Vehicle owners in Texas may not always realize the importance of regular maintenance of their cars or trucks. This is not only required from companies or fleet owners, but also from private vehicle owners. Driving on tires that are worn down is extremely dangerous and the cause of many fatalities in automobile accidents, that can lead to wrongful death claims against the vehicle owner. However, it is not uncommon for service centers to incorrectly fit new tires on a vehicle, or even for a tire to have a defect without the knowledge of the vehicle owner.
The Texas Department of Public Safety recently reported on an accident that occurred on Interstate 45. A van rolled over multiple times after a blow-out of one of its rear tires. One passenger was trapped inside the van, and was extricated with the help of firefighters who had to use hydraulic equipment to cut open the van’s roof. After the victim was removed from the vehicle, she was airlifted to a Houston hospital, but sadly succumbed to her injuries on the way.
It was reported that another passenger, along with the driver, suffered severe injuries and were taken to a nearby medical center. The severity of the injuries suffered by a third passenger proved severe enough also to justify being airlifted to the Houston hospital. The relation between the passengers and the driver were not revealed in the media report.
The injured passengers in this accident, along with the family of the deceased woman may retain the right to hold the owner of the van responsible for neglecting to check the condition of the vehicle’s tires before driving. Alternatively, they may be able to file suit against the tire's manufacturer or any service center that may have improperly installed the tire, if applicable. By filing personal injury on wrongful death claims in a civil court, there may be awards of monetary judgment to cover medical and/or end-of-life expenses that were brought about by the accident. In addition, the court may award additional damages as deemed appropriate by state laws.
Source: itemonline.com, "Houston woman killed in weekend traffic accident", , July 22, 2014