Tire defects are a frequent cause of road accidents that cause injury and lead to lawsuits. When a tire is believed to be defective, the lawsuit is generally brought against the manufacturer. In some cases, however, the suit may also be brought against the tire dealer or even a mechanic who performed the tire maintenance.
Tires may look like simple parts made of nothing but rubber, but in reality, they are complex and made of many different materials, including oils, silica, steel, and adhesives. If the manufacturer uses cheaper adhesives or does not cook the tire properly in the production process, a defect may occur. Contaminants can also enter the rubber during production and cause problems with the tires. These would be considered manufacturing defects.
On the other hand, in some cases, the problem is represented by the tire design. Steel belts, for example, may have incorrect dimensions. This is a common reason for the separation of the tread from the belts, which is implicated in numerous accidents every year.
Not long ago, many accidents occurred after the tires burst in SUVs when the tread split off, causing the vehicles to overturn. (SUVs are particularly vulnerable to tipping over because the lower part of the vehicle is lighter than the upper part.) The outbreaks can also be the result of a defect in the tire rim which therefore punctures the tire.
While it is rare, sometimes a tire can explode while being inflated, causing serious injury. When this happens, the reason for the explosion can be difficult to pinpoint. It could be a tire defect, or it could be a problem with the air compression device, for example.
As you can see, tire defects can be responsible for serious accidents that can lead to permanent injury, debilitating or death.
Numerous types of tire defects can cause accidents:
• Explosion of tires
• Separation of the tread
These defects can create a variety of accidents, such as:
• Loss of control
• Running off road
Each of these problems can easily involve other vehicles or lead to a car hitting or skipping a median. If a tire blows or falls during a dangerous stretch of road, the car can fall on an embankment and explode. When drivers lose control of their cars, they can hit other cars and cause accumulation. Parts of a tire can also fly off and injure people outside of vehicles, as well as damage other cars on the road or cause you to lose control of other cars.
As a result, these cases can sometimes lead to a series of lawsuits with many plaintiffs. The possibilities are numerous and since running off-road or losing control of the car can be attributed to more than one reason, a full investigation needs to be conducted into the accident scene, the car and the tire in question.
Causes of product liability due to tire defects
Lawyers who handle these types of personal injury cases are often called “civil liability lawyers”. Of course, tire defect cases can relate to anything that uses a tire: cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and construction equipment.
Manufacturers sometimes become aware of a defect and refer to a particular tire model. Such a recall is not necessarily an admission of guilt or a crush on a plaintiff in a lawsuit. The actor has yet to prove that it was the tire defect that caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
A recall of Bridgestone / Firestone in 2000 was due to a model prone to tire separation. This defect resulted in nearly 300 deaths and as a result, the manufacturer drew more than 14 million tires.
It is also important to note that not all tire accidents are the result of tire defects. If a tire explodes due to debris on the road, it is not the fault of the tire manufacturer, nor is it the fault of the driver. In that case, unless the debris had been left on the road by people, the injured party’s insurance would have to take care of the cost of the injuries, as there would be no one to sue.
An object such as a nail can also be housed in a tire, causing it to come out. Therefore, unless there has already been a recall with a defect found in a particular tire model, it can be difficult to prove that a defect caused the accident.
Too low or too high air pressure can also cause outbreaks, and this situation cannot be attributed to a defect. High air temperatures in some regions of the world can also lead to tire breakdown.
If the driver reacted to a tire burst in a way that caused the accident, such as sudden braking, it could also be assumed that the driver was at least partially responsible for the resulting injuries and damage. The driver may be somewhat guilty if he knew that there was a problem with the tire and had chosen to drive it anyway.
Warning signs of an imminent failure of a tire include cracks in the sidewall or tread, uneven tread, swelling of the tread which indicates a possible separation of the tread, shaking while driving, a bump on the tire while driving and / or radial pull to one side while driving.
Furthermore, if a commercial vehicle – such as a van or truck – is involved in the accident, the cause could be improper tire maintenance rather than a manufacturing defect. Again, the manufacturer would not be the defendant in that case, but the company responsible for vehicle maintenance could be sued.
Of course, the manufacturer’s attorneys will do everything they can to prove that an accident was not caused by a defect in the company’s tires. This is why expert investigators are a necessity for the plaintiffs, who may have suffered very expensive catastrophic injuries or unjust death in the accident. Lawyers handling product defect cases, particularly in automobiles, will have experts available to provide reports on behalf of the claimant (s).