When Do You Need a Tire Blowout Accident Attorney?
No matter where you want to go in Birmingham, tires are going to roll to get you there. The right tire selection can improve your speed, gas mileage and the way the car handles the road. But sometimes tires can fail, resulting in a blowout or flat. A blowout occurs when a tire suddenly loses air pressure and collapses.
Tire blowouts are not only scary — they can be fatal. Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) show 31 percent of traffic accidents are due to blowouts. They are often responsible for rollover crashes.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury from a tire blowout accident, you may be entitled to compensation, and you should speak with an attorney today about your options.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Tire Blowouts?
How often do you check your tires? Many blowouts can be avoided by being mindful of their condition. Under-inflation is a common cause of tire blowouts.
Other possible causes include:
- Old Tires
- Hitting A Curb Or Pothole
- Nails Or Sharp Debris Lodged In The Tread
- Too Much Weight In The Vehicle
- Below Or Above Optimal Temperatures
- Debris On The Road
- Defective Tires
When tires have structural defects, the result is tire de-treading. The outermost layer of tread on the tire separates from the layers underneath, which causes a rapid decrease in pressure, potentially causing a blowout. Several factors may contribute to defective tires: the brass plate used in bonding could have oxidized, or the sulfur-based rubber compound used to bond the layers of the tire could be suboptimal. Tread defects are the number one reason for tire recalls.
When purchasing tires, always note the code on the side of the tire. This code can tell you the age and manufacturing plant of the tire, which is extremely helpful in instances of recall. Some companies, like Firestone, have tire registration to better keep customers informed in the event of a recall.
What Should You Do During a Tire Blowout?
Tire blowouts can happen without warning. Being attentive to the sound and feel of your car can help prepare you for sudden danger. A thumping sound caused by a bulge is a warning of an impending blowout. Your car pulling to one side is another warning a tire may be about to blow.
If your tire suddenly collapses, you should:
- Stay Calm
- Hold The Steering Wheel Tightly
- Steer Straight
- Ease Up On The Accelerator
- Pull Over To The Side Of The Road If You Can
- Do Not Brake Until The Vehicle Is Under Control
Once you’re safely away from traffic, turn on your hazard lights. If you were injured, wait for help. If you’ve luckily managed to escape injury, you can change your tire once it is safe to do so.
What Are Common Injuries Caused By Tire Blowouts?
Worst case scenario: your car has a blowout and rolls over. These types of crashes are especially dangerous because you could be struck by an oncoming vehicle. This could domino effect into a multi-car pile-up.
Possible injuries sustained during a blowout are:
- Internal Organ Damage
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
What Should You Do After a Tire Blowout Accident?
Depending on the damages to car and person, you may want to seek legal help after a tire blowout accident. This is especially true if you suspect defective equipment to be the cause.
When a defective tire is to blame, the manufacturer should be held liable for any damages and injuries incurred. This is what’s known as products liability law. Do your best to save every component you can to present as evidence in a potential claim. Damages can include:
- Medical Treatment Costs
- Lost Wages
- Property Damage
- Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life
- Pain And Suffering
- Wrongful Death
Who Is Liable for a Tire Blowout?
Owning a car isn’t just fun and looks. Most states require car owners at the very least to carry liability insurance in the event of an accident. Liability insurance will cover the damages caused to another car, but not any damages to you. To cover your injuries, a comprehensive coverage plan is the best way to go. Even if you have insurance, you could still be sued by anyone involved in your accident.
Other than the duty to have insurance coverage, there are two duties that affect tire blowout cases. They are the duty to inspect your car and duty not to drive with defective equipment. In Alabama, this is especially true when buying or transferring ownership of a vehicle. So if you are sued for a blowout, you can’t claim you didn’t know about a defective tire because the law says you should have known. Your mechanic could also be found liable; professionals are expected to notice any flaws when you bring in your car for tune-ups.
How Can You Follow a Tire Safety Checklist?
The best way to prevent tire blowouts is to practice regular check-ups. Since 2007, vehicle manufacturers are required to display a tire pressure PSI chart for that model on the car’s side door. A pressure reading is more likely to be accurate on a tire that has been sitting unused for 3 hours.
For optimal tire safety the NHTSA recommends the following:
- Check Tire Pressure At Least Once A Month, Including The Spare
- Inspect Tires For Uneven Wear, Cracks And Foreign Objects
- Be Sure The Tire Valves Have Caps
- Check Your Tire Pressure Before A Long Trip
- Never Overload Your Vehicle
- Slow Down If You Have To Go Over A Pothole
- Try Not To Park With Your Tire Pressed On A Curb
- Don’t Run Over Curbs
- When Towing Trailers, Remember Your Vehicle Carries Some Of The Total Load
When Should You File a Tire Blowout Claim?
Tire blowout claims can be troublesome. Usually, experts are called in to testify as to the cause of the blowout, and if the blowout and accident were preventable. Insurance companies will be looking to settle for far less than the total of your damages to please their shareholders. The same holds true for manufacturers whose main concern is their million-dollar profit margins.
To protect your quality of life after your accident, the wisest course of action would be to seek the help of an attorney well versed in auto accident cases. The law firm of Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann is passionate about representing blowout accident victims. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you have been involved in a tire blowout accident, please call us today at (205) 322-8880. We have a dedicated team of personal injury attorneys ready to consult with you for no cost and with obligation.
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