Tire Blowouts: Who’s Responsible?

On your way home from work you notice your car is riding a bit out of balance. Feels like a wobble of sorts. Then your car starts to shake and you hear a loud pop. It’s at that moment your car veers off course and your instrumentation panel is flashing lights and symbols. You immediately scan the horizon for a place to safely pull your vehicle over.

Your rear driver side tire experienced a blowout. The steel belted treads separated from the side walls causing damage to your bumper and shearing off all the plastic molding, shattering the rear light assembly and taking out the braking components to that tire. Your vehicle is a mess, but you’re safe.

Tire blowouts can happen at any time. And some happen while in busy traffic with no place to safely pull over. Those situations usually create an incident whereby multiple cars are involved in a crash.

Now you might be wondering if the tire blows out and damage is caused or injuries sustained who’s responsible?

That’s a great question, and I’ll answer that, but first I want to share with you what causes a tire to blowout then I’ll gladly share who’s responsible.

What causes a tire to blowout?

Ask any mechanic and most likely you’ll receive as an answer, “under inflation.” But underinflation although the most common is just one example, the other examples include: wear, tear and defects.

Now, to the question of responsibility. In the event that there are no injuries and only property damage (such as the scenario above) the insurance company would evaluate the claim. An adjuster most likely either would determine the car should be restored to the condition it was prior to the blowout or list it as totaled (meaning the repairs exceed the value of the restoration).

In a case where multiple injuries, property damage or death occurs, the insurance company and the victim’s lawyers could still step in, investigate and sue. And that investigation could lead in the discovery of a defect in the tire that blew out causing the accident. Which in turn could lead to a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the tire.

For a product liability lawsuit to be successful we have to prove that (1) the design of the tire was inherently dangerous, (2) the manufacturer failed to adequately warn users of the risk and (3) the construction was defective.

Modern tires are manufactured using a chemical process that bonds the rubber tire tread to the nylon and steel layers. If there’s a failure of the bonding process, the tread can separate and peel off the tire. Which usually occurs at higher speeds during warmer weather months.

Defects in tires caused by manufacturer negligence can include:

Overheating – which causes blisters between the layers of the tire plies where pieces of rubber fall out of the tread

Compound Imbalance – moisture and dirt from workers hands compromise the rubber compound

Broken Connections – a bad tread to belt ply bond could cause a bulge and tear open

Poor Quality Solvents – the layer between the plies must be formulated in a specific way to prevent separation

Inadequate Inspection – employees not paying attention to assembly protocols leads to consumer accidents.

If you have experienced a defective tire related injury in an automobile accident or truck accident, seek legal help to obtain compensation for your losses. Call today to speak to our friendly attorneys, pick up the phone and dial (219)736-9700.

The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide top quality legal representation, which includes an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests, while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.

The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, to communicate regularly and clearly, and to obtain prompt and favorable results, while adhering to the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients whom we often come to regard as our friends.

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