Product Liability Lawyer for Defective Tires/Tire Blowouts
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 8,000 automobile accidents every year can be attributed to tire blowouts. A tire blowout refers to a situation in which a tire loses air rapidly and explosively, resulting in a loss of control over the vehicle. The tire can quickly deflate as it loses air, placing the vehicle at an increased risk for a rollover.
When a vehicle has a defective tire, this may significantly compromise a driver's ability to maneuver the vehicle. This may lead to a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle collision that leaves drivers, passengers and even nearby pedestrians or bicyclists seriously injured.
Have you been injured in a car accident that was caused by a tire blowout? If a defective tire was to blame, you may be able to move forward with a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Depending on the situation, the distributor or retailer may also be liable. By reviewing your legal options with a skilled auto product liability attorney, you can determine the best course of action to seek and recover the highest settlement or jury award possible. Considering the compensation you receive will be needed to cover medical bills, lost wages and the various other losses, expenses or damages you have experienced, recovering as much money as possible is crucial.
Causes of Tire Blowouts
While some of these accidents can be traced to driver error, faulty design of the tire has also been found to be a major cause of tire blowouts. Over the past decade, millions of tires have been recalled in the United States, all of them manufactured by some of the country's most reputed companies. These recalls have been linked to defective design that causes tread separation, which is the major reason for a tire blow out. Tires are manufactured by integrating several plies or layers. When the design to make these layers stick to one another is defective, it causes the tread to separate while the vehicle is running. Tread separation can also be the result of using weak adhesives. Tires that are manufactured in an unsafe facility and exposed to moisture during the production process may also have treads that are improperly adhered to the tire.
SUVs and Tire Blowouts
Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are some of the most popular automobiles on American roads, and yet these have also been linked to an increased incidence of rollover accidents. Part of the reason for this is that the vehicle design of an SUV leaves it with a long, narrow body, and a high center of gravity. When a tire blowout occurs in an SUV, the vehicle is more likely to lose control and overturn than a passenger car in a similar situation. A prime example of a defective tire-related rollover accident is the series of crashes caused by defective Firestone radial tires fitted on Ford Explorers. These tires were particularly prone to tread separation, causing them to blow out. In 2000, Firestone and Bridgestone were forced to recall approximately 6.5 million defective tires. The following year, the Ford Motor Company recalled about 13 million tires from their Explorer SUVs due to the increasing number of tire blowout injuries and fatalities.
Tire Blowout Injuries
A tire blowout can cause a motorist to suddenly lose control over the vehicle, resulting in it careening out of control or overturning. Rollover accidents are some of the most serious of these crashes, causing grave loss of life and limb. These accidents often result in traumatic brain injuries that can have long term effects on a person's quality of life and spinal cord injuries that result in partial paralysis or quadriplegia.
Tire blowouts are not 100% preventable, and there may be other aspects that contribute to one, like faulty road maintenance, overloading of the vehicle and other factors. However, if tire companies invest in safer design, and stringent manufacturing, quality control and inspection standards in order to produce more reliable tires, then they can greatly reduce the possibility of a tire blowout.
Contact a Tire Defect Attorney
At Arnold & Itkin LLP, our product liability lawyers are dedicated to helping people who have been injured by defective tires and other defective products related to automobiles and their parts. We recognize that consumers' rights must be protected in these matters and therefore fight to hold manufacturers accountable when their products cause serious injuries.
To learn more, contact a tire defect attorney at our firm today. Your initial consultation is free!