Two men were killed in Miami County when a set of tandem tires detached from a semi truck, crossed the median and flew into oncoming traffic. The airborne tires sideswiped a Dodge Caravan, then hit a Chevrolet Express van head-on. The driver and one passenger were killed immediately, while two other passengers in the Express suffering serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Another passenger was uninjured.
While one emergency services authority called it “an absolute freak accident,” investigating authorities and attorneys may have different opinions. Here are some of the different parties who may be held responsible for the accident, depending on the results of an investigation.
Driver and trucking company
Commercial drivers, like those who operate semi trucks, are required to perform pre-trip inspections before they go out on the road. These pre-trip inspections typically cover common problem areas like tires, brake systems, lights and more. These inspections are required because, as the accident above demonstrates, a malfunctioning part can cause devastating accidents.
If the driver failed to perform the pre-trip inspection, and could have prevented the accident if they had, they might be held liable—and in turn, the plaintiff could go after the trucking company under a theory of vicarious liability.
Vehicle and parts manufacturers
Of course, the driver and trucking company could have upheld all of their inspection and maintenance obligations, and accidents can still happen anyway. If a defective vehicle or component was to blame, a plaintiff could potentially sue the manufacturer in a products liability suit. Products liability claims allow plaintiffs to hold manufacturers responsible when a defectively designed or manufactured product caused them injury.
Mechanics and mechanic shops
Finally, if the trucking company used a third-party mechanic or shop to perform regular vehicle maintenance, and the mechanic shop failed to perform up to standards, they could be held liable for the injuries that resulted. The plaintiff would have to prove that the mechanic had a duty to perform maintenance to a certain standard, they failed in that duty and as a result, the improper maintenance caused their accident and injuries.
Because determining liability can be tricky in “freak accidents,” it’s crucial that plaintiffs work with a skilled personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny for help as soon as possible.
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The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your accident claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.