In Nevada, vehicles are always at a risk of tire blowouts, especially the heavy commercial trucks. A tire blowout can pose a significant risk for you and other motorists on the road. A sudden tire blowout can also be dangerous even if it does not cause an accident. The debris left on the road due to a tire blowout can cause secondary danger to other motorists as they try to avoid striking the debris. There are several causes of a tire blowout, including manufacturing and design defects. If you suffer injuries in a tire blowout accident, a personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation.
Establishing Liability in a Tire Blowout Accident
In Nevada, many drivers experience the unanticipated frustration of tire blowouts. Various factors contribute to tire blowouts, and most of them are avoidable. Mid-May to early October is often the peak season when most drivers experience tire blowouts in Nevada. As a result, there is an increase in vehicle accidents during this period. The tire blowout cases are always at the peak because May to October is Nevada's hottest season. Other than due to increased heat and heavy loads, tire blowouts can happen due to other factors. Liability in a tire blowout accident depends on negligence. You have to identify the negligent party to be able to seek compensation. Some of the potential negligent parties in a tire blowout accident are:
When an accident happens, accident analysts and investigators consider drivers the liable parties. In most cases, the accident investigators rarely consider tire defects. Most of the time, they focus on the driver's poor maintenance of the tires, aggressive driving tactics, and inexperience as leading causes of tire blowouts. Analysts might also consider road conditions. They will consider whether a driver was attentive and exercised safe driving for the prevailing road conditions.
However, a tire blowout is often not the driver's fault. Something could easily go wrong during manufacturing, leading to low tire quality or tread separation, causing under-inflated tires and blowouts. In case these defects occur during manufacturing, you may suffer injuries and car damage in the event the tire blows out.
To prove the manufacturer's defect, it should be evident that the defects existed when you acquired the vehicle.
Government Agencies In Charge of Maintaining Roads
Potholes can do great harm to tires leading to a tire blowout. On some occasions, the rough edges of a pothole could pierce the tire through the fabric and rubber, causing it to blow out right away or leak the air pressure over time. As a driver, you should take your vehicle for a tire check-up if you hit a pothole. This will help you prevent a tire blowout from occurring while on the road. The government agencies responsible for road maintenance could be liable if a tire blowout accident occurs due to potholes on the road.
The government may also be liable for a tire blowout accident due to poor road signage. Government agencies are responsible for putting proper markings, directions, and signages on the roads.
Proper road signages allow vehicle drivers to understand different road conditions, bends, and depressions. This allows them to adjust the vehicle speed accordingly. With poor road signages, drivers often experience unexpected road conditions and have to brake suddenly. Sudden braking is a leading cause of tire blowouts.
Government agencies in charge of maintaining roads have to ensure that they mark the roads accordingly. This includes marking the crosswalks, intersections, and bumps. Tire blowouts often occur when drivers hit bumps unexpectedly. Drivers may not be familiar with the road conditions, especially when driving in unfamiliar places. Therefore, proper road signage plays an important role in the prevention of road accidents. Proper signage prevents collision with objects, and drivers do not have to brake suddenly due to unexpected road conditions.
If there are road works ongoing, government agencies should put the right signage to warn drivers about the roadworks. During road construction, the presence of debris and other construction materials is common. Without proper warnings, drivers may collide with the obstacles and cause a tire blowout.
If another party other than the government leaves obstacles on the road and an accident occurs, the parties may be liable for the accident. Other parties that may be liable include independent road construction companies and other road users.
A vehicle owner has the responsibility of maintaining a vehicle in good condition. They must ensure that they replace the worn-out vehicle parts, including worn-out tires. A vehicle owner will be liable if an accident occurs due to:
Old and Worn-out Tires
Vehicle owners have a duty of checking the tread depth of tires, and in case of tire punctures, they should repair or replace the tires. If a tire accident occurs due to overuse or old tires, the vehicle owner may be liable for failing to replace the tires. The driver will only be liable if they are the vehicle owner. However, if the driver is an employee of the company that owns the vehicle, their employer is responsible for maintaining the vehicle and replacing the old and defective components.
Overloading a vehicle is another major cause of tire blowouts. The company (that owns the vehicle) or the cargo owner could be liable for a tire blowout accident due to vehicle overloading. Tires can only support a certain weight before bursting, especially when over-inflated. This fact applies even if you have a vehicle like a large truck designed to carry heavier loads. A vehicle should check the Gross Vehicular Weight Rating to determine a vehicle's weight capacity. This weight measurement device should be in the same place as the tire pressure information. The numbers molded in the tires can also show the maximum weight a vehicle can carry when inflated to full pressure.
Vehicle companies are often tempted to overload vehicles to deliver more items at the same time and maximize their profits. If a tire blowout occurs, and it is evident that the vehicle was overloaded, the vehicle company will be responsible for the accident.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Tire blowout accidents may occur due to irregular tire wear caused by mechanical issues. The leading causes of uneven tire wear are worn suspension parts and misalignment. You may notice that a tire is in perfect condition on one side but completely worn-out on the other. If an accident occurs due to an unevenly worn-out tire due to mechanical issues, the vehicle company may be liable. A company has a duty to ensure that all its vehicles are in the best condition.
The Vehicle’s Driver
A driver may also be to blame for a tire blowout accident. Before setting out on a journey, a driver has to check the vehicle to ensure it is in good condition. Checking the vehicle includes checking the tires to ensure they are inflated. Failure to perform the routine pre-trip checkup could render the vehicle driver liable in case of an accident. A driver may be liable if a tire blowout accident occurs due to:
Often, under-inflation is a common cause of tire blowouts. A driver could be blamed for negligence if the tire blowout accident happens due to under-inflation. Pressure facilitates tires to carry passengers' weight or the vehicle and its cargo. Internal tire components like fabric, steel, and rubber flex beyond their intended limits because of insufficient air pressure. Your tire's optimal air pressure is on the driver's door jamb. You should check the tire's pressure to ensure that they are properly inflated at all times.
A driver could be liable for a tire blowout accident if it occurs due to over speeding. A vehicle owner could also be responsible for an accident if they coerce the driver to make quick deliveries to meet the business targets. In Nevada, statistics reveal that drivers pushing the tires beyond their limit cause many vehicle accidents. For instance, commercial vehicles are designed to withstand a 75mph speed. Driving at a speed higher than a 75mph limit for such vehicles can lead to a heat build-up. The heat could weaken the tires and eventually cause them to blow out.
A vehicle driver may be liable if a tire accident occurs due to reckless driving. A driver should be careful while driving and adjust the vehicle speed depending on the road conditions. Hitting potholes and other obstacles on the road may lead to a tire blowout accident. In most cases, drivers engage in reckless driving due to distractions. If a driver is operating the phone, texting, eating, or operating the vehicle radio while driving, they may not notice an obstacle on the road. They may end up hitting the obstacle and causing a tire blowout.
Tire Installers and Sellers
Tire installers and sellers may also be liable in a tire blowout accident. A tire installer may be liable if they install a tire incorrectly or if they install the wrong tire type and an accident occurs. If a tire blowout accident occurs due to an improperly installed tire, you have a right to sue the installer and seek compensation for your damages. On the other hand, a tire seller may be liable in a tire blowout accident for selling defective tires. For the seller to be liable, you should prove that the tire was defective when you acquired it from the seller. You also have to prove that the seller knew about the tire’s defective condition but still sold it to you.
Avoiding Liability In Case of a Tire Blowout
Checking the depth of a tire design regularly and replacing them when worn out is essential. When you consider this practice, both the traction and the grip will be adequate, and you are not likely to experience unpleasant surprises. Replace the tires of your vehicle before their sculpture depth reaches the permitted limit of 1.6mm.
As a driver, you should check the tire pressure every time. The right level of pressure in the tire reduces the dangers of the vehicle losing control. It will also protect the tires against irreversible damage and premature wear. Tire pressure can reduce through a drop in ambient temperature, natural escape of air from the tire components, and small perforations present on the tire.
You should check the tire pressure even in the spare tires before leaving for a long journey. This checkup should be preferably on cold tires that have not been on the road for more than four kilometers at low speed. You should add 0.3 bars to the recommended pressure if you check the tire while warm.
When you buy tires, be sure to pick the right ones. Ensure you select your vehicle tires based on their ratings and check them regularly to ensure they give maximum performance. When you are choosing the quality of tires, you need to have the following in mind about them:
- They respond to different driving movements like braking, steering, and acceleration of the car.
- They absorb all obstacles on the road.
- They support the entire vehicle weight. A load of up to 50 times the vehicle's weight
- They are the only link between the road and the vehicle.
Tire Blowout and Insurance
Comprehensive insurance is a type of insurance that covers tire blowout accidents. You may only utilize comprehensive insurance if other factors and not your negligence or the manufacturer's negligence caused the tire to blow out. Suppose you experience a tire blowout, and you are not sure of the type of insurance cover you have. In that case, it is essential to consult an insurance representative or agent of your insurance company.
At times, the possible causes of your tire blowout result from the tire with the tire itself. In this case, a manufacturer's warranty might cover the damage if the tire was defective. If a manufacturing defect caused the tire blowout, the manufacturer would be responsible for the damage.
At times, if you have a tire blowout, having comprehensive insurance may not guarantee you the coverage. If your vehicle is damaged due to a tire blowout, your insurance policy might cover the damage. However, if your car did not suffer harm due to a tire blowout, the insurance company may not provide any coverage.
Proving that a Defective Tire Caused the Accident
If you suffer injuries due to a tire blowout, you may not have to prove that the tire manufacturer was negligent. Even in the absence of negligence during tire manufacturing, the manufacturer may still be responsible if the tire blowout accident happens due to a defective tire. This is following Nevada’s strict product liability laws. After suffering damages due to faulty products, victims do not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. You only have to show that the product was defective and that the product defect caused your injuries.
For you to show that the tire blowout accident happened due to a tire defect, expert testimony might be crucial. There must be sufficient evidence that the manufacturer was responsible for selling, manufacturing, or distributing defective tires for you to receive compensation. Your attorney may send the accident information together with the tire pieces to an expert to obtain expert testimony.
You can file a claim for various losses and injuries due to a tire blowout with the help of a personal injury attorney. You may request reimbursement of the medical bills incurred while seeking treatment for injuries sustained.
After suffering injuries in a tire blowout accident, you may have to spend several days or even months out of work to seek treatment for your injuries. In this case, you should seek compensation for lost wages. This would be the money you would have earned if you did not miss work because of the injuries suffered in a vehicle accident.
Your attorney will also help you seek compensation for loss of earning capacity. You may never resume work due to injuries sustained, especially if you suffer permanent disability. Even if you manage to go back to work, you might not be as productive as before.
You should seek compensation for the pain and suffering and the emotional distress resulting from the tire blowout accident. Your attorney will also help you seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment in life.
Tire blow accidents could cause extensive damages to your vehicle. You should seek compensation for vehicle damages.
Your spouse might seek compensation for loss of consortium if the injuries suffered hinder you from providing spousal support and companionship to them.
If your loved one dies in a tire blowout accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the tire manufacturer.
You are more likely to receive compensation through a personal attorney if you suffer injuries due to a tire blowout. Often, the tire manufacturer or any other party may not be willing to accept the responsibility. The manufacturer may create a defense to challenge the charges. The Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm can guide you on the best legal action to take. Contact us at 702-996-1224 and speak to one of our attorneys today.