Atlanta Firefighter Injured in Accident Involving Loose Truck Tire
As Atlanta truck accident lawyers, we often find a common misconception that in a tractor trailer or commercial truck accident, the truck must be involved in a direct impact accident with the other vehicle for it to qualify as grounds for liability. As we often see, semi rigs and 18 wheelers can cause injuries to motorists and bystanders even if there is no contact between the rig and smaller vehicle. An example of an injury like this occurred in Atlanta in June this year when a firefighter was seriously injured from a tire that rolled off a nearby 18-wheeler.
Firefighter Willie Surry was fighting a brush fire on Interstate-285 near Langford Parkway.According to Surry, the last thing he remembers is putting out the brush fire, before he woke up severely injured in the hospital. A wheel had flown off a tanker truck, hitting the firefighter. Surry suffered serious injuries, including a punctured lung, multiple broken bones and a tear in the knee. He was hospitalized for a month and a half, and may need more surgeries.
The months since the accident have been spent in excruciating pain. Surry was first confined to a wheelchair, but has since begun to use a walker, and now, a cane to get round. However, going back to work on a fire truck again is a distant dream. According to the CBS report, the wheel that flew off the tanker truck had just been repaired that day. Obviously, repairs were not performed as well as required.
The wheels and tires of a tractor trailer are subject to severe wear and tear. These vehicles travel hundreds of miles in a course of days, and the wheels can be subject to constant pressure. Tire-related truck accidents can involve tire blowouts and tires coming lose and injuring motorists.
· When a tire blowout occurs, large pieces of the tire may shoot out.These pieces of rubber can be heavy enough to crash through the windshields of cars nearby or strike motorcyclists. Serious injuries and deaths are common in such incidents.
· A tire blowout can also cause the tractor trailer driver to lose control of his truck. The rig could jackknife or flip over. In all these instances, motorists in the vicinity are at risk of injury.
· Loose lug nuts on a wheel can cause the wheel to come off, while the truck is under operation. These large, heavy tires can roll off on the highway and into anything in their paths, including passenger vehicles and motorcyclists. The high speed of these runaway tires and the force with which they can crash into other vehicles can leave motorists seriously injured.