Liable Parties in Tire Blowout Lawsuits
One of the biggest questions that must be answered in a tire blowout lawsuit is: Who is liable for the accident. There can, in fact, be multiple possibilities here. It doesn’t always fall on the tire manufacturer. In fact, it’s fairly rare that a tire blowout is caused by the manufacturer.
When the manufacturer is responsible for the tire blowout, it must be determined whether there was a defect that occurred during manufacturing or the tire was designed with a defect. If the latter is true, then it stands to reason that numerous motorists would have had a problem with the tire.
Design Defect in a Defective Tire Lawsuit
One example of a defectively designed tire is (arguably) the Goodyear G159. This tire was originally designed for urban delivery trucks but was also marketed for motorhomes. However, the tire allegedly overheated when in continuous use over a long period of time and this resulted in blowouts which resulted in injuries and deaths.
Manufacturing Defect in a Defective Tire Lawsuit
Recently, Goodyear was slapped with a $33M verdict after it was determined that tires coming out of a specific plant were manufactured defectively. Attorneys for the prosecution blamed workplace conditions for the defective tires and was able to convince a jury that Goodyear was responsible for a fatal crash.
The Vehicle’s Mechanic
In some cases, it isn’t the tire manufacturer at all who’s responsible for the accident: It’s the mechanic who either rotated or installed the tires. A recent lawsuit alleges that Costco improperly rotated the tires on a family’s car and that resulted in a rollover crash.
The Conditions of the Road
In cases where a pothole causes serious damage to a tire, the municipality responsible for maintaining the roads can be held liable. In Florida, as in most states, there are limitations on lawsuits against the government, but you can, nevertheless, recover damages for property damage and injuries.
In just about every tire lawsuit, the tire manufacturer or another defendant will try to lay the blame at your feet. In some cases, they may have a point. If your tires are underinflated, severely worn down, or you have other mechanical problems that cause excessive wear and tear to your tires, the defense may successfully argue that the majority of the blame should lie at the driver’s feet.
Road Debris from other Vehicles
It doesn’t happen frequently, but in some cases, debris falls or flies off other trucks and into the road causing a hazard to other drivers. In this case, they would be responsible for any injuries that occurred to other drivers.
All of the Above
In some cases, multiple parties are responsible for tire blowouts. For instance, let’s say you’re driving on a defectively designed tire that has a manufacturing defect. You just had your tires rotated and the job was not done properly. On your way home, you hit a pothole just as someone is throwing a bottle out of their window. Your tires were not properly inflated either. Multiple liable parties would be responsible for paying for your injuries and your total damages would be diminished in the amount of your own liability.
Talk to an Experienced Defective Tire Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a tire blowout accident, the Florida legal professionals at Halpern Santos & Pinkert can conduct a full investigation to determine whether or not the tire’s manufacturer was to blame. Call us for a free consultation.