Most of us undermine the importance of tires on the cars we drive every day, but they are critical components that allow us to control our vehicle on the roadway. While most car accidents are due to another motorist's recklessness or negligence, other accidents are due to factors beyond a driver's control, for example, a defective tire.
A defective tire is like a time-ticking bomb implanted in your car because it can blow out at any time while on the road, causing your car to crash or roll over. When that happens, you and other passengers onboard could suffer severe and life-threatening injuries, including brain injury, bone breakages, and deep cuts on any part of the body.
Fortunately, if a defective tire was the cause of your car accident, you can take legal action against the liable party to seek financial damages for your losses. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we understand how devastating defective tire car accidents can be to motorists and those around them.
When you or someone dear to you sustains an injury in a defective tire car accident, our attorneys can quickly review your case to determine the at-fault party and hold them accountable for your damages. To stand a chance of winning maximum compensation for your losses, you should contact an injury attorney as soon as you can to help to fight for your best interests throughout the claim process.
What You Need to Know About Defective Tire Car Accidents
A defective tire car accident is typically a car wreck or crash caused by a defective tire. When your vehicle tire is defective, it can cause you to lose control of the vehicle while driving, leading to a crash and severe injuries to you, passengers on board, and other innocent motorists.
If you suspect the cause of your car accident is a defective tire, you should speak with an attorney to know your legal options henceforth. These types of accidents require the services of an experienced attorney to evaluate the facts of your case and identify the root cause of the accident. Typically, when a car accident occurs due to a defective tire, the following could be the cause:
- A tire explosion (blow out)
- Steel belt separation
- Tread separation
- Sidewall "zipper" collapse
- Tire bead failure
- Ply separation
The above common tire issues could be due to a manufacturing or design flaw. Your attorney will work with engineers and accident reconstruction experts to determine the actual cause of the defective tire car accident for the appropriate cause of action against the at-fault party.
According to product liability laws, manufacturers of consumer products must ensure that their products are safe before placing them on the market, including the clothes you wear and the tires you fix on your cars. When you suffer injuries in a car accident that you suspect was due to a defective tire, you could have a viable compensation claim against the tire manufacturer.
Liability Areas in a Defective Tire Car Accident Case
Although being a cautious consumer and regularly visiting your mechanic for tire maintenance can reduce accident risks, even the most careful driver could wreck their vehicle due to safety violations, defects, and other people's negligence.
If you suspect that a defective tire was the cause of your car accident, a personalized investigation and evaluation would be vital to identify potential parties to sue for your damages. Although every defective car accident case is unique, the following potential parties could be liable for your damages and injuries resulting from the accident:
The Tire Manufacturer
Typically, the strict product liability law holds manufacturers strictly liable for the injuries caused by their products, even if the injury was not necessarily due to negligence. According to this law, the tire manufacturer could be liable for your injuries if your car tire was:
Undoubtedly, manufacturing defects are the most common cause of defective tire car accidents. A manufacturing defect mainly occurs during processes related to the production of the tire. According to strict product liability law, your car tire is poorly manufactured or defective if it differs from:
- The manufacturer's intended specification or design
- Other identical units of a similar product line
Every tire manufacturer has a legal responsibility to test their tires to ensure they are safe for use before releasing them to the market. If your injury attorney can prove to the court that a manufacturing defect was the proximate cause of your injuries, the tire manufacturer should pay you damages for your losses.
Typically, a manufacturing defect exists if your vehicle tire does not perform or operate as safely as required or expected by an ordinary person, putting you at risk of an accident. The tire manufacturer could be responsible for your losses and injuries if your attorney can prove that:
- Your car tires had a design defect
- This particular design defect was the cause of your car accident and injuries
- The benefits of that particular design did not outweigh the inherent safety risks it poses to the driver and other road users
Your attorney could hold the tire manufacturer accountable for your damages for failing to give consumers, including you, safety instructions on using their product to avoid accidents safely. For instance, when a tire company claims that its tires do not require regular rotation, and then your car crashes for failing to rotate your car tires.
In that situation, the tire manufacturer should be liable for your injuries and losses resulting from the defective tire car accident for poorly marketing these faulty tires.
Distributors or Retailers
The strict product liability law does not spare the distributors and retailers from accountability on the products they decide to sell to people. Depending on your unique case facts, distributors or retailers like the car dealership where you bought your vehicle could also be liable for:
- Selling or distributing defective tires to people with no knowledge of this issue
- Selling you a tire that is too old or unroadworthy
- Selling you a car with faulty tires
Other Potential Liable Parties in a Defective Car Tire Accident Based on Negligence Law
If the car was fine and safe when you purchased it, another party other than the tire manufacturer or retailer could be liable for your damages under negligence legal theory. Generally speaking, when a person acts carelessly with disregard to human safety and injures you, he/she should be liable for your damages under the legal theory of negligence.
Based on this legal theory or doctrine, the blame of the defective tire car accident case could shift to the following potential parties:
A Tire Repair Shop/Mechanic
If you had your car repaired after buying it, the repair shop or the mechanic who did the job could be responsible for the defective tire car accident that led to your injuries and damages. That would be possible if the mechanic negligently omitted a crucial step during the installation or maintenance of the tire.
Used Tire Seller
If a second-hand tire blows out or ruptures, causing an accident, the used tire seller could be liable for your damages under negligence legal theory. Although it is legal to sell second-hand tires, a dealer must ensure their tires are safe and roadworthy before they reach the hands of a consumer.
If your attorney can prove that the used tire seller owed you a duty of care that he/she breached, you could receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The Vehicle Owner/Car Rental Companies
Under negligence law, people or companies that rent out their vehicles for money could be liable for a defective tire car accident. That would be possible if the car owner or rental company were aware of an inherent problem with their vehicle, but they did not warn you before letting you take control of it for your special event.
The car rental company or vehicle owner could also be liable for negligence if your attorney can prove that they failed to observe reasonable care to inspect their vehicle before renting it out to you.
For an award of the compensatory damages that you deserve due to an act of negligence by any of the above potential liable parties, your attorney must prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant owed you a legal responsibility or duty of care
- The defendant breached his/her legal duty of care to prevent foreseeable harm to a consumer
- The defendant's negligent acts led to your injuries
- You suffered damages due to the defendant's negligent acts
How to Prove a Defective Tire Caused Your Car Accident Under Strict Product Liability Law
As mentioned above, to hold the tire manufacturer or retailer responsible for your damages resulting from the defective tire car accident, you do not have to prove they were negligent. Instead, all your attorney needs to prove is that:
- The defendant manufactured, designed, distributed, or sold you the car tire
- The tire was defective or faulty when it left the defendant's hands or possession
- You used your car in a reasonable and foreseeable way like a standard sober person would under similar circumstances
- You suffered harm or injury due to the defect in the tire
To support the above facts, your attorney can present an expert's testimony in court, showing that a tire defect was the cause of the accident that led to your injuries and damages. Your attorney can also summon the expert to show up in court to explain how the tire defect could have possibly led to your car accident for an award of adequate compensatory damages.
The defendant could fight back and claim that you were partially to blame for the defective tire car accident. Even if that was the case, you could still claim partial damages for your injuries, depending on your degree of fault in the incident under comparative fault law.
Potential Damages in a Defective Tire Car Accident Lawsuit
If everything goes to your advantage in the defective tire car accident lawsuit against the at-fault party, you could win compensatory damages for your losses and injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could win economic and non-economic damages on your lawsuit.
Read on below for everything you need to know about economic and non-economic damages, respectively:
Typically, economic damages in a defective tire car accident lawsuit will cover the following types of monetary losses:
Whether you decide to cover your medical expenses using your health insurance policy or cash, the party liable for your injuries should pay you damages to cover all the ongoing and future medical needs costs, including:
- Therapy costs
- Medication costs
That is why it is advisable to keep all medical treatment records and expenses since the date of the defective tire car accident incident to help you prove that you deserve adequate compensation for your medical expenses.
Due to the severity of injuries resulting from a defective tire car accident, you could have to take a leave or break from work to seek the necessary medical treatment and recuperate. If that is the case, the court could award you compensatory damages for all your lost wages since the injury.
Lost Earning Capacity
In some cases, a defective tire car accident could make you lose your earning ability or capacity. For instance, you could lose your hand or any other body limb, making it challenging to work. When that happens, the court will consider your situation, and you could receive adequate monetary compensation for the lost earning capacity.
Vehicle Repair Costs
If your car crashes or rolls over due to a defective tire, you could need the vehicle repaired to ease your daily movements, especially if you have a leg injury that affects your ability to walk. When you do so, it is advisable to keep its repair records and receipts in a safe place to strengthen your compensation claim against the at-fault party.
If possible, you should ask the mechanic to give you his/her number and ask if he/she can testify in court if need be for adequate compensation on your vehicle repair costs after a defective tire car accident.
A defective tire car accident lawsuit can also result in compensatory damages for court or judicial fees in an attempt to make you whole again like the accident never occurred.
Since there are some losses that you cannot attach a monetary figure to, the court will also award you non-economic damages for your injuries resulting from a defective tire car accident. Typically, non-economic damages will cover the following type of losses:
Pain and Suffering
In a defective tire car accident lawsuit, the court could also award you damages for pain and suffering you are experiencing due to the accident's impact. For an award of compensatory damages for these types of non-economic losses, your attorney should present evidence to show that you are experiencing mental anguish, physical pain, or emotional distress due to the accident's impact.
Generally, there is no specific formula the judge will use in calculating the compensation you deserve for pain and suffering. The amount you will receive as damages for pain and suffering will depend on your attorney's evidence to support this claim.
For that reason, you cannot risk your compensation claim in the hands of any attorney you find on the internet. Seek recommendations if necessary to find a reliable and experienced injury attorney that can help you fight for utmost compensatory damages for your injuries resulting from the defective tire car accident.
Lack of Enjoyment in Life
Undoubtedly, after suffering injuries in a car accident caused by a defective tire, living a normal life again could seem like a nightmare, especially if you have lost a body limb. Fortunately, the court will also consider this factor when deciding the amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries resulting from the defective tire car accident.
A reliable attorney can help you convince the court that you deserve damages for lack of enjoyment in life due to the accident’s impact. Examples of injuries that can impair or affect your physical ability to enjoy life include:
- Severe ear injury
- Severe brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
A severe disfigurement or scarring could also cause unbearable psychological suffering, especially if you have chronic pain that keeps your body in a never-ending state of stress. Because of this, it could be challenging to enjoy life as you did before the injury.
Fortunately, the court will consider this factor as well when deciding whether or not to award you compensatory damages for lack of enjoyment in life.
The aftermath of a defective tire car accident can also include emotional distress. Often the severity of emotional distress you are likely to suffer after sustaining an injury in a defective tire car accident will depend on the severity of your injuries.
Below are examples of symptoms the court would consider as emotional distress during your defective tire car accident lawsuit against the at-fault party:
- Anxiety disorders
Unlike pain and suffering damages, compensation for emotional distress is available for psychological losses you could experience due to the impact of the defective tire car accident, for example, depression.
To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you deserve damages for emotional distress, your attorney can present testimonies from your friends and a therapist if you had a counseling session after the accident.
What to Do When Your Family Member Dies in a Defective Tire Car Accident
If your family member has succumbed to death in a defective tire car accident, you could be eligible for damages under wrongful death laws. According to wrongful death law, only particular surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim, including:
- A domestic partner
- Anyone else who would be eligible to own the deceased property under intestate succession laws
Typically, in a wrongful death lawsuit, you can seek damages for the following types of losses:
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
- Loss of companionship, affection, guidance, and support
- Loss of financial support, especially if the deceased was your family's breadwinner
Steps to Take After a Defective Tire Car Accident
Generally, the steps you will take in the aftermath of a defective tire car accident are critical in building a strong compensation claim against the at-fault or liable party. To stand a chance of achieving utmost compensation award for your losses and injuries resulting from the defective tire car accident, you should take the following critical steps:
- Call the police or 911
- Seek medical attention without time wastage, even if you do not have a physical injury, because you could have an internal injury that only a doctor can detect and treat
- Call your vehicle insurer to inform them of your current situation, but do not disclose a lot of information about the accident to them or the insurance adjuster they will send to the accident scene
- Call a credible injury attorney to begin investigating and preparing your compensation claim while the evidence related to the accident is fresh
These steps are critical if you want to protect your best interests after a defective tire car accident for the best possible outcome on your claim against the liable party.
Find a Defective Tire Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Regardless of the brand of the defective tire that led to your car accident, attorneys at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm are here to help you pursue the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.
Although defective tire car accidents are typically complex, our attorneys will not stop until they have the liable party accountable for your injuries and other losses resulting from the accident. Do not hesitate to call us at 702-576-0010 if you have sustained injuries in a car accident that you suspect was due to a defective tire.
Our experienced injury attorneys have what it takes to help you fiercely fight for an award of maximum compensatory damages for all your monetary and non-monetary losses resulting from the defective tire car accident.