Available 24/7 Free Consultations
(503) 272-8986
Request Free Consultation

Who Is Liable for a Crash Caused by a Semi-Truck Tire Blowout?

Posted on May 24, 2021 in

Truck accidents can occur for several reasons, from negligent driving behaviors and defective vehicle parts to violations of federal trucking guidelines. In some cases, a tire blowout may cause the collision. Blowouts are frightening incidents where a tire explodes while a vehicle is traveling—and if that vehicle is a large semi-truck, devastating accidents can occur.

Semi-Truck Tire Blowout

If you suffer injuries due to a semi-truck tire blowout, you may file a lawsuit against the liable party. Depending on the cause of the blowout, many parties could be responsible—including the driver, his or her employer, or the tire manufacturer.

What Causes Semi-Truck Tire Blowouts?

Semi-truck tire blowouts can occur for several reasons. Warm weather and poor road conditions may contribute to these blowouts. However, there are certain situations where a driver’s negligence—or negligence on the part of the driver’s employer—is responsible for the blowout.

In some cases, a tire may be improperly manufactured or contain design defects.

  • Potholes: When a tire drives over a pothole hard enough, the impact can pinch the tire’s components and cut through its rubber, leading to a blowout.
  • Overloading: Even if a tire is in pristine condition, an overloaded truck can place too much pressure on the tire. This weight can contribute to a blowout.
  • Defective design or manufacturing: A tire may have an inherently dangerous design that makes it prone to blowouts, or it may suffer an error during manufacturing that makes it unusually weak.
  • Underinflation: Many blowouts occur due to improper air pressure within the tire. It is the responsibility of the driver and his or her employer to ensure that a tire has the proper pressure before the truck begins its journey.
  • Poor maintenance: Trucking companies must maintain and inspect their fleet of vehicles on a regular basis. Ensuring that tires are in good condition is an important part of this process. If a company fails to ensure tire safety, a blowout can occur.

Liability in Truck Tire Blowout Accidents

If a driver or trucking company’s negligence is responsible for the blowout, that person or entity will be liable for your collision. According to the legal doctrine known as respondeat superior, a trucking company will always be legally responsible for the actions of its employees while they are performing their job duties.

If the truck driver is an independent contractor, however, the company will not be liable for his or her actions if the blowout occurred due to the driver’s negligence.

If the tire blowout occurred to a design or manufacturing defect, the driver and his or her employer are not likely to be liable. In this situation, the manufacturer of the defective tire will be liable for the collision. You may need to consult with expert witnesses who can examine the tire and determine the cause of the defect.

A third liability scenario involves dangerous or defective road conditions, such as potholes. If the blowout occurred due to an improperly maintained road, you could file a claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining that road. If you can prove that the agency knew about the hazard and failed to repair it, you may have grounds for a claim.

If you are in an accident due to a truck tire blowout, contact a truck accident lawyer in Portland as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you identify the liable party and determine your optimal path to compensation.