Too often wheels break free of vehicles on the nation’s roads. Sometimes, they bounce into ongoing traffic, often causing severe injuries or loss of life. Tire separations threaten occupants of the vehicle involved as well. Wheel loss often causes rollovers, some of which cause injury or death.
Victims of wheel separations may seek compensation from those responsible for their injuries. When a commercial truck is involved in a truck accident, a trucking firm may be liable for damages. Sometimes, vehicle maintenance providers or parts manufacturers are liable.
Reasons Why Wheels Come Off
One forensics expert identifies three primary reasons for tire separations:
- Stud and/or nut failure
- Hub separation
- Axle fracture
Wheel failures may happen when nuts are either too loose or too tight. Loose nuts may come off the studs, one by one, until the wheel breaks free. Tight nuts can literally stretch and stress studs to the point of failure. Sometimes, corroding metal components weaken to the point that a wheel breaks free.
Bearing failures and axle spindle nut failures may cause hub separations. Extreme friction from a failing bearing may weaken the hub to the point that it fails. Finally, when an axle breaks, the piece attached to the wheel may break free from the vehicle.
Axle failures may result from wear-and-tear or from improper maintenance. For example, in one case, an axle broke off an SUV one month after service because a cutting torch was inappropriately used to deal with a bearing repair. The extreme heat weakened the axle, leading to its failure.
We’re Here to Help
If you or a family member is a traffic accident victim due to a wheel separation or any other mishap, it is possible to speak with a personal injury attorney about the matter. Our firm provides such a consultation free of charge. To learn more, please contact us today.