Being involved in a truck accident on Michigan roadways can be a frightening experience. These accidents are not just a problem for drivers – tire companies, shippers and fleet owners may also be impacted by such incidents.
What makes wheels fall off
Most notably, under- or over-tightening lug nuts is a major contributing factor to wheels coming off trucks resulting in motor vehicle accidents. Lugnuts hold the wheel onto the axle and provide leverage for it to stay in place. When they’re not properly secured or if they become weakened over time because of corrosion, poor maintenance or impacts, the wheel can come loose.
Wheels can also come off when the tires are improperly installed or when the tire itself is faulty. Consequently, it’s the responsibility of the tire company or installer to ensure that they properly fit and inspect the wheels before the truck gets on the road.
Lawsuits and wheel runoff incidents
When a wheel falls off a truck in Michigan, the driver or fleet owner can face legal liability in the form of multiple lawsuits from those involved or injured in the accident. These cases can involve claims for negligence, product liability, breach of warranty, vicarious liability, which is when an employer is responsible for their employee’s negligent actions, and even wrongful death if someone dies as a result of the incident.
It’s not just the trucking company that may be held liable – in some cases, the cargo owner may also be at fault if they didn’t safely secure their load. For example, if the cargo wasn’t properly distributed, it could have caused an imbalance that resulted in a wheel coming off.
When an incident occurs, it’s important for those affected to evaluate their options as repairing any damage done by flying tires and wheels can be costly.