Defective Tires: Car Accident Victims Can Pursue Legal Action

Defective Tires: Car Accident Victims Can Pursue Legal Action 2017-08-30T09:19:39+00:00

Were you in a car accident that was caused by a defective tire? If so, you likely have questions like:

  • What are my legal options?
  • What happens if the insurance isn't enough to cover my medical bills?
  • Is it possible to seek compensation?
  • Is the tire manufacturer responsible?

Our legal team knows how stressful this time is and is prepared to answer all of your questions.

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Owning a car is no small thing and it’s easy to feel like the vehicle is an extension of the owner’s home, a place where they can be themselves, a safe place. Unfortunately, car crashes occur every single day. Sometimes, those crashes are caused by negligent drivers who fail to pay attention to the road or get behind the wheel while intoxicated but in other cases, the accident occurs because a part of the car is defective. Of all the parts of the car that could fail, the most common is the tire.

What Kinds Of Tire Defects Cause Accidents?

Tires are comprised of rubber, steel, wiring, and fabric. These materials aren’t just thrown together haphazardly, over the decades, scientists, engineers, and manufacturers have found new ways to build tires, increasing the amount of time the tire can be used, increasing the speeds that can be maintained, and allowing harsher terrains to be explored by vehicles.

During the design and manufacturing process, the companies building and selling tires are supposed to do everything they can to ensure their product will do what it is advertised to do and keep consumers safe. Despite this, every year tires are sold that have defects such as:

  • tread defects
  • belt defects
  • tire bead failures
  • foreign materials included in the rubber

These defects frequently cause tread separation, belt separation, and tire explosions, causing unsuspecting drivers to lose control of their vehicle.

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Drivers Can Hold Tire Manufacturer’s Responsible

It’s not just expected that manufacturers keep their consumers safe because that’s the right thing to do - legally they are responsible under product liability laws. This means that if someone is involved in an accident caused by a defective tire and they sustain injuries, they may be eligible to file a defective tire lawsuit against the company who created the tire.

Proving A Product Liability Case

When taking on a product’s manufacturer, there are three elements that need to be proven in order to win the lawsuit. This includes:

That A Defect Existed

It’s important that evidence of the defect be obtained to show that a defect did, in fact, exist in the tire which caused it to be dangerous during its intended use.

That The Defect Caused The Accident

Just because a defect exists doesn’t mean that it caused the accident. Evidence must be presented that shows that the accident wouldn’t have occurred if the defect didn’t exist.

That The Plaintiff’s Injuries Were Caused By The Accident

The injuries that the lawsuit is attempting to obtain compensation for must have been sustained during the accident caused by the defect.

What Does Compensation Cover?

Compensation in product liability cases may come from either a carefully negotiated settlement or a successful verdict. When determining how much should be awarded, the plaintiff’s losses are examined. In cases where the plaintiff is the person who was injured, compensation may cover losses such as:

  • past and future medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • physical pain and suffering
  • emotional trauma

Sadly, sometimes the victim does not survive the accident. In these instances, the loved ones of the deceased may chose to file a wrongful death lawsuit which is similar to the lawsuit which would have been filed by the victim if they had survived. Compensation from these cases may also cover:

  • funeral and burial expenses
  • loss of benefits
  • loss of consortium
  • loss of inheritance

Typically, the parents, spouses, and children of the victim may pursue legal action, however, other relatives who were dependant on the victim may also be eligible to file.

Can I Sue If The Product That Caused Me Harm Was Recalled?

Yes, it may still be possible to file a lawsuit even if a recall has been issued. A recall simply means that the manufacturer is acknowledging that there is a safety issue with their product which needs to be fixed. It does not mean they are no longer responsible for any injuries that occur because of that issue.

The Process Of Filing A Lawsuit

Many clients come to us asking questions about how long their lawsuit will take. There is no simple answer to this question because every case is different, but what we can say is that even lawsuits which reach the fastest conclusion take several months and it’s not uncommon for a case to go on for a year or more. It’s important to understand why it takes to long to obtain compensation, which is why we always discuss the lawsuit timeline.

Steps include:

  1. Choosing an attorney.
  2. Filing the initial paperwork with the court.
  3. Discovery (fact-finding and investigation).
  4. Resolution before trial.
  5. Settlement negotiations.
  6. Trial.
  7. After judgement collection of money.

Typically, the discovery part of this process is the longest because it takes time, effort, and dedication to collect, sort, and prepare evidence that will prove a case.