Maryland Tire Blowout Accident Attorneys
Tire blowout accidents can be deadly
Flat tires are common, as tires are simply not made to last forever. Commercial truck drivers must be keenly aware of the condition of their tires at all times. After all, tractor-trailers are called “eighteen-wheelers” for a reason, and so-called “road alligators”—large chunks of tire tread—are an everyday sight on area highways. However, most of us, having never actually witnessed a truck tire blowout, may not be aware of how dangerous these blowouts can be.
At the law offices of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A., our dedicated Maryland accident attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience representing Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.area residents who have been injured as the result of accidents caused by truck tire blowouts. These blowouts can be frightening to witness; often causing serious, even deadly injuries—and they almost always could have been prevented.
What can happen when a truck tire blows out?
When a truck tire bursts, the result isn’t a harmless popping, but an explosion of extreme force. A loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Such sudden tire failure can cause even the most skilled truck driver to instantly lose control of his rig, causing the truck to veer into adjacent lanes, abruptly brake, jackknife, or even roll over.
Even when a trucker is able to maintain control of the truck, nearby drivers are often injured, as a truck tire explosion can transform a large piece of rubber into a cannonball-like projectile, launching it at extremely high velocity onto nearby cars. The results can be catastrophic, such as:
- Striking the windshield of a nearby car, shattering it, instantly limiting the forward visibility for that unfortunate driver.
- Striking an adjacent car, the force causing significant damage to the body of the car and sometimes causing unsuspecting drivers to lose control of their vehicle.
- Tire debris can be deadly even it doesn’t strike another car, instead creating a road hazard which may force a driver to swerve, or causing chassis damage to a car attempting to drive over it.
These accidents rarely happen “out of the blue”. Truck tires are manufactured to withstand heavy payloads and extensive travel, and truck drivers and trucking industry are subject to state and federal safety standards intended to prevent blowouts before they happen.
How can tire blowouts be prevented?
Truck drivers and others within the trucking industry can be held accountable for blowouts when they have negligently:
- Failed to check the tires. Truck drivers must inspect and report on the condition of each tire daily, looking out for signs of impending tire failure, such as inadequate tread, sidewall wear, exposed belts and tread separation and punctures
- Failed to properly maintain the tires. Tire pressure must be continually monitored and maintained at a level appropriate for the type of truck, payload being hauled, and the anticipated road conditions
- Improperly installed tires. As with any vehicle, trucks are vulnerable to problems due to improper mounting and rim installation, or mismatched tires not properly aligned and balanced.
- Overloaded a truck. Not only are trucks subject to various state and federal weight restrictions, but all cargo must be properly secured, as a shifting payload can also cause tire failure.
When a blowout occurs and a truck driver, tire manufacturer, or trucking company is found to have overlooked or avoided meeting any of these guidelines, they become liable for injuries resulting from that blowout.
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact us today
Proving negligence in a truck tire blowout accident involves gathering evidence from the trucking company. However, a trucking company is only required to maintain certain documents for six months, and may then destroy it. At the law offices of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A., an experienced Maryland accident attorney is ready to quickly file a motion seeking to preserve important evidence such as driver logs and engine data. In addition, we have exclusive access to a network of tire blowout and trucking industry experts that can examine this evidence and provide expert testimony about the blowout. If you or a family member has been injured by a truck tire blowout, we urge you to contact one of our five area offices today for a free initial consultation. Call us at (800) 229-7026 or contact us online for an appointment—and if you cannot travel to visit us, we can come to you.