reason truck drivers have to complete additional training and earn a commercial driver endorsement before they’re allowed to take one on the road. However, even experienced drivers may not be able to react in time to prevent an accident after a truck tire blowout.
When driving at highway speeds, a blowout can cause a truck to veer into another lane in a matter of seconds. Other drivers are unlikely to have time for evasive maneuvers, especially if their cars are damaged by airborne parts of the tire. Depending on the speed of the heavy truck, the traffic conditions, and other factors like weather, multi-car accidents may result, causing large amounts of property damage and serious injury.
If you are injured, you likely know you need a plan for your next steps. However, deciphering all the details of your legal options can seem overwhelming, even for people who aren’t also trying to choose between treatment options. Our team is here to guide you in this time so you can make decisions with confidence.
Catastrophic Failure: Truck Tires
Heavy trucks used for long-haul deliveries can travel up to 100,000 miles a year, which means maintenance is a constant affair for trucking companies. If they miss signs of a dangerous failure or try to push a vehicle beyond its limits, a truck may break down while it is being driven. One part that can fail catastrophically is a truck’s tires, which may violently burst without warning.
When tire blowouts happen while a truck is driving, they can cause a truck to veer off its path, send dangerous shrapnel flying toward other cars, and leave debris in the road that other drivers may have trouble avoiding.
If you have been hurt in an accident like this, the costs from your medical bills and missed paychecks may be increasing at a worrisome rate. Our team is here to help you get recourse. When a defective part or negligent maintenance team causes a vehicle accident, you may be able to file for compensation.
Call our attorneys at (281) 801-5617 to schedule a free consultation.
How Do Truck Tires Fail?
Because of the heavy demands placed on them, truck tires must be incredibly strong and durable. However, on top of wear and tear, they may face damages from rough roads. Many of these problems can be repaired, but they must first be caught. If a truck driver, truck owner, or maintenance company is negligent in identifying signs that a tire needs repair, they may be fully or partially liable for any damages caused when that tire fails.
As a tire ages, it may lose air—whether through a small puncture, a leaky valve, or other minor damage. Under-inflated tires increase a vehicle’s risk of skidding and hydroplaning. In worst-case scenarios, these tires may undergo blowouts.
When there is not enough air in a tire to support its load, the elements inside may begin to bend further than they are designed to. They will also build up heat, which may contribute to the tire’s failure—heat can undo many bonds, like the ones holding parts of the tire together. If a tire cannot handle the stress it is under, it will collapse.
Under-inflation may not cause a blowout right away, but simply re-filling a tire isn’t enough to guarantee safety. When an under-filled tire is driven on, it may begin to sustain internal damages. A tire that was used while under-inflated is a risk; a mechanic should fully examine it for damage rather than just fix the air pressure.
Just as not having enough air pressure to support a load can cause structural failure in a tire, so can putting too much weight on a properly inflated tire. In a similar fashion, elements inside the tire will flex too far and eventually fail.
When checking and changing tires, maintenance technicians must be careful to not create potential dangers. For example, mismatching tires can create an imbalance of weight; an uneven wear pattern may make certain parts of the tire weaker; and a hurried inspection can miss signs of impending failure. Tires often show one or more signs of overuse, including:
- Cracks in sidewalls
- Uneven or low tread
- Bulges in the sidewalls
- Vibration during use
Often, these warnings signal defects that cannot be fixed. A good trucking company would not ask for such work to be done, and a good mechanic would refuse to do it. Those who act differently may be making themselves liable for a lawsuit.
If a company demands unsafe repairs to save money, they are knowingly endangering their drivers and other road users. Such conduct is both illegal and unethical, and those who are affected have the right to file a grievance.
As many past recalls have shown, tires that do not conform to regulations can cause accidents if they fail while in use. Additionally, mistakes during the manufacturing phase can introduce dangerous weaknesses. When a manufacturer releases tires that are faulty, anyone hurt in a wreck caused by one may be able to sue them for their negligence.
We Support Truck Accident Victims
Truck accidents can cause painful and catastrophic injuries—and if someone else was to blame for the collision, you deserve justice. Our attorneys work with accident victims to determine who can be held liable. A personal injury suit can help you recover expenses like:
- Medical expenses
- Missed wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain & suffering
If you’re unsure whether you want to file a lawsuit, ask us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team can review your case and let you know your legal options.
Learn if you can get compensation for your injuries today. Call our truck tire failure lawyers today at (281) 801-5617.