Florida Driver Killed by Flying Tire
As if there weren’t enough reasons to be terrified of Florida’s highways, a 25-year-old man was killed when a tire inexplicably bounced over the median and struck his SUV’s windshield. Police on the scene reported it was the tire that caused the man’s death. His passenger, a 27-year-old woman, was sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to reports.
According to police, the box truck suffered a “catastrophic tire failure” which caused the tire to become unhinged, fly off the vehicle, jump the median, and eventually land on the victim’s windshield. At this point, no one is quite sure how the tire came off the truck.
The incident is still under investigation but could result in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who is to Blame?
Since a death was involved, investigators and attorneys for the victim’s family will attempt to determine how the tire flew off the box truck. In a case like this, the most likely culprit is operator error or a manufacturing and design law in the box truck itself.
If the box truck was rented out without being looked over before it was rented, then the rental can be held liable for negligence.
If the box truck was poorly designed and it was prone to losing tires under certain circumstances, then the company that designed and manufactured the box truck can be held liable.
If the driver loaded more weight in the truck than the truck could safely handle, then the driver can be held responsible for the accident, because the driver should have known better than to load more weight on the box truck than it could handle.
Comparative Negligence and Liability
Of the scenarios mentioned above, one or more of them could turn out to be the case. Perhaps the mechanics for the truck company failed to notice a problem with the tire or the wheel of the vehicle before sending it out on the road. That doesn’t preclude the fact that the truck may have been carrying too much weight or that there was a design flaw in the manufacture of the truck. Here, the rule of comparative negligence is employed.
Nor does it preclude the fact that if the victim can be shown to have been speeding at the time his SUV collided with the tire, the impact of the tire may not have been strong enough to kill him.
In cases like these, when there are multiple culpable parties, jurors are asked to assign some of the blame to each party. That can include an injured or deceased person. An award is given for the damages. The jury also assigns a percentage of the blame to each party, including the plaintiff. In this case, the at-fault parties are expected to pay whatever their percentage of the blame for the total damages awarded.
For instance, assuming the victim did nothing wrong, it may turn out that there was a manufacturing flaw in the truck but that the driver loaded too much weight onto it. If the jury determines the wrongful death award to be $1 million and assigns 50% blame to both at-fault parties, then each would be responsible for paying $500,000.
We Can Help You Today
If you’ve sustained an injury due to the negligence of another party, then you are entitled to damages. Give the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Gillette Law a call at 904-600-4758 or contact us online, and we can begin preparing your case immediately.