As simple as they seem, your tires are actually one of the most important safety features of your car. Their good condition ensures that your vehicle moves smoothly and predictably, capably handling all challenges from sharp curves or wet roads. Driving on damaged or defective tires substantially heightens your risk of having a serious accident, even on easy stretches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2019, more than 600 people died due to tire-related causes. The organization has also found that about 30 percent of all critical traffic accidents related to vehicle malfunction are due to tire failure.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by faulty tires, you may be entitled to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, or pain and suffering, from the parties responsible. Our lawyers will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 630-898-7800 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Tire Problems and Defects
To function properly, tires must be adequately inflated, expertly aligned and rotated, have proper tread depth, and be replaced when they become too old, among other things. When these conditions are not met, your tires could develop accident-causing problems such as:
- tread separation
- uneven or flat treads
- sidewall malfunctions
- ozone cracking
- overfilled or underfilled tires
- lack of tire uniformity (conicity)
Any of these tire problems can cause you to lose control of your car or experience a blowout or explosion that causes the vehicle to crash.
Who Might Be Liable in a Tire Defect Accident Lawsuit?
A number of parties could be responsible for your defective tires and the resulting crash, including:
- The tire manufacturer. The tire manufacturer might be accountable if the tire failure was due to a manufacturing or design flaw. For example, the manufacturer may have used inferior quality materials that become defective with minimal usage, or the tires have certain structural defects that the manufacturer should have known about.
- The tire or vehicle retailer. The tire retailer might be responsible if the tire was damaged or defective at the time of purchase, and the retailer knew or should have known about the damage.
- The mechanic. The person who installed your tires may also be liable for a tire-related accident if they negligently installed the wrong type of tire for your vehicle, failed to install the tire properly, or failed to notice a defect in the tire that caused the accident.
If you were injured in a tire-related motor vehicle accident while on the job, workers’ compensation may cover your claim, but you may still be able to recover compensation from the third parties mentioned above.
Your Responsibility as the Vehicle Owner
Illinois is a comparative negligence state: the law apportions blame between the parties to a motor vehicle accident. For example, you might argue that a manufacturer is responsible for producing defective tires that caused an accident, but they may respond that you, as the owner of the tires, contributed to the accident because you failed to maintain your tires properly. Under such circumstances, the manufacturer might be held 80 percent responsible, and you might be considered 20 percent responsible.
To keep your tires in the best condition possible and avoid accusations of negligence, you should:
- Inspect your tires regularly. Check for low air pressure, worn treads, cracks, punctures, and other problems at least once per month. If you spot a problem, seek expert advice and assistance promptly.
- Replace old/worn tires. Don’t try to eke out one last season with tires showing signs of wear and tire. When they’re showing signs of age, it’s time to get new ones.
- Rotate your tires regularly. Experts recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
The Importance of a Defective Tire Attorney in Aurora, Illinois
If you were involved in a tire-related accident, whether a tire blowout or accident-causing flat, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to assess your case and help you obtain the financial compensation that you deserve. Contact the attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law Firm to discuss the accident and your options. Call today at 630-225-8341 or contact us online for a free consultation.