This post was originally published in April 2017. It has since been updated with new information and was most recently updated on November 30, 2020.
Accident Law Firm Fighting for Injury Victims of Blowout Tires in Louisville, Kentucky
Anyone who has experienced a tire blowout while driving knows how frightening the experience can be. Whether it is a blowout on a vehicle or one from a nearby vehicle, the incident itself can lead to significant vehicle damage and is likely to cause an accident.
When accidents occur because of a tire blowout, they are not always an issue of negligence. However, it is important that victims understand what liability issues are present with these incidents, and ensure that the costs they encountered for their accident or injuries are not the responsibility of another party.
When a tire blowout accident is the result of negligence, it typically involves one of two situations: The manufacturer was negligent, or the driver was negligent.
Tire-Related Accident Statistics
Most everyone who has driven on a Kentucky highway has seen the aftermath of a tire blowout: That curled-up chunk of black rubber lying on the road’s edge. Given the frequency with which tires fail, it is no surprise that tire-related accidents are so common.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 738 fatal traffic accidents in 2017 due to tire-related crashes. These accidents account for about two percent of all fatal traffic accidents. When it comes to non-fatal accidents, the NHTSA statistics indicate that tire-failure contributed to between five to ten percent of all accidents.
In terms of the reasons behind a tire’s failure, the NHTSA found that underinflation and low-tread were the two leading causes. The NHTSA also determined that tire-related accidents are more likely to result in a vehicle rolling over than other types of auto accidents. Not surprisingly, adverse weather conditions increase the chances of tire failure.
According to the NHTSA, about 31 percent of all traffic accidents involve more than one vehicle, the rest being single-vehicle accidents. However, when a vehicle experiences a tire blow out, another vehicle will be involved in the crash about 50 percent of the time.
Tire Blowouts and Product Liability Issues
If the tire on a vehicle fails, the vehicle’s owner may have a claim against the company manufacturing the tire, or the company that installed the tire. However, it must be shown that the tire was defective or improperly installed to be compensable.
These cases are referred to as product liability claims, and they are quite common in the United States – especially for defective tires.
Your auto accident lawyer may be able to establish that the tire itself was defective, the retailer sold you a defective tire, or the company that installed the tire did so improperly. Then, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries, as well as property damage from that party.
Usually, an expert is needed for this type of case. The expert will review the facts of the case, examine the evidence, and establish where the defect occurred. That expert can then testify during your trial to establish liability.
Sometimes, the responsible party is not the manufacturer, retailer, or installer; instead, it is the vehicle’s owner. If the driver of the other vehicle negligently maintained the tires or knew that the tires were defective, you may have a claim against the driver.
You must establish that the driver knew the tires were dangerous and could likely to cause an accident. You must also show that the driver had ample time to take care of the issue, but did not. Then, you must establish, through a hired expert, that the accident was caused by the defective tire and not due to another reason.
Even drivers who regularly inspect and rotate their tires can experience a tire blowout. If there were no indications of wear, and the driver maintained his or her tires, then it may not be an issue of driver negligence.
Speaking with an Accident Law Firm Immediately is Best
To decipher the evidence and determine if a defective tire or negligent driver caused an accident, it is best to enlist the help of an experienced injury attorney immediately after your accident. The Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC will start collecting evidence and consulting with experts, and can determine if product liability or driver negligence was to blame for your accident.
Get started by scheduling a no-obligation consultation with an accident and injury lawyer Seth Gladstein at 502-791-9000 or ask him a question online.