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| Shapiro, Appleton, Washburn & Sharp

I recently described a tragic accident in Hampton, Virginia (VA), in which a tire that had fallen off a vehicle smashed through the window of a van, causing serious, life -hanging injuries to a 40-year-old woman from Newport News, VA, who became incapacitated and unable to care for herself.

Such accidents may be more common than many think. In Charlotte, North Carolina (NC), on October 11, 2011, a tire that fell from the back of a pickup truck during morning rush hour caused a five-vehicle chain-reaction accident on I-85 between the exits for Harris Boulevard and Mallard Creek Church, WSOC TV reported. Five people were hurt, but fortunately none of the injuries were life-threatening.

While it was unknown where the tire came from in the accident in Hampton, VA, in this case there were witnesses to the tire falling off the pickup. It’s unclear if charges will be brought.

When owners of private or commercial trucks fail to adequately secure loads or leave tires loose, they could be held liable in lawsuits brought by people who are injured as a result of the negligence. In September 2011, for example, a pickup driver was cited for his unsecured load after junk fell onto the New Martinsville Bridge in West Virginia (WV). Tragically, in that case, another driver who stopped to remove the junk from the road was hit by a car and critically injured.

The experienced personal injury attorneys with our North Carolina law firm see far too many accidents that are caused by objects falling off trucks. Recently, we noted how improperly loaded trucks are a significant cause of accidents on VA highways and in North Carolina. We also noted that unsafe loads can result in a driver or trucking company facing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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