In the United States, defective tires lead to thousands of accidents each year, hundreds of which are fatal. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, crashes caused by a passenger vehicle tire occur on average of about 33,000 times a year. These crashes can have serious consequences. In fact, in 2013 alone, tire-related crashes took the lives of more than 500 people and led to about 19,000 injuries.
Those who sustain injuries or experience financial losses due to an auto accident caused by defective tires may be able to reach a settlement with those who are responsible. Though the law requires individual car owners to maintain their vehicles, there are still a number of other factors you need to consider if you are involved in a tire-related vehicle crash.
Multiple Defendants and Plaintiffs
Though the case may seem fairly straightforward in an auto accident caused by defective tires, there could be multiple negligent parties and multiple victims. Those involved in a tire-related crash may not understand all of the parties that are potentially liable. That is where an experienced auto accident or product liability attorney can help.
The vehicle owner may be liable if his or her tires are old or of poor quality. They may also be at fault if they have not taken the required steps to properly maintain their vehicle and tires. In addition, in some cases individuals may seek compensation from the manufacturer or retailer if the tires were bought defective, especially if the tires are still under warranty. The retailer can also be liable if the tires were installed improperly or the retailer has recommended maintenance practices that go against those of the manufacturer.
Defective Tires Law Suit
In an auto accident lawsuit involving a tire defect, the plaintiff attorney must prove that the accident was directly linked to the defective tires. This can sometimes be difficult. However, it helps to inspect the tires after the accident and provide any previous service records as documentation. Previous lawsuits resulting from the same defect can also serve as support. The injuries must be the direct result of the negligent party and should also be supported by medical records or pictures.
Defective Tires Settlement Compensation
Insurance companies and juries will award compensatory and punitive damages to reimburse victims for expenses related to their accident. Compensatory damages are calculated based on the extent of the injuries and expected recovery times. These can include medical expenses, lost wages and prospects, as well as physical and psychological pain.
Punitive damages are determined differently by each state, but the amount of these damages is often large. Punitive damages are meant to penalize the parties at fault, deter them from causing further harm, and deter others from making the same mistakes. When consulting a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents, make sure he or she is familiar with laws in your state.
When You Need to Contact a Defective Tire Attorney
Though most insurance companies have experience with minor tire injury claims, other situations involving more unique circumstances may require the knowledge and skill of a defective tire attorney. An auto accident attorney who is experienced in product liability cases can help you by evaluating claims, negotiating settlements, and taking the case to trial if necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.
You may want to contact an attorney who specializes in defective tire cases if:
- You or a loved one have experienced delays in settling a defective tires claim
- You or a loved one have been denied reimbursement for your expenses
- You are a family member of a victim who has passed away due to a tire-related accident
Having effective legal representation is essential to maximizing your settlement. If you think that you may be eligible for compensation from an auto accident caused by defective tires, call our firm today or fill out our free case evaluation form. Our auto accident attorneys are waiting to hear from you.