When a car accident occurs due to a flat tire, blowout, or other tire failure, it’s important to find out whether or not the tire was defective and/or improperly installed.
Single vehicle accidents caused by tire failures are somewhat unique. Instead of filing a claim against another driver, you’ll likely be filing a claim with your own insurance company—but this isn’t always the case.
In order to have a clear understanding of who’s liable for the crash, you’ll first need to find out why your tire failed in the first place. Were your tires old and/or worn? Did your local tire shop install tires that were not rated for your vehicle? Were the tires defective and/or recalled? Did you simply run over a nail?
Car wrecks caused by tire blowouts can be complicated, and often require a qualified and experienced attorney to help investigate the facts surrounding your accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a tire failure, it is important to speak with a Dallas personal injury lawyer about your options moving forward.
Tires are the only points of contact that a vehicle has with the road. It’s critical that your car or truck is fitted with the correct tires, that they have ample tread, and that they are always properly inflated.
There are several reasons why a tire may fail. Perhaps the most common cause of failure is tread separation (when the tread detaches from the rest of the tire at high speed). Oftentimes these failures result in loss of control of the vehicle, as well the increased likelihood of a rollover accident. Most tires today are steel-belted radial tires, and tread separation is the most-common defect with these types of tires.
Another somewhat common cause of tire failure is bead failure. The “bead” is the inner edge of the tire that contacts the rim, and is responsible for keeping the tire secured to the wheel. A defective bead could lead to a sudden loss of tire pressure, and subsequently, a blowout. A defective tire sidewall (responsible for ensuring the tire keeps air and protecting the tire from outside forces) can also lead to catastrophic failure.
Importantly, tires may also be installed incorrectly (or replaced with the wrong size tire) by a mechanic or body shop—thus placing liability and responsibility for subsequent accidents on the negligent shop.
In most cases, a car accident caused by a defective tire generally falls under the umbrella of product liability law. Product liability seeks to assess responsibility for dangerous or defective products, and then holds a manufacturer or seller liable for placing a defective product into a consumer’s hands. The law requires that products meet consumers’ “ordinary expectations.” Thus, the plaintiff (victim) does not even need to prove negligence; only that the defective tire was the proximate cause of their accident. This is known as strict liability.
There are three broad categories of “defects” which could cause injury and be subject to product liability law. These include:
- Design defects;
- Manufacturing defects, and;
- Marketing defects (e.g., improper labeling, inadequate safety warnings, etc).
For a product liability claim to be successful, the plaintiff (victim) must be able to prove one of more of the above categories, that the seller or manufacturer intended the product to reach the consumer in its current defective state, and that the product caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Product liability claims seek to hold all responsible parties liable, including not only the manufacturer, but also those in the chain of distribution (if applicable). This can include the assembler, wholesaler, and even retailer.
A serious car accident can be traumatic. Dealing with the insurance company while recovering from your injuries is often an uphill and distressing battle. As many of you know, having a personal injury attorney in your corner is paramount to ensuring that you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
At Montgomery Law, we have years of experience successfully litigating product liability cases like these, and are happy to provide you with a free consultation by phone or email.
We work exclusively on a no-win no-fee basis, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us for a free consultation. To speak with our attorneys today, fill out the contact form on this page or call us at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free).