Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks and large vehicles are common in Florida’s interstates. Despite being a crucial part of the logistics and transportation industries, fleets of commercial vehicles on the road raise the risk of truck accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that truck tire blowouts were the primary factor in 5.6% of trucking accidents. Drivers, passengers, and vehicles can be seriously injured by tire blowouts, which are frequently caused by overloading trucks or failing to notice damaged, worn-out, or underinflated tires.
If you’re involved in an accident caused by a tire blowout from a trucker, you may have a personal injury claim against the driver, maintenance company, or tire manufacturer.
What Should You Do if You’re Involved in an Accident Due to a Tire Blowout in Florida?
In 2019, Florida ranked third in the nation for big-rig accidents. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a truck regardless of the reason, it is important to stay at the scene and immediately report the incident to the police. Even if you think the accident was minor, section 316.065, Florida Statutes, requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash to contact law enforcement immediately if there is a person injured or killed, or if there is at least $500 in estimated property damage or vehicle damage.
Once the police have been contacted and it is safe to do so, you should take pictures of the site and try to identify the cause. In the event of a trucker’s tire blowout hitting your vehicle, you could diagnose the cause by examining the tires. Several contributing factors may cause a tire to blow out including:
- Debris or litter on the road
- Overloading cargo
- Failure to inspect tires for defects
- Overused or uneven tire treads
- Speeding, reckless, or aggressive driving
- Overinflated or underinflated tires
Regardless of the cause, once you have gathered evidence from the scene, you should speak with an accident attorney as soon as possible and before accepting a claim from your insurance company. An insurance adjuster may or may not tell you all your rights and alternatives after reporting an accident. That’s where we come in, by assisting you in drafting a formal statement to your insurance carrier, analyzing your choices, and investigating the cause of the crash.
Who Is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Tire Blowout?
If a tire blowout resulted in a collision with your car many factors could potentially influence liability. The driver of a truck who adhered to all reasonable safety precautions and cared for their tires but ran over litter or road debris that originated from a source outside their control, such as another vehicle, may not be held liable. But, if the driver deliberately overloaded their truck or drove on defective or old tires, negligence may be easier to prove. Depending on what caused the tire blowout, you may have a right to pursue a personal injury claim against:
- The tires manufacturer or the trucking company
- The manufacturer who made the defective tires
- The auto mechanic who improperly installed the tires
An experienced attorney can help you determine who is responsible for the blowout and which party should be liable for damages.
Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney
Truckers in Florida are responsible for maintaining their trucks, which includes inspecting the tires and doing routine tire maintenance to avoid blowouts. Drivers are not the only ones responsible for tire safety. A tire manufacturer or mechanic may be liable if they sell a defective tire or install a tire improperly and an accident occurs.
Whether the tire was installed incorrectly, or a driver overlooked a defective tire, blowout cases can be difficult to navigate. Let our team help, contact us today for a consultation.