Worn or defective tires cause accidents.  While it is a common practice to immediately assume that the driver is responsible for mishandling their vehicle in a tire related wreck, liability can rest on multiple shoulders. These include manufacturers, auto specialists, dealers and retailers as well as the driver of the vehicle.  No matter where or with whom the blame rest, tire defects can contribute to dangerous accidents with serious injuries and fatalities.

For instance, tire blowouts and explosions can be caused by a design flaw or defective manufacturing practices. Additionally, improper handling or storage by a dealer or retailer could cause damage to a tire that is sold to a consumer. A retailer could also be responsible for disseminating erroneous tire maintenance information that result in improper care or use.  Incorrect installation by a mechanic is also a known cause of tire malfunction.

Driver Responsibility

A driver has a legal responsibility to…

  • Routinely inspect their car for any reasonably obvious problems.
  • Not to drive with any known problems or potentially dangerous tire defect.
  • To drive in a reasonable and normal manner in order to prevent an accident.

A driver may be found liable for deliberately driving on threadbare tires, neglecting regular maintenance and examination of their vehicle or drive in a manner such as swerving dangerously or slamming on the brakes that cause sudden damage to a tire.  On the other hand, a driver may not be responsible if the accident occurred due to unavoidable debris on the road that caused the unexpected tire blowout.

Manufacturer Liability

A manufacturer could be responsible if the flat, blowout or explosion was caused by a manufacturing or design defect. There are several ways that tire defects can cause an accident such as through…  

  • Bead Failure. This can occur if the bead come out of place and the tire separate from the wheel while the vehicle is in motion and be a result of poor design or manufacturing practice.
  • Tread Separation can happen if the rubber and steel components of the tire does not properly adhere. Separation usually occur at high speed or because of hot weather.
  • Sidewall or zipper failure. If the tire sidewall is defective, it can cause air inside the tire to escape and effect malfunctions in other layers of the tire. Sidewall failures can occur due to the use of inferior quality material, improper manufacturing processes or design problems.

If a defective tire was shown to be the cause of a wreck that caused injuries or death, the victim or victims have a legal right to seek monetary compensation from the manufacturer.

Retailer Liability

A retailer could be held liable for the sale of a tire that was damaged in the store or deteriorated while in storage or in the showroom. The plaintiff however, must be able to prove that…

  1. the plaintiff was injured by the defective tire,
  2. the tire was sold in an “unreasonably” dangerous condition,
  3. the seller had foreknowledge about the defects in the tire and had no intention of making any changes to the product;

Installer Responsibility

Mechanics or automotive specialist can be liable for improper installation of a tire if they install the wrong tire type or fail to discover a tire defect that resulted in an accident with injuries. An unsafe tire situation can also occur if a mechanic is unfamiliar with the installation process of a particular tire that caused a misalliance between the tire and the wheel.   

Because it is possible for a driver to be held responsible for an accident caused by a defective tire, it is important to identify potential negligence from other possible parties. As such, it requires a skilled attorney to prove liability in a case with multiple negligent parties.

To learn more about your rights in a defective tire related accident, call for a free consultation today at (561) 655-1990 or visit our website.

Defective Auto Parts & Recall Attorney in West Palm Beach

About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath                                                                                                    

Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
515 N Flagler Dr, 10th Floor
West Palm Beach
Florida, FL 33401
(561) 655-1990

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