Tires provide the contact between the vehicle and the road. When there is a problem with the tires, it can impact traction, turning, accelerating, stopping, and the driver's overall control of the vehicle. Drivers can keep their tires properly inflated, checking to make sure the tread is good, and replace the tires when necessary. However, drivers may have no idea that a tire is defective and put them at risk of a serious accident.
When a defective tire blows out, loses tread, or causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle, it can cause an accident, resulting in injury to the driver, passengers, or other bystanders. Serious tire defect accidents can be fatal. If you are involved in an accident that was caused by a tire defect, talk to your Georgia product liability attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to investigate the accident, identify all those responsible, and get you compensation for your losses.
Types of Tire Defects
Tires seem pretty basic, like they are just big pieces of rubber. However, there is more to tires than meets the eye. Most tires on cars, trucks, and SUVs are composed of:
- Steel belt plies,
- Inner liner,
- Radial cord body,
- Bead filler, and
Tire defects generally show up when there is a problem with the tire design, or there are defects that happen in manufacturing. If there is a design defect or manufacturing defect in any of the component parts or the combination of the parts, it can increase the risk of an accident. The most common ways tire defects cause accidents is with blowouts or tread separation.
Tread Separation Accidents
The tread is important for keeping the tire in contact with the road. The tire needs to stay in contact with the road during acceleration, steering, and braking. This is one reason it is important for drivers to replace tires when the tread is too low. If a driver lets the treat get too low and is involved in an accident, the driver could be found liable if the lack of tread was a contributing factor in the accident.
With defectively designed or manufactured tires, the tread can come loose from the steel treads while the car is driving. Also known as “delamination,” when the tread separates from the tire, the driver can lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of an accident.
Tire Blowout Accidents
Tire blowouts are another common cause of crashes and loss of vehicle control. Tire blowouts are especially dangerous at high speeds, when a sudden loss of pressure and traction from one corner of the vehicle leads to loss of steering control, pulling in one direction, or even causing the vehicle to flip over.
Tire blowouts can be caused by a defect in the sidewall or where the parts of the tire are joined together. If you experience a tire blowout while driving, try and hold the steering wheel steady with both hands, maintain your vehicle speed if possible, stabilize the vehicle and pull off the road where it is safe to do so.
How Do I Know If My Tires Are Defective?
One of the ways to know if your tires are defective is to search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to see if your tires are part of an investigation or recall. The NHTSA maintains a record of complaints and may begin an investigation if there are enough complaints about a specific tire. The manufacturer may put out a recall notice to recall, replace, or repair the problem tires. You can search the database to see if there have been complaints or an investigation with your tires.
Unfortunately, if the tire is not subject to a recall, drivers may have no idea if their tire is defective. Many of the defects are “hidden” within the tire and there is no way to figure out if the tire is defective without taking it apart. The first sign of a defective tire may be a blowout or tread separation. Even after a car accident, the driver may not know that the defective tire was the cause of the accident. This is where the experience of a product defect attorney can help.
Tire defect and automobile defect attorneys are aware of a number of common product defect issues. Your lawyer will also be able to call on materials engineers, automobile professionals, and vehicle experts to investigate the accident, examine the materials, and identify any issues that could have caused the accident. These experts can be used during a product liability lawsuit to explain to the judge or jury what were the problems with the tire and how the defects could have caused the accident.
Filing a Defective Tire Lawsuit in Georgia
After an accident involving a defective tire, you may not know who was to blame for the dangerous tire defect. However, in a product liability claim, the personal injury victim may not need to show which person or persons were directly responsible for the accident. Instead, if the victim shows that the tire was defective and the defect caused the accident, the victim may be able to hold the tire manufacturer responsible for the damages.
Damages are the losses suffered by the plaintiff in an accident. Damages in a tire defect accident, like motor vehicle accidents, may include:
- Property damage,
- Medical bills,
- Future medical care,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of income potential, and
- Pain and suffering.
Talk to your Georgia vehicle defect lawyers about your case, who might be responsible, and what options you may have for compensation.
Contact Atlanta Motor Vehicle Defect Attorneys Today
At The Kaplan Firm, PC, our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for our clients who have been victims of vehicle and tire defect injuries in Georgia. There is a limited time to file your accident claim. If you wait too long, your claim may be denied, leaving you without compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Contact us today at our Roswell, Georgia location for a free initial consultation.