The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA) reports that tire failures cause more than 11,000 traffic accidents resulting in death or serious injuries each year. In 2015, the NHTSA estimates 19,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes where tires were a contributing factor. Tire malfunction was a contributing factor in 733 traffic fatalities in 2016. These tire failures are often caused by a manufacturing or design defect.
A defective tire can fail on the road in a few different ways. A blowout or sidewall failure is usually evidenced by a hole in the side wall. However, the most dangerous and probably more prevalent tire failure is from tread separation.
Tread separation occurs on steel belted radial tires when the bond between the two steel belts disintegrates, the outer belt becomes disconnected from the carcass of the tire, and the tread peels off. This separation may result in losing all or a part of the tread, and it affects the ability to control the vehicle. Often, there is a loss of control that results in death or significant injuries.
Tires are built in layers on a tire building machine. They are assembled using rubber and rubber coated fabrics, along with belts that are not yet cured and are known as "green" tires.
When the tire is fully assembled with all its components, it is vulcanized or cured using high temperatures and pressure. This process gives the tire its desired properties and bonds the various layers or plies of rubber together so that they function as intended.
As a result of the Ford/Firestone tire recall and the subsequent litigation, it was determined that tread separations tend to occur later in the life of a tire – usually after three years. Tread separations can occur due to design defects or other causes that occurred during the assembly and manufacturing process. Some of the most common manufacturing defects include:
After an accident involving a defective tire, it is important to preserve the tire. Save not only the portion on the rim, but also the pieces of rubber that are on the highway.
Then, contact the defective tire attorneys at Shultz & Rollins in Yuma, AZ and Tucson, AZ to schedule a free, confidential consultation and receive a preliminary case evaluation to determine if your accident was caused by a defect in the tire.
Any person or company involved in the manufacturing or distribution processes may be held liable. This includes the:
In addition, claims may be based on negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty, depending on the facts.
To prevail, the injured party must prove that the tire that caused the injury was defective and therefore unreasonably dangerous. There are three types of defects:
Defective tire claims are based on strict liability. As such, the manufacturer can be held liable regardless of whether it acted with negligence. The experienced defective tire lawyers at Shultz & Rollins in Yuma and Tucson can help you determine the type of defect that is relevant to your case.
Yes, an investigation after the accident is critical – particularly in defective tire cases. The defendants are typically large companies with massive resources, and as such will aggressively defend themselves against your claims.
An experienced Yuma and Tucson defective tire attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, which will include:
After a collision due to a defective tire, the responsible parties may be required to pay damages. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to recover:
If a death occurs as a result of a defective tire, the survivors may recover financial damages, including lost financial support and funeral expenses, along with emotional distress damages, such as loss of love, society and companionship.
Yes, you will need to retain a defective tire lawyer in Yuma, AZ and Tucson, AZ to establish liability against any potential defendants and maximize your damage recovery.