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New York Wheel Off Truck Accident

When there is a car accident, mechanical failure is sometimes cited as a contributing factor. The same is so for truck accidents. One type of mechanical failure involves a wheel coming off the truck while it is moving. This is also referred to as a wheel separation. When a wheel detaches from a moving tractor trailer, it often becomes a runaway wheel or a deadly projectile. The National Transportation Safety Board estimates the incidence of wheel separations to be about 750 to 1050 per year on tractor trailers. The result of a wheel off accident can be devastating. Victims of such accidents often suffer serious injuries such as a brain injury, contusions, broken bones, internal injuries, amputations, paralysis, or spinal cord injury. Sadly, many victims of truck accidents do not survive. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by a wheel separation, it is important that you immediately contact a New York Wheel Off Truck Accident Lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. In addition, if while treating you for your injuries your doctor is negligent resulting in a medical malpractice claim, the truck driver may be legally required to compensate you for that as well.

Consequences of a Wheel Separation

For several reasons wheel separations are quite dangerous.

  • Wheel size. Truck wheels are much larger than car wheels. When a tire is attached to the wheel, the combination can up to 400 pounds. When a 400-pound wheel traveling at a high speed hits a vehicle or a person, the consequences are often catastrophic.
  • Bouncing and rolling. When a wheel separates from a truck it will not remain stationary on the road. Because of the speed at which the truck was traveling, the wheel will bounce, spin, turn and roll. A moving wheel can hit another vehicle or a pedestrian at a high speed. In addition, drivers who see the wheel moving in their direction may swerve to avoid it, colliding with other vehicles.
  • Projectile. Not only will a separated wheel bounce and roll, it may also fly through the air like a projectile, crashing into another vehicle or through the windshield of a vehicle.
Common Causes of Wheel-Off Accidents

There are many reasons that the wheel of a big rig may fall off, causing an accident. Some of the common factors in wheel-off accidents include:

  • Poor maintenance and failure to inspect. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal obligation under federal law to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles, including wheel bearings and fasteners. If a vehicle is in such a condition that it may cause an accident, the driver should not get behind the wheel.
  • Defective product. If the truck is using parts they are poorly designed or poorly manufactured, such as wheels or axels, the wheel might come off while the truck is moving. While the truck driver or trucking company may still have been negligent, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective parts would also be legally liable.
Pursuing a Claim

Truck accidents can lead to devastating injuries such as a spinal cord injury, broken bones, brain injury, amputation, paralysis, and all too often, death. Through a personal injury lawsuit, New York law allows you to hold the negligent party responsible for the losses you suffered. Victims who suffer serious injuries in truck accidents have significant medical bills. In addition, because victims of serious injuries often have to miss a great deal of work or are unable to return to work at all, victims have the right to sue for lost wages and loss of earning capacity. If a family member was killed as a result of a wheel off accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Beware that New York law has a specific time limit for filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim. If you do not file your claim within the time period, you will be forever barred from collecting damages even if your case has merit.

New York Wheel Off Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a family member has been seriously injured as a result of a truck losing a wheel or a tire, you may be entitled to compensation. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has experience successfully handling claims resulting from truck accidents, as well as SUV accidents, car accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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