A tire is defective when it's damaged or worn in such a way that it's no longer safe to use. Vehicle crashes caused by damaged tires can be extremely serious – or even fatal – but how do tire defects cause crashes in the first place, and who is responsible if you're injured due to a faulty tire? As a personal injury attorney who has helped many individuals claim compensation for vehicle accident injuries, let me explain what you need to know.
Types of Tire Defects That Cause Vehicle Crashes
No two vehicle crashes are the same. However, there are four major tire faults that can cause accidents.
Poorly Inflated Tires
If there's too much air in a tire, it won't handle correctly, and it's more prone to damage. Similarly, if there's not enough air in a tire, it could overheat, tear, or blow completely.
Tires might fail if they are poorly designed or manufactured, so they're not strong enough to withstand normal driving pressures. Defective tires can leak, blow, or even explode if they're not replaced.
Worn or Bald Tires
Worn or bald tires may not grip the road properly, which increases the risk of crashing. They're also more likely to lose air pressure, affecting braking and steering control.
Punctures happen when sharp objects like nails penetrate the tire and cause it to deflate. If the tire is not replaced or repaired, it will burst and cause the driver to lose control.
Why Defective Tires Are Dangerous
When a tire is defective, it doesn't connect to the road properly, so the driver might struggle to control the vehicle. If the tire fails or blows out completely, it could cause a serious wreck, including:
● direct vehicle impacts
● high-speed collisions
● jackknifed trucks
● multi-vehicle wrecks
● overturned vehicles
Motorcycle and truck crashes stemming from tire defects can be extremely serious given the size of the vehicles involved. For example, when a large truck tire blows, mechanical parts may break apart and hit passing vehicles. Flying debris can cause serious injuries and fatalities – an experienced crash attorney like me knows how to ensure my clients are fairly compensated in these cases.
Common Injuries Caused by Defective Tire Crashes
The types of personal injuries people sustain after tire blowouts depend on various factors, but some common injuries include:
● broken bones
● cuts and bruises
● head injuries
● neck injuries
● soft tissue damage
Tire blowouts can also lead to severe injuries, including spinal cord damage and, in the worst cases, death.
Should you always seek medical attention after a vehicle crash, even if you think you've only got minor injuries? Yes. For one thing, some more significant injuries – such as brain damage – take a while to manifest. Moreover, medical evidence, such as emergency room visits, can help strengthen your case if you make a personal injury claim.
Determining Liability in Your Personal Injury Case
In general, the blame in these cases usually rests with (at least) one of three parties: the manufacturer, a vehicle owner, or another party, e.g., a mechanic.
If you're sold a defective product, you don't need to prove negligence: it's enough to show that the tire was defective when it was sold to you by a manufacturer or distributor. This is known as a product liability lawsuit.
If another motorist fails to maintain their tires properly and experiences a blowout, they could crash into your vehicle and injure you. In such cases, it's possible to sue the negligent driver and claim compensation from their insurer.
Depending on the facts of your case, it might be possible to hold other parties responsible for a defective tire crash.
● Mechanic: if a mechanic acted negligently or carelessly when changing or repairing your tire, they may be held responsible for your injuries.
● Vehicle repair shop: an auto repair shop may be responsible if, for example, they allowed an unqualified mechanic to inspect, fit, or repair your tires.
Liability is not always easy to prove. An experienced vehicle crash attorney like me understands what arguments the defendants could make and knows how to present the strongest case in your favor.
How To Prevent a Tire Blowout
A tire blowout is a terrifying experience, especially if you're injured. To help you stay safe on the road, here are some practical tips for preventing a tire blowout.
● Visually inspect your tires regularly – look for punctures, bald spots, and other obvious signs of deterioration.
● Try to avoid road hazards such as potholes while you're driving.
● Rotate your tires at least once every 5,000 miles or so. This helps ensure your tires wear out evenly, making blowouts less likely.
● Check your tire tread regularly, especially if you're a frequent driver.
● Always use the recommended pressure to inflate your tires – overinflated and underinflated tires are more vulnerable to damage. Check your owner's manual for the correct pressure.
● Check your tire pressure regularly (at least once a month or so).
If you're unfortunate enough to experience a tire blowout, don't slam on the brakes immediately. Instead, try to steer the car straight and let it slow down gradually. Pull over where it's safe and call for help.
Hire a Connecticut Crash Attorney Today
Have you been in a crash caused by defective tires? If the answer is “yes,” you deserve to be properly compensated for any injuries sustained. As a personal injury attorney, I'm committed to ensuring my clients understand their legal rights, and I work tirelessly to secure them the compensation they deserve. I'll approach your case with the same dedication – contact me, attorney Jim Miron, at (203) 339-5591 or leave me a message to arrange a free case evaluation.
Still not sure if I'm the right attorney for you? I understand – picking a personal injury is a big decision. To help you make an informed choice, here’s a look at how I approach personal injury cases and the level of service you can expect from me.