If a bus accident is caused by a tire blowout, it is necessary to determine the cause of the tire blowout to know who the passengers and their families can sue for compensation, which can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress, loss of quality of life and other damages. In cases of wrongful death, families can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, loss of care and companionship and other damages.
Causes of Tire Blowouts Leading to Injury and Wrongful Death
In most cases, underinflation of the tire is the cause of the blowout. A recent study conducted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that about 30% of car and light trucks have at least one underinflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi) or more. Using an underinflated tire causes stress on the tire because it overheats. Both the bus driver and the bus company are usually responsible for tire inflation problems.
Overloading can be a problem with intercity buses. If the bus load (passengers and luggage) exceeds the weight limit of the bus tires, the stress could cause a tire blowout. Again, both the bus driver and bus company are responsible for making sure the bus is not overloaded.
Speeding can also cause a tire blowout, particularly on a hot day. Although the bus driver was the one pushing the pedal to the metal, the bus company is responsible for the negligent driving both as the owner of the bus and the employer of the driver.
Manufacturing defects can also cause tire blowouts. Problems with rubber to rubber adhesion, tire tread detachment and belt separation are all indications that the tire was defective. If we can prove that a manufacturing defect caused the blowout, passengers and, in some cases, their families will have the right to seek compensation from the tire manufacturer.
Improper mounting of a tire (wrong rim size or damage during installation) and poor puncture repair can also lead to a tire blowout. If the bus company had another party do the installation, that party can be sued by accident victims and their families.