How Defective Tires Lead to Product Liability Claims
Defective tires cause roughly 11,000 automobile accidents each year on our nation’s roadways. Tire blowouts happen more frequently than you may think. When they do, they can cause serious injury and even death. With Americans gearing up for a busy summer of holiday travel, it is important to focus on tire safety measures to protect their loved ones.
What is a defective tire?
Tires that have a design or manufacturing defect are neither safe nor reliable. Defective tires can and do fail. When that happens, they lose air pressure without warning, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you are traveling at a high enough rate of speed when your tires fail, your chances of having a rollover accident increase.
Some of the most common tire defects include:
- Damage during the mounting process. When you have new tires put on your vehicle, or they are put on at the car at the assembly line, they are balanced and mounted. This process ensures the tires operate safely by distributing the weight of the tires evenly. Failure to do this process properly will make your tires wear more quickly and cause your vehicle to vibrate at speeds higher than 45 mph.
- Improper puncture repair. If you took your vehicle to a repair shop for a tire patch and the technicians failed to repair it properly or tried to patch it when it should have been replaced, that can make your tire defective.
- Retread failure. Retreading a tire involves reusing casing from worn tires to produce new tread. While they can save you money, retreaded tires have a 3 percent failure rate.
- Tread and steel belt separation. This is the most common type of tire failure. With this design, tire manufacturers wrap two steel belts around the tire. The tire tread is intended to adhere to the belts. The entire assembly is then bonded to the sidewalls of the tire. If this process is done incorrectly, your tread will separate from your steel belt while you are operating the vehicle. This can lead to a loss of control of your steering.
How do you know if your tires are defective?
There often are warning signs that the tires on your vehicle are not safe. Vehicle owners should visually inspect their tires regularly, as well as have them professionally inspected at least once annually. Some of the warning signs your tires are unsafe include:
- Bulging or blistering on the sidewall signals tire weakness.
- Cracking or cuts in the sidewalls.
- Excessive vibration is a sign of wheel misalignment, unbalancing, or a bent rim.
- Even tread wear can mean your tires are improperly inflated, your wheels are out of alignment, or there is a problem with your suspension.
These are only a few of the warning signs your tires may be an accident waiting to happen. Having your vehicle routinely inspected by a professional is the best way to ensure its safety. If you suspect anything is amiss, do not wait. Take it to a mechanic immediately for evaluation.
Injuries from defective tires and tire blowouts
Tire failure creates a dangerous situation on the roadways. When the tire that is failing is on a big rig, that increases the likelihood of injury and death. Traffic on major roadways travels at high rates of speed. Rollovers can happen, making injuries suffered more severe. Here are some of the common injuries experienced due to defective tires:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Paralysis and other spinal cord injuries
- Punctured organs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Vision loss
These types of injuries can leave you with staggering medical bills and permanent disability that affects your ability to live independently or earn a living. You have a right to pursue legal action against responsible parties to recover present and future financial losses plus pain and suffering.
Who is liable for accidents caused by defective tires?
Tires shops and the entire supply chain in the tire manufacturing and distribution process are liable if defective tires are placed on a consumer’s vehicle. Design flaws or other manufacturing mistakes can make tires unsafe for the vehicle’s operator and everyone else on the roadways with them.
If you suspect the tires on your motor vehicle are poorly designed or have other manufacturing defects, report it to the vehicle or tire manufacturer immediately. Allow them to rectify the situation. If they fail to do so, and you are injured in a vehicle accident caused by defective tires, you have legal recourse. Defective tires fall under product liability law, meaning you are entitled to fair compensation for injuries suffered because of poor product design or repair. If a loved one is killed in an accident because of faulty tires, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Reach out to the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Cameron & Russell. We can evaluate your case to determine the best course of action. Call us at 505-218-7844 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.