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Flying truck tire slams into California car, kills driver

Evidence that an injury or death did not have to happen may be no more apparent than when you hear about an unusual accident. It's clear, except for a convergence of bad timing and mystifying errors, the tragedy never had to occur. A bizarre truck accident, not unlike the ones just described, recently took place in Fresno.

A 22-year-old California woman died, after she was struck by a tire that came loose from a semi-truck on Highway 99. Investigators said the immense tire rolled across the road and smashed into the victim's Toyota Corolla, crushing the driver's side and roof.

The young woman graduated last spring from Fresno State University. She had been studying for a master's degree in public health at the time she was killed.

Responses to accidents like this often include shock that such a fate could happen to anyone. When wrongful death claims reach civil courts, juries grapple with fault finding and consideration of actions that might have prevented the fatality. The central question is "Who, if anyone, is to blame?"

Several parties may be defendants in truck accidents. A trucking company may share liability for the actions of a reckless or unqualified truck driver. Employers are responsible for hiring competent drivers, monitoring driving habits, keeping accurate records and training employees.

Employers, truck owners or leasing companies and vehicle servicers also may be accountable for inspection violations and faulty maintenance of tractor-trailers. Truck parts manufacturers and vehicle makers can be held liable for defective products or service. Businesses responsible for truck loading and packing can be blamed for carelessness that contributes to a crash.

Truck accident attorneys identify these parties while preparing claims. Defendants may be liable for equal or unequal percentages of fault. A plaintiff's behavior can affect the outcome.

An injury or death does not guarantee a claim is valid. Attorneys review evidence to help make that determination.

Source: New York Daily News, "Grad student killed when semitractor's wheel smashes into car on California highway" Nina Golgowski, Nov. 10, 201

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