Noticing that your car tire has a problem will inconvenience you when trying to move from one point to another. Major faults in a single or multiple tires can turn into a substantial liability on roads leading to catastrophic collisions and fatalities. Usually, all car tires need to be free of defects and safe to use. However, this isn’t always the case. The tires that are put in the market aren’t always fit to use safely and without failure.
When a collision caused by defective tires results in severe injuries or fatalities, you must be quick and have your car and the tire assessed for a possible tire flaw cause of action. In this case, the step to take is to seek fair compensation for the injuries sustained. To achieve this, you need the help of a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney. A lawyer will give you an honest evaluation of how to pursue your suit successfully and competently. Las Vegas residents can reach out to the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm team. Our attorneys have experience dealing with these kinds of cases and will work around the clock to ensure you get just compensation. This article focuses on defective tire car accidents and how you can deal with personal injury cases resulting from them.
Ways in Which a Tire Can Cause a Car Crash
A tire may fail to work correctly for several reasons. Sometimes, when early warning signs reveal themselves, tire failure could be prevented. However, if the tire is faulty or damaged because of manufacturing defects or design flaws, tire failure may be unavoidable, and this may lead to an accident causing injuries. The various ways through which a defective tire can result in an auto crash include:
- Tire bead failure - If tire beads aren’t reinforced appropriately, the tire’s integrity will be compromised. As a result, the tire will be subject to blowouts because of lost pressure. Bead failure may happen if the beads come out of their place, and the tire separates from the wheel when the auto is moving.
- Tread separation - Tread separation could be due to both manufacturing and design defects that lead to tires wearing prematurely and increasing the possibility of a blowout. It happens when the steel and rubber components of a tire don’t adhere properly. Separation usually occurs due to hot weather or at high speeds.
- Tire sidewall collapse - If the sidewalls of a tire are made with insufficient or defective materials, they could be prone to a blowout and unexpected falling of other layers of a tire. A sidewall failure may occur because of the use of poor quality material, design problems, or improper manufacturing processes.
- Tire explosion - A tire explosion may happen when multi-piece tire rims are faulty.
- Aged tires - Old tires can also be defective. Since tires, just like any other property, have a restricted lifetime, they ought to be inspected. This means that any tire that hasn’t been used before but is five years old could be defective. This is because, after a particular period, the rubber changes chemically. Motorists that have new tires installed in their vehicles do not have an idea of how long those tires had been sitting in the retail shop. Old tires may slide out, causing the driver to lose control. Traction is also another major issue with old tires.
In most cases, car accidents resulting from faulty tires are traced back to defective products and recalls. Even though sometimes poor or improper maintenance could be the reason for a blowout, it is critical to consult a skilled attorney who will determine whether the manufacturer ought to be held accountable or not.
Injuries Sustained in a Defective Tire Car Accident
The moment a vehicle tire fails because of any kind of fault, dangerous scenarios may ensue. If the tire fails on a busy road or highway, it can result in overturned vehicles, collisions involving several autos and severe injuries or even fatalities. If you have been involved in a tire defect car crash, you can sustain different types of injuries. The most known kinds that several victims have suffered due to these kinds of accidents include:
- Vision loss
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Limb loss
- Broken bones
- Punctured organs
- Head trauma
- Knee injuries
- Internal bleeding
Liability in a Defective Tire Car Accident
While it’s common for a defective tire auto accident victim to immediately assume that it’s the motorist who is responsible for the crash, liability could rest on several parties. These include auto specialists, manufacturers, retailers, and dealers, as well as the vehicle’s driver.
Regardless of whom or where the blame lies, defective tries can lead to dangerous crashes with severe injuries and, sometimes, fatalities. Tire explosions and blowouts may be caused by faulty manufacturing practices or a design error. Additionally, improper storage or handling by a retailer or dealer might cause damage to the tires sold to consumers. A retailer can also be liable for disseminating flawed tire maintenance info that results in improper use or care. Incorrect tire installation by a mechanic is also another known reason why a tire can malfunction.
A Las Vegas motorist has a lawful responsibility to:
- Regularly inspect their automobiles for any reasonably evident problems
- Not operate their cars if the autos have any known issues or potentially risky tire defect
- Operate their autos normally and reasonably to prevent the occurrence of a collision
A driver can be held responsible for intentionally driving on worn-out tires, neglecting routine examination and maintenance of their car, or driving recklessly, for example, slamming on the brakes or dangerously swerving, that it leads to unexpected damage to tires. On the other hand, a motorist might not be accountable in case the accident happened because of unavoidable debris on the roadway that caused a sudden tire blowout.
A retailer can be held responsible for selling a car tire that was already damaged while in storage or deteriorated while in the showroom. However, to hold a retailer responsible, you should be capable of proving that:
- You were injured as a result of the faulty tire
- That tire was sold when it was in an unreasonably dangerous state
- The retailer had beforehand knowledge about the faults in that tire and did not have any intentions of making changes to it
Manufacturers have the responsibility of designing, producing, and distributing products that are safe to use. Because of production costs and market demands, there are cases where companies that manufacture tires take shortcuts in the process of manufacturing so that they can speed up tire sales. Unluckily, there are dangerous repercussions for consumers the moment companies decide to take shortcuts in supervising to achieve a safe tire production process.
A tire manufacturer might be liable if the blowout, flat, or explosion was as a result of design or manufacturing defect, or the failure to warn. A design defect in tire manufacturing exists where there’s a component in the tire’s design that makes it insecure for use. A flaw in design may be noticed in the positioning of a given part of a tire that makes it hazardous for use.
A manufacturing defect occurs during the process of producing the tire. This kind of flaw may be a failure to put safety equipment on the tire in question during the process of manufacturing despite the tire’s design requiring that the equipment be there.
Apart from manufacturing and design defects, tire manufacturers can also be responsible for a defective tire accident if they fail to warn consumers. If a manufacturer knows about a dangerous feature of a tire but fails to provide sufficient warning about it to consumers, they need to compensate for injuries that will result in case of an accident.
Should a faulty tire be the reason for a collision that led to your injuries or caused the death of your loved one, you have the legal right to seek financial compensation from the tire manufacturer.
Automotive specialists or mechanics can be held responsible for improper tire installation in case they fit the wrong type of tire or fail to notice a tire fault that caused the injuries resulting in injuries or death. An insecure tire situation may also happen in case a mechanic isn’t familiar with the process of installing a given tire that creates a mismatch between the wheel and the tire.
Since a motorist can be held accountable for a crash caused due to a faulty tire, it’s critical to identify possible negligence from the other potential parties. Therefore, it requires an experienced lawyer to prove fault in a situation with several negligent parties.
What if You are Partly to Blame for the Accident?
When you are injured by someone else, it is simple to assume that all the blame lies to them. However, in particular cases, a judge may find that you share a given degree or all the responsibility for your injuries or the accident. Nevada State applies a special kind of rule called a modified comparative fault rule when the injured party is found to share the responsibility for the injuries. This rule serves to eliminate or reduce the compensation amount an injured party can get based on the circumstances.
For instance, assuming you were walking to your workplace when you got hit by a motorist. You had been crossing the road against the pedestrian light at that time. Your compensation amount for the collision equals $ 10,000, but the judge also determines that you were 40% to blame, and the motorist was 60% at fault.
As per the Nevada modified comparative fault rule, you’ll only be permitted to receive $6,000 as compensation from the motorist. This amount represents the $10,000 total minus the 40% or $4,000 (the fault amount you will be assigned).
In Nevada State, you can recover a smaller amount of compensation provided you’re less than 50% to blame for the crash. However, if it is determined that you are 50% or more to blame, your compensation award will automatically drop to zero, and you’ll be prohibited from collecting any amount from any other responsible party.
If liability is shared in a personal injury case, courts in Nevada have to apply the modified comparative fault rule. But, frequently, insurance adjusters also use this rule during negotiations to settle. Therefore, you need to be ready to hear of this rule even if you aren’t in court.
How Do You Determine Liability?
Like it is with any other personal injury lawsuit, a defective tire car accident claim heavily relies on whether you are capable of proving that the flaw was the real cause of the auto accident or not. The at-fault party in your lawsuit may claim that the tire defect happened because of your crash, and not the other way round. And unless you’re prepared to work with a skilled personal injury attorney, the jury or judge might agree with their arguments.
The most reliable proof in a tire defect accident case can be:
- Eyewitness testimonies - Motorists driving in neighboring lanes usually have an excellent view of a tire defect accident as it happens, for example, an explosion or a blowout. If any witness remains at the accident scene after the crash, ask them if they witnessed the whole incident and have them give a written account of events.
- Photographic proof - Take photos of every faulty tire, as well as those tires that didn’t play a role in your loss of control and accident. When you compare a defective tire and the functional one, you can prove with ease that the faulty tire or tires were responsible for the accident.
- Product history - Knowing the history of the brand of your tire is one of the ideal ways of determining if the tire manufacturer may be held responsible for your crash. If there has been a series of similar incidents in the recent past, it’s almost certainly a case of product liability and personal injury case.
When he/she uses these kinds of evidence plus accompanying strategies, a personal injury attorney may be capable of successfully settling tire defect claims and make it possible for you to receive fair compensation.
Nevada Statute of Limitations for Defective Tires Car Accident Personal Injury Claims
Nevada law puts a limit on the amount of time one has to bring a personal injury suit in court or before the insurance company after being injured in a car accident. This time limit is provided for in the Statute of Limitations. In Nevada, car crash injuries fall under the classification of personal injury claims. Therefore, generally, you have only two years from the date of the crash to bring your case before a Nevada court or file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party.
Also, if you are trying to recover damages for wrongful death, you must file your claim within the two-year timeframe. The two-year limit is counted from the date the victim of the accident passed away.
If your personal property, for example, your car, was destroyed in the crash, then there’s a distinct Statute of Limitations. In this case, you will have three years from the date the accident happened to bring a suit against the responsible party.
In case the injured party in the auto crash is a minor, the law of Nevada requires that the victim waits until the date they will turn eighteen years of age to bring their claim against the liable party. After they turn eighteen, the victim will then have two years to file the lawsuit.
But, the parents of the minor that sustained injuries in an auto crash can seek the court’s approval to bring a suit against the responsible party. Should the court approve the request of the parents to file the claim, the minor will lose their right to take any legal action against the liable party after they turn eighteen years old.
Note that you should pay close attention to the Statute of Limitations because any lawsuit filed once the filing timeframe has passed will generally be unsuccessful. Should you try to file a claim after the deadline, the defendant can request the court to dismiss that lawsuit, and the judge will most likely grant.
That is why you should follow each time-frame that has to do with an auto crash claim. Whether you’re filing a suit about personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death, you have to consult with a lawyer who can make sure every timeframe is met, and your lawsuit is handled appropriately.
However, there are instances where the Statute of Limitations can be tolled, meaning that something will have stopped the timeframe from running for a given period. Usually, the Statute of Limitations is tolled if the victim is a minor who is below eighteen years or if the court finds the victim to be mentally incompetent. In case the victim is proven to be mentally ill at the time of the crash, the Statute of Limitations is tolled until the date the victim is considered to be not disabled anymore.
Damages You Can Recover in a Defective Tire Accident Case
If you have been injured because of a faulty tire car accident, you may recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are divided into economic (special) and non-economic (general) damages.
Economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Costs for property damage
Non-economic damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
In particular cases, you may also recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for your loss. Instead, they are meant to punish the at-fault party for their negligent behavior. For you to recover these damages, you need to show that the at-fault party acted with malicious intent, their act was negligent, or intentional, though the court rarely awards them.
How an Attorney Can Help You in Defective Tire Accidents
There are several ways in which your attorney can help you win your personal injury claim for an accident caused by defective tires. They include:
Going through the necessary process to recover damages after a defective tire caused your injuries can be challenging. An attorney will hold a complimentary consultation so he/she can get to understand the details of your case. The consultation also enables the attorney to gather critical information that will help determine whether or not you qualify for compensation.
Establishing Who is at Fault
A lawyer can help you to determine who was at fault in your case, whether it was the driver, tire manufacturer, retailer, or installer. Nevada follows strict personal injury statutes, which allows the injured victims to hold any party that contributed to the occurrence of the accident responsible. An attorney will collect the necessary proof to show which party should be held responsible for the injuries and losses you incurred. The evidence may include testimony from expert witnesses, photos of the accident scene, etc.
Evaluating Settlement Offers
After a lawyer files a suit against the liable party, you may get a quick settlement offer. In many cases, that offer is usually much less compared to what you need. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company of the responsible party or parties so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Presenting Your Lawsuit in Court
If the at-fault party refuses to give you a fair offer to settle your case, your lawyer can take your case to court and prove to the judge why you should be compensated.
Hire a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
If you are sure, have a reason to believe, or you suspect that your car crash happened due to a faulty tire or tires, the first step you should take is to talk to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney will be your guide throughout the process of filing claims or lawsuits. The sooner you have a lawyer by your side, the safer you will be, and the process to get compensation will be much easier. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we would be happy to be your legal representative in your tire defect accident case. We will evaluate your situation, determine whether or not you have a valid claim, and advise on the possible settlement offers you will get from the liable party. Call us at 702-996-1224 for quick, transparent, and trustworthy services.