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Tire blowouts on the road are scary. Whether it's your own tire, or the tire of an adjacent vehicle, tire blowouts frequently lead to damaged vehicles, car accidents, and injuries.
Determining liability in a tire blowout crash is often more complex than in other auto accidents. Apart from regular old driver negligence that may have occurred, there are potential product liability claims.
Product Liability Claims
The driver of a car that has a tire blowout might actually have a claim against the tire, or wheel, manufacturer, or installer, if it can be shown that the tire was improperly installed or defective. These types of cases are considered to be product liability cases, and if the driver can prove the tire or installation was defective, they may be able to recover damages for injuries and loss of value to personal property (such as their vehicle).
Generally, to prove this type of case, experts will need to be retained to analyze and testify to how the blowout occurred.
If a third party is hit by a vehicle that has a tire blowout, then that third party is likely to have a negligence claim against the driver that had the blowout, and potentially also a product liability claim against the manufacturer/installer.
Usually, a victim will only pursue the claim against the driver, as these are similar to other auto accident claims. Rather than trying to prove there was a defect in the tire, a victim only needs to show that the driver was negligent. This is usually easy to accomplish due to the fact that drivers rarely inspect their tires, despite having a duty to do so regularly.
However, in some situations, a driver who regularly inspects their tires will have a blowout. This could present a problem for an injured third party if the fastidious driver can believably testify that there were no signs or indications of wear.
For this reason, individuals who have been in an auto accident that somehow resulted from a tire blowout should contact an experienced attorney to help them determine how to bring their claim. Failing to file against the responsible party within the statute of limitations can lead to a claim being unwinnable.