Understanding Liability When Tire Blowouts Cause Oregon Trucking Accidents
Large commercial trucks have many wheels and large wheels. These wheels have a lot of stress on them, both from the heavy weight of cargo and the high speed that the truck travels. But these wheels are made to be tough and sustain a lot of pressure. However, they are not impervious to damage and these wheels can be compromised. Generally, it takes some time for a wheel to show that it is becoming weaker and susceptible to a tire blowout. This is why both Oregon law and federal regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require truck drivers and trucking companies to routinely inspect and check their vehicles’ wheels. This is to prevent catastrophic blowouts which could lead to devastating accidents. But our Bend/Portland, Oregon trucking accident lawyers know that some truck drivers and trucking companies cut corners to save time and money. When this happens and an Oregon trucking accident is caused by a tire blowout, victims have certain rights to protect.
Who is to Blame for an Oregon Trucking Accident Caused by a Tire Blowout?
A truck driver and trucking company will argue that a tire blowout causing an Oregon trucking accident is a freak accident. They will complain there is nothing they could have done to stop the crash. They may even argue that they had no control over the tire which exploded while they were using it. As a victim, you may begin to think they are right.
But they are not. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because truck drivers and trucking companies DO have control over their tires because they are in the best place to inspect, repair, and ensure the tires are safe, well maintained, and correctly installed. It is absolutely certain that you as a motorist on the road do not have any ability to perform these functions, so the blame cannot be passed onto you.
And federal regulations do not do this. Under FMCSA regulations, a commercial truck driver and trucking company are responsible for the upkeep of their vehicles, including the tires. Under 49 CFR 392.7(a), “[n]o commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that following parts and accessories are in good working order . . . tires.” Before a commercial vehicle can go on the roadway, a truck driver MUST inspect the “wheels, rims, lugs, tires.”
What Condition Must a Commercial Vehicle’s Tires be in Before Roadway Use?
FMCSA regulations make it very clear that a large commercial vehicle like a logging truck, 18 wheeler, big rig, delivery van, semi tractor trailer, and other box trucks must be in good working order. This is particularly true of a commercial vehicle’s tires and wheels. For instance, under 49 CFR s 393.75 (a), “[n]o motor vehicle shall be operated on any tire that—
- Has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall,
- Has any tread or sidewall separation,
- Is flat or has an audible leak, or
- Has a cut to the extent that the ply or belt material is exposed.
If either of these conditions are present after a trucking accident and an investigator can demonstrate that the condition existed before the accident (which is possible), the truck driver and trucking company may be liable for the trucking accident. Sometimes an innocent victim will need to retain legal counsel to hire experts to investigate what caused the trucking accident.
Were You Injured in an Oregon Trucking Accident from a Truck Tire Blowout? Our Bend Trucking Accident Lawyers and Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Help You
Tire blowouts are violent and usually lead to serious and catastrophic trucking accidents, including fatal collisions involving crossing the centerline, rolling over, jackknife crashes, and other types of fatal 18 wheeler wrecks. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.