Accidents resulting from tire failure can be devastating. Not only can you and your passengers get injured, but a rollover, driving off the road or swerving into oncoming can injure other innocent people. We often take for granted how important our tires are, but they are essential to the braking and steering of our vehicles. If you believe your tires were to blame for your accident, consult the Kelly Law Team to learn whether you are entitled to compensation.
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What Is A Tire Defect?
Tire defects can take many forms, but the most common defects are:
- manufacturing defects
- tread separation
- retread failure
- inadequate separation prevention design features
- improper puncture repair
- steel belt and tread separation
- damage from the mounting process
- tires that appear new but are actually old
Manufacturing defects may be the result of poor quality control, substandard materials or human error. Contamination of the rubber components, air or water trapped during the curing process, and misalignment of the steel belts in tires are all examples of manufacturing defects that may trigger a defective tire claim.
Loss of Control and Tire Blowouts
Defects cause a wide range of issues that can lead to accidents, but the main issue is a loss of control over the vehicle. The other common result of a tire defect is a tire blowout.
If you experience a tire blowout while driving, use these tips to navigate to safety:
- Put both hands on the steering wheel.
- Maintain your speed if possible.
- Gradually release the accelerator.
- Correct your steering to stabilize the vehicle and regain control.
- Once the vehicle has stabilized, continue to slow down and pull off the road where it is safe to do so.
The biggest mistake you can make is to overreact, so do not slam on the brakes or abruptly remove your foot from the accelerator. This may actually cause you to lose control over the car.
Tips for Recovering Damages
To recover damages for a defective tire case, you must be able to demonstrate that the tire was defective, that the defective tire caused or contributed to your accident, that you suffered injuries from the accident and sustained damages (physical, financial, emotional).
Who is liable?
The liable party will depend on the circumstances of your case.
- If there is a manufacturing defect, then a claim may be brought against the tire manufacturer.
- If the tires were part of the original equipment on the vehicle, then a claim may be brought against the vehicle manufacturer.
- If a tire retailer sold you tires that appeared new but were left on the shelf too long and were unsafe and unsuitable for sale, then the retailer could face liability.
- If there was an issue with the installation or repair of a tire, the installer of the tire could be liable.
An experienced Phoenix accident attorney can investigate your case and identify all liable parties.
Preserve the Evidence
If you believe a defective tire caused or contributed to your accident, preserving the tire and any related evidence is of the utmost importance. In addition, make sure to take photos of the accident scene, the tire and your vehicle. Do not forget to note environmental factors like weather, time of day and road conditions.
Tire Maintenance Tips
Defective tires can certainly cause devastating accidents, but even poor tire maintenance can lead to an accident. Keep your loved ones safe with these tire maintenance tips:
- Properly inflate your tires. Check your tire pressure monthly and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for inflation. Proper tire inflation can actually save you as much as 11 cents per gallon on fuel.
- Inspect tire tread. Check your tire tread monthly when checking the pressure. Built-in “treadwear indicators” or the Lincoln penny trick can be used to check your tread. Replace your tires when the tread is worn down.
- Balance and alignment. Have your tires balanced and a wheel alignment performed by a technician. New tires should be balanced when installed. Proper alignment also maximizes the life of your tires.
- Rotation. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for rotating your tires. Some vehicles do not require tire rotation.
To learn more about recalls, investigations or complaints specific to your tires check out this resource from the NHTSA.
Accidents involving defective tires can be frightening and frustrating, but the experienced and compassionate attorneys of the Kelly Law Team can help you investigate your options. Call now for a free consultation at 602-283-4122.