THIS MONTH’S FOCUS: TIRE CASES
Two months ago, we began a series of articles discussing product liability claims that arise from single vehicle accidents. A product liability claim focuses on whether or not a product is defective. The purpose of this series is to educate readers on different kinds of product liability claims. In automobile cases, the defective product could actually be the entire vehicle, but it’s usually a component part such as the seat belt or tires. Unfortunately, the average motorist has no idea how unprotected he or she will be in an accident as a driver or passenger in a defective vehicle. Our lawyers are trained to recognize defect claims in motor vehicle accident cases. Any single vehicle accident involving serious injury or death, including paralysis, loss of limb or brain damage, should be carefully analyzed for possible product liability claims. Last month, we looked at seat belt defects and the dangerous consequences of those defects. This month, we take a look at tire failures.
Because of the publicity surrounding the Ford/Firestone litigation, tire failures have been reported with increasing frequency. Although most of us will log thousands of miles in our lifetimes without so much as an air leak, tire failures can and do occur regularly. Many of these failures can be directly attributed to manufacturing defects, design defects, or a tire manufacturer’s failure to warn of dangers inherent in their products. These dangers have been known to the tire industry for years. Tire manufacturers know that tire treads will wear with proper use and at some point fail if not serviced properly and replaced after their intended period of use has expired. So, tire failures, blowouts and detreads are foreseeable events. Although not all tire failures result in serious accidents, the sudden failure of a tire can cause a vehicle to lose control and roll over or collide with other vehicles on the roadway. Tire failures are especially dangerous if the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.
Tire tread separation can be caused by bonding problems in the tire manufacturing process, contaminants introduced into the tire during the tire making process, under-vulcanization, old ingredients, improper sized components, or something as simple as air being trapped in between the layers of the tire during manufacturing. Detreading of these defective tires can result in single or multi-vehicle accidents, or even rollovers. Even the auto manufacturers agree that drivers should be able to pullover, not rollover, when a tire detreads. Unfortunately that is not always the case. There may be a tire defect claim if an accident was caused by the failure of a tire, leading to loss of control of the vehicle.
Our firm routinely reviews all automobile accidents involving serious injury or death, including paralysis, loss of limb or brain damage, to determine if there is a defective problem and that includes defective tires. If you would like more information or have a question, you can contact Greg Allen (Greg.Allen@beasleyallen.com) or Cole Portis (Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com) in our office at 800-898-2034.
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