It’s fairly common to see big chunks of tire tread lying on the shoulder of the highway in New Mexico, but the event that creates those pieces of tire and leaves them on the side of the road is a violent and dangerous event that can lead to a crash.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a commercial vehicle, like a semi-truck, having a tire blowout on the road, then you may be wondering what exactly you can do about it. While you have probably already considered filing an insurance claim, if you were injured you might have wondered who is to blame and how you can be reimbursed for your damages.
Determining liability for a tire blowout can be relatively difficult, but working with experienced truck accident attorneys like our team at Las Cruces-based Stewart + Harmonson can make the process much easier for you.
Are truckers reliable for tire blowouts that cause accidents in New Mexico?
This is a complicated question to answer, but a dedicated truck accident attorney can help you determine who could be liable in your situation.
Yes, the operator of the truck is required to check their tires at frequent intervals, ensuring that the tread depth, tread quality, inflation, and mileage are all within safe tolerances.
This is because tractor-trailers, semis, and other large commercial trucks are frequently required to put hundreds of miles on their tires every day, often with loads that are thousands or tens of thousands of pounds.
While this would quickly destroy the standard tires on any personal vehicle, the tires on a truck are much more heavy-duty and still suffer significant amounts of stress as a result. This means the truck must be inspected frequently, so that the condition, wear, and ultimately the safety of its components can be personally verified.
If any issues are found, drivers are supposed to remedy them at that time. If the trailer was overloaded at the most recent pickup, or if they have developed other issues that may prevent safe operation, the driver is responsible for making sure the problems or conflicts are fixed before they continue on their way.
Who else could be liable for these trucking accidents, then?
While the truck drivers are required to inspect the components of their vehicle, such as the tires, this doesn’t mean that they are the only potentially liable party.
There are several other options that your legal representative may also investigate, including:
- the tire manufacturer or retailer,
- any third-party maintenance companies that the trucking company may contract with, or
- the entity responsible for maintaining the road
Even though the trucker inspected their tires, if the tire was manufactured with flaws or defects in the materials or workmanship it can subsequently blow out and cause an injurious crash.
This can also happen if the manufacturer knew about defects and recalled certain tires, but a careless retailer still sold or installed them. In this case, the liability would shift to the retailer.
It’s not uncommon for larger trucking companies to contract with large third-party maintenance providers to keep their fleet in good shape. Sometimes, however, these companies make mistakes and miss something, or one of their technicians neglects to properly service a wheel or tire, and it can result in a crash.
Finally, if a section of a road is in bad enough shape that it can be shown to have significantly contributed to the blowout, the government or municipal organization responsible for maintaining a safe roadway would be liable for the injuries that resulted from their failure to fulfill that duty of care.
Contact a New Mexico Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident that resulted from a truck tire blowout, the best thing you can do for your case is to work with a local, experienced New Mexico truck accident attorney. Your attorney will focus on getting you the compensation you deserve, while you focus on recovering from such a stressful and potentially painful ordeal.
Reach out today and speak with a member of the Stewart + Harmonson legal team in confidence, so that work on your case can begin immediately.