What Is Causing Tire Defect Cases to Rise?
With a growing number of accidents occurring due to tire defects, cases are increasingly finding their way to the courtroom. Government statistics state that in 2013 alone over 400 people were killed and more than 10,000 injured in accidents attributed to numerous problems with these vehicle components. While the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration works to protect drivers by issuing recalls, there are many flaws that remain undetected. Therefore, when an individual is injured or even killed as a result, an attorney can assist in taking legal action against the manufacturer or commercial supplier.
When correctly designed and produced the tires on any type of vehicle should give sufficient traction to travel safely on various surfaces. If an imperfection occurs, the level of safety they will provide can be highly compromised and can ultimately lead to a crash or rollover. Among the issues that may arise include the separation or inadequate amount of tread, sidewall failure, open splices, and loss of inflation. No matter what the origin of the problem is, the imperfection can cause the driver to lose control, which is quite dangerous to those in the vehicle as well as those in neighboring vehicles and bystanders.
There are a variety of types of product liability tire defects that cases take into account when determining negligence and damages. Manufacturing flaws are the result of production error, while those falling under the fault of design were not properly designed in order to safely withstand the speed and strain of the vehicle at all speeds. In addition, problems can arise as a result of inadequate warnings or safety information, poor maintenance, and negligent service and/or repairs by a retailer. Vehicle owners should be aware that according to the British Rubber Manufacturers Association the rubber material has a limited use lifespan. All tires should retire within 10 years, and those remaining unused should not be installed on a vehicle after 6 years.
Filing a lawsuit under the strict product liability laws requires that those victimized by the imperfection prove that the failing of the product was “unreasonably dangerous” and resulted in injury or death. Whether broken bones, road abrasions, spinal cord injuries, or a fatality occurred, it has to be demonstrated that there is a direct connection between the injury and the faulty product. When the manufacturer is said to be negligent, the victim and/or their attorney must prove that the maker owed a strict duty to make the product safe, the flaw was due to the production process, the flaw caused the injury, and the product had not been altered from its original form.
It is important to work with an attorney highly knowledgeable in product liability with a concentration on tire defects as cases of this nature can be quite involved. They will ensure all physical evidence is preserved and review all documentation taken at the scene of the accident, including police reports, traffic camera tapes, and 911 calls. An experienced professional will thoroughly research flaws in similar products and vehicles, the presence of any recalls, and have an expert on hand to provide further analysis. In addition, they will determine whether legal action will fall within the state’s statute of limitations for such lawsuits as well as the overall strength of the lawsuit in comparison to the costs involved.
In the instance that the lawsuit ends in favor of the victim, the attorney will assist in negotiating the compensation to be awarded. This may include compensatory damages to reimburse the victim or the deceased’s family for such things as medical expenses, loss of wages, funeral expenses and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be awarded in order to punish those proven negligent and to ensure companies will work to provide the safest possible product to consumers.