Lawyer Killed In Tire Blowout Accident Involving Truck
One of the compensable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is lost future wages. You don’t want to be responsible for the death of someone who earned a lot of money because their wages are compensable. This fact is causing much grief for a power company that operated a pole digging truck. The driver of the truck crossed the median after blowing out a tire and struck the attorney’s car head-on. Now, his company is being sued by the family of the lawyer for wrongful death.
The power company, which is a primary defendant in the lawsuit, denies liability, but the case against them is strong and now they’re playing games in an attempt to move the venue closer to them. The truck was purchased at auction where it became the property of the power company. While it was being driven back, the truck blew a tire, crossed the median, and struck the lawyer’s vehicle. Ultimately, the owner of any vehicle is responsible for the roadworthiness of the vehicle regardless of any other factor. You can be sued even if you lend your vehicle to another driver who causes an accident. The law puts the duty of care on the vehicle owner to ensure it’s safe to drive. In this case, a pre-auction or pre-trip inspection of the vehicle could have prevented the blowout from occurring. There is essentially no real defense to this claim.
Understanding tire blowout accident lawsuits
Tire blowouts occur for any number of reasons. The most common reason is that the tire was old, worn out, and in need of replacement. When that’s the case, the vehicle’s owner is responsible for any damage caused by the blowout, including death. In some states, they will charge drivers with manslaughter for causing a death during a tire blowout accident. While these prosecutions are generally set aside for truck drivers who have a higher duty of care than the general public, you can see that the stakes are quite high. The government expects all drivers are large and dangerous commercial vehicles to conduct inspections prior to taking the vehicle out on the road. Since tire blowouts are generally predictable and driving on underinflated or distressed tires is a known risk for a blowout, the liability squarely falls on the driver and the company that employs them.
In other cases, however, it may be the fault of the company that manufactured the tire. Alternatively, tire blowout accidents happen because of road dangers such as potholes or debris. In those cases, the tire company nor the driver would be liable. This means that the tire company has as its only defense, the ability to blame another party for the accident. Since potholes were not mentioned in the article, it is unlikely that a pothole or road debris argument will work. Lastly, sometimes mechanics can be blamed for tire blowout accidents, but the duty of care would have shifted squarely to the purchaser of the vehicle at auction.
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