What Is Tread Separation?
Every tire has tread on it which is the part of the tire that comes into direct contact with the road. This tread is what grips the road while the car is traveling. On the inside, the tread is connected to the fabric cords and wires that are attached to steel. Since rubber doesn’t adhere well to steel, the other materials are necessary.
Separation occurs when the tread peels off of the other materials. When this happens, the tire can no longer support the necessary load and the driver may lose the ability to steer the vehicle entirely. All of this can occur in a matter of seconds.
Separation is more likely to happen while traveling at high speeds and during hot weather.
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What Causes Tread Separation?
There are several reasons why tread separation may happen but one of the most common is a manufacturer defect. The defect may occur in two ways:
- the tire has a flaw in the design
- there was an undetected problem during the manufacturing process resulting in poor bonding of the tread to the rest of the materials
Usually, it doesn’t take long for the defect to result in separation and many of our clients have reported feeling abnormal vibration just prior to their accident.
Can I Sue A Tire Manufacturer?
Yes. If a defect in a product causes injuries to a consumer, the victims have the right to pursue legal action against the party responsible. Manufacturers have a responsibility to keep their customers safe and to create a product that will work the way that it is advertised to. If they fail to do so, they risk being named the defendant in a lawsuit.
How Much Is A Tire Defect Lawsuit Worth?
When a jury awards a plaintiff with compensation or a settlement is negotiated, they base the amount off of the losses sustained by the plaintiff. Losses that are taken into consideration may include:
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Since each client has sustained different losses, the amount obtained will be different in each case.
What Can I Do If My Loved One Died In The Accident?
The loved ones of a victim who died in an accident caused by tire separation may be able to file a lawsuit. This type of lawsuit is called a wrongful death lawsuit and is similar to the complaint that would have been filed by the victim if they had survived.
Generally, the parents, spouses, and children of the deceased are the people who are eligible to file this complaint, although other family members who were dependent on the victim may also be able to pursue a lawsuit.
How Can I Prove A Defect Caused The Accident?
While the police do provide a police report which may indicate that an issue with a tire resulted in the accident, this may not be enough to prove a case. That’s why it’s incredibly important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after an accident.
An attorney will investigate the accident and collect evidence, including the tire, to be examined by engineers and other specialists who will be able to determine how and why the tread separated. This evidence may be crucial to the lawsuit and the longer a client waits to contact an attorney, the harder it may be to obtain it.
If My Tires Were Recalled Do I Have A Case?
Yes, even if a recalled was issued, it may still be possible to file a lawsuit. A recall simply indicates that the company has admitted they are aware of an issue with their product which may cause harm to consumers. It does not absolve them of any liability.
I Was Offered A Settlement - Should I Take It?
Plaintiffs should never accept an offer without first consulting their legal team. That being said, after discussing the offer with their attorney, the decision is completely up to the client and they must do what they think is best. There are benefits to accepting an offer to settle, however, not every offer is worth accepting.