The driver of a large tractor-trailer says he’s lucky to be alive and that it was a miracle his vehicle didn’t crash into any other passenger vehicles around him when he lost control of the truck due to a blown tire.
The driver was traveling on I-95 in Harnett County on Thursday afternoon when a front tire on the truck blew out, causing him to lose control. As the rig headed towards a guardrail, the weight of the truck and the load it was hauling caused it to slow down. As it smashed into the guardrail, it overturned, trapping the driver inside. He was able to smash the windshield and escape.
The legal team at our North Carolina personal injury law firm agrees that certain tragedy was avoided in this truck accident. Had the tractor-trailer plowed into a smaller vehicle or landed on top of a passenger vehicle when it flipped over, the occupants of those vehicles would have most likely suffered serious to catastrophic injuries.
Truck Accident Deaths
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 4,000 people are killed each year in truck accidents. The majority of victims who are killed in truck accidents are the occupants of passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Approximately 70 percent of truck accident deaths are occupants in cars. Unfortunately, the number of truck accident deaths continues to increase each year. Often, in the case of tire blowouts, the blowout will occur simply because the driver didn’t properly inflate their truck’s tires or due to the failure to change any tire that’s bald or overly worn. Also, a blowout can stem from tread separation, which causes the tire to rapidly lose air pressure and explode. Tread separation can be a tire defect. All of these factors can lead to a tire blowout on a truck:
- Improper inflation
- Worn-out, old, bald tires
- Tread separation, which especially can affect retread tires
- Cargo overload, truckers cannot load weights that exceed the truck’s maximum capacity
Other Truck Accident Factors
There are many more factors that can cause a truck crash compared to a passenger vehicle accident. Some of the more common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver error
- Driver negligence
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Equipment failure
- Improper loading of cargo
- Poor weather/road conditions
- Pressure on the driver to ignore mandatory rest requirements
When the cause of a truck crash is deemed to be the fault of the truck driver, trucking company, or some other party associated with the truck, the victims are entitled to pursue damages for the losses they have suffered. If the victim is killed as a result of their injuries, their families can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our firm has represented numerous truck accident victims and their families in our more than three decades of practicing injury law. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and awards, including the following:
- A $2.4 million wrongful death settlement for the family of a man who was killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the victim’s vehicle in an attempt to change lanes. The victim was killed instantly.
- A $1.1 million injury settlement for a high school student who was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer while on his bicycle. The victim spent months recovering from his injuries.
- A $650,000 jury award for a woman whose legs were severely injured when a truck with bald tires lost tread and smashed into her vehicle.
Contact a Carolinas Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact a North Carolina truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. We also represent families of victims killed in truck accidents in wrongful death lawsuits.
Our NC personal injury firm also offers a free truck accident injury guide for accident victims. The guide covers topics such as the tactics used by truck companies to deny or reduce injury claims, common violations of trucking companies, and the difference between commercial truck insurance and other types of vehicle insurance.