When you get in your vehicle, you trust that the car will carry you and your passengers to your destination. You also trust that other vehicles on the road will be equally safe. However, defective tires are a serious cause of auto accidents. Malfunctioning tires can be the result of poor design, improper manufacturing, or negligent maintenance. In all cases, they can cause serious injuries and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective tire, attorney Sean M. Burke will fight hard to get you the money you deserve. There are a number of parties who may be responsible for the defect. If you have been in an auto accident involving defective tires, our Orange County attorney will investigate all circumstances of your accident to determine exactly who was at fault.
The Dangers of Defective Tires
Defective tires are a serious type of product liability because they can lead to accidents in numerous ways. Blowouts are one of the most common results of tire defects. When a blowout occurs, a driver may swerve into the adjacent lanes. He or she may also not be able to stop in time, resulting in a rear-end collision. In other cases, the tread may separate from a tire. This type of defect, known as delamination, will make it difficult to control a car, increasing the risk of accident. Tires can also shred or come off of a vehicle.
Do You Know the Signs of a Defective Tire?
In some cases, tires can malfunction without warning. However, in other circumstances, they will show warning signs. It is important to be aware of these indications so that you can properly maintain your vehicle. The signs of a potentially defective and/or ill-maintained tire include:
- Worn tread: Over time, tires will naturally start to wear. For this reason, it is important to have your tires rotated and to change your tires when needed. The lifetime of your tires will depend on numerous factors. On most cars, you should change them every 25,000 to 50,000 miles. Prematurely worn tread may be a sign of improper manufacturing.
- Ozone cracking: Tiny, hairline cracks in the surface of a tire are known as ozone cracking. These cracks appear if the tire was over exposed to O3 during the manufacturing process. They may also result because of improper storage, age, extreme heat, and other factors.
- Bubble in the tire: A bubble may indicate that the tread is starting to separate from the tire.
- Manufacturer markings: Occasionally, tire companies will issue recalls on certain products. It is important to be aware of such recalls and to check your tires to make sure they are not affected.
Who Is Legally Responsible for Defective Tires?
There are several parties who may be found guilty of negligence in the case of a defective tire.
- The tire manufacturer: If shoddy workmanship or improper manufacturing caused the defect, then the manufacturer may be fully or partially to blame.
- The car dealer: If a car dealer knowingly sold a vehicle with defective tires, he or she may be legally responsible. This is especially likely to occur with used cars. However, the same safety regulations apply to new and secondhand vehicles.
- The vehicle owner: Owners are legally required to maintain their cars. An owner may be found liable if he or she does not change old or faulty tires. He or she may also be held legally responsible for failure to get routine inspections or tire rotations.
- A company who owns the vehicle: Trucking fleets and other transportation companies will sometimes cut costs by using old tires. In some cases, they may repair damaged tires, rather than replacing them. In this case, the company may be found guilty of negligence.
- The driver: On some occasions, a driver may react rashly to a defective tire. For example, he or she may swerve into oncoming traffic. In these situations, the driver may share some responsibility, even if the defect was not his or her fault.
Schedule a Case Evaluation Today
Defective tire cases can be quite complex. Sean M. Burke will undertake a complete investigation. Then he will determine all responsible parties and he will fight for your just compensation. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your accident case.