A defective tire can cause you to have an accident, and if it is in a heavily traveled area, it could cause a multi-vehicle accident. Defective vehicle parts, such as tires, or anything else, cause accidents that are sometimes fatal. This can be hard to prove however when a vehicle is damaged beyond repair in a wreck.
If you have been seriously injured or suffered great loss in an accident, you should not go it alone. Tire makers, carmakers, and insurance companies all have their team of lawyers set to defend their companies against all allegations. This is why you need a good personal injury lawyer who specializes in auto accidents. We have the means and the know-how to prove if a tire was defective, or if any other part was defective.
There are a few ways tires can be defective. Sometimes tires sit on shelves or in warehouses too long, past the expiration date. This means you could buy a new set of tires and find they are not new at all. Over time rubber can deteriorate, which causes the tires to lose their integrity. A tire can be worn with age and still have a lot of treads left. If a tire is defective in this way, it could blow out from the sides or could be easily punctured by any debris on the road.
Tires that are over-inflated or under-inflated could also cause an accident. It is important to keep your tires checked for air pressure. If you do this and have an accident, it could help make your case. The store that mounted your tires could be liable if they did not put the right amount of air in your tires. Tires also should not leak much at all, and that is another aspect that could cause an accident.
Another way tires can be defective is when the tread separates from the rest of the tire. If there is an issue with the material it may develop at high speeds, and a sudden tire failure in that situation could cause a serious accident. It is important to know where your tire and wheels came from, and being able to document the source could help in making a case for a tire defect.
Proving the case
If a car and its tires are severely damaged, it may be hard to prove the tires were defective. However, an expert witness can establish the likelihood, or possibility that the tires were to blame in an accident. The expert witness could also help establish that you were not at fault in an accident.
A personal injury lawyer would have to prove that there was a defect in the tires or in the car itself, that caused an accident. The tire manufacturer or the car manufacturer could be held liable if it can be established that the defect caused the accident. People purchase cars and tires, trusting that they are in good condition and will work well. Driving down the highway is normally safe, but when things go wrong an accident can happen quickly.
It is hard to prove, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can investigate and help prove what caused the accident. If possible don’t let your vehicle be moved until your attorney has had a chance to look at the car, or have it examined by professionals.
How many accidents are there?
It is true that tires have gotten better over the years. There was a time when flat tires were routine, but you can go years now without a single flat tire. This should also mean tires have fewer defects and should cause fewer accidents.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Association, there are about six million traffic accidents in the United States each year. About six percent of those result in a fatality. There are a lot of reasons for accidents, and defective tires may be only a small percentage of that number. Still, about 90 people die every day in car crashes in the United States.
As many as 40 percent of fatal accidents in the United States involved a drunk driver, and that is by far the leading cause of fatal accidents.
Tire related incidents
The NHTSA estimates tire issues accounted for five percent of all traffic accidents. The tread and whether a tire was properly inflated had an impact on many of those. Some of those accidents were caused by tire defects. The NHTSA also notes that tires with any kind of issue are much more likely to cause an accident, than the accident happening by chance.
Highway safety officials also differentiate the “pre-crash phase” from the actual crash itself. The pre-crash phase is when the accident is developing, but there is still a second or two to make a quick decision that could make the accident not as bad, or worse. Bad tires make the pre-crash phase worse and lessen the chances of being able to avoid the accident at that point.
It is rare for defective tires to cause an accident, but an experienced personal injury lawyer could help determine if that is the case. If it can be proven you would be due compensation from either the tire maker or the carmaker.