A tire blowout is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were over 54,000 vehicle accidents in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles has the highest number of auto accidents compared to other California counties. Therefore, there is a high probability of getting involved in a car accident in Los Angeles. A tire blowout is one of the major causes of these accidents. You might wonder who is liable if you sustain an injury as a result of an accident caused by a tire blowout? According to California law, there’s a possibility that different parties are liable for the injury. These parties include:
- The manufacture of the tire
- The tire distributor
- The mechanic or tire installer
- The driver
- The owner of the vehicle
Read on to understand further who is liable for a tire blowout injury.
Establishing Who Is Liable for a Tire Blowout Injury
Defective parts, including a defective tire, can cause a car crash. The crash can leave you with serious injuries. Some accidents occur because of a tire blowout, while others arise due to the driver's reaction after the tire outburst. You need to know who is liable in case of a tire blowout if you are to file for a successful suit against the defendant.
Determining who’s liable for a tire blowout can be a complicated process. Several parties can be liable for a tire blowout injury. The manufacturer might be liable for manufacturing a faulty tire. The distributor might be liable for the blowout by storing the tire improperly, causing it to degrade and lower its quality. At times, the driver can be liable for a tire blowout injury by failing to check on any wear and tear signs on the tire.
The installer might also be liable for the blowout for installing the tire incorrectly or installing the wrong type of tire. The vehicle’s owner might be responsible for a tire blowout injury for failing to replace the tire once they discover it’s defective or worn out. Due to these factors, it is prudent to employ a Los Angeles car accident lawyer's services to help you establish who’s liable for a tire blowout injury.
It is crucial to reconstruct the accident to determine who is responsible for a tire blowout injury. When the experts reconstruct the accident and the events preceding it, they determine exactly what caused the accident. This means you will be able to know if a tire blowout is the cause of the accident. Consequently, you will find out who’s liable for the faulty tire.
Parties Liable for A Tire Blowout Injury
According to California law, several parties can be liable for a tire blowout injury. These parties include the manufacturer, the driver, the installer, the car owner, or the tire distributor.
When the Manufacturer Is Liable for A Tire Blowout Injury
As earlier stated, various parties can be liable for a tire blowout injury, including the manufacturer. California has product liability laws that protect consumers from manufacturers who might sell substandard products. According to California law, if a manufacturer produces and sells substandard tires that cause a tire blowout injury, they are liable for the injury. If a manufacturer allows a defective tire to leave the factory and causes an injury through a tire blowout, the manufacturer is liable for the tire blowout injury.
When the defective tire causes a blowout injury, you have the right to sue the manufacturer for compensation. It is advisable to use the services of a well-experienced car accident lawyer to file your lawsuit. By using a well-seasoned lawyer, you increase your chances of receiving compensation from the defendant. According to the California product liability laws, the manufacturer is liable for the injuries caused by their products' malfunction. Such malfunctions can be caused by:
- Manufacturing Defects
- Design Defects
- Failure to Warn
According to California's product liability laws, a manufacturing defect means that the product, in this case, a tire has a defect that the manufacturer did not intend. According to California law, although the fault might be unintentional, the manufacturer is liable for any damage the product causes. The defects occur when the tire veers off its intended purpose and becomes dangerous to the user. A manufacturing defect can result from the quality of the raw material used to make the product or due to human error.
A manufacturer can also be liable for a tire blowout injury if they produce a tire with design defects. Unlike the manufacturing defect, a design defect means that the product's design is flawed or defective, and every product that the manufacturer produces will be faulty. The expert making the product might be experienced, skilled, and very careful, but the end product will be defective because the design is flawed.
There have been many recalls by major tire manufacturers due to design defects in the recent past. The defective tires were the cause of a lot of accidents.
Failure to Warn
According to California law, the manufacturer must warn customers of any potential risk associated with their products. If a tire manufacturer fails to warn their customers that the tires can blowout, they are liable for a tire blowout injury if the tire blows out and causes an injury.
The Mechanic or Tire Installer Can Be Liable of a Tire Blowout Injury
Apart from the manufacturer, the mechanic or installer can be liable for a tire blowout injury. If you had recently taken your vehicle to the mechanic for inspection, and they noticed a problem with the tires and failed to inform you, they are liable for a tire blowout injury.
An installer is liable for a tire blowout injury if they noticed a defect on the tire before installing it in your vehicle and failed to inform you of the defect. They are also liable for a tire blowout injury if they install the wrong type of tires.
Some of the defects that the installers or mechanics can identify include uneven treads, a tire that cannot inflate properly, worn-out treads, bulges on the tire, blisters, and cracking or cuts the side of the tire.
The Driver Can Be Liable for A Tire Blowout
Another party who might be liable for a tire blowout injury is the driver of the vehicle. If you are driving and another car knocks your car due to a blowout and suffers an injury, you can sue the other driver for the injury. According to California law, every driver's responsibility is to check their vehicle's condition, including the tires.
It is also the responsibility of any driver to drive reasonably and normally as any normal person would drive under similar circumstances. What this means is that a driver has the responsibility of being alert and observant when driving.
You are liable for a tire blowout injury as a driver if you react unreasonably, like braking instantly or swerving fast when your car has a tire blowout. If you act in such a manner, and the vehicle causes an injury through an accident or hitting someone with debris, you could be liable for the tire blowout injury.
In California, two duties affect a tire blowout case, they are:
- The duty to inspect your car before driving
- The duty not to drive your car with defective equipment
Below is a closer look at the two duties
The duty to inspect your car before driving
Although you might not be a mechanic, the law assumes you can spot obvious problems with your vehicle. Some of these obvious defects include non-working wipers, headlights, or a defective tire or tires, among other apparent defects.
If you inspect your vehicle and realize that the tires' wires are showing, for example, or the treads are worn out, you have the responsibility, according to the law, to take the necessary redemptive action. The best cause of action is to replace the worn-out tire.
It’s also your responsibility to ensure that the car tires are well inflated at all times. You should check the tire pressure regularly to avoid over or under-inflation. An over-inflated or under-inflated tire is more likely to burst.
You are liable for any injury which results from a tire blowout because you failed to take the redemptive action like changing the defective tire. You cannot argue you did not know about the defective tire since it is your responsibility, according to California law, to inspect your car before driving.
You should not drive your car with defective equipment.
Like the duty to inspect your car before driving, you shouldn’t drive your car with defective equipment. When you inspect your car and realize that it is defective, you have a responsibility not to drive. If you cause an injury resulting from driving a vehicle with a defective tire, you will be liable for a tire blowout injury.
If You Fail to Respond Appropriately to a Tire Car Blowout as A Driver
You will be liable as a driver if you fail to respond responsibly in the event of a tire blowout. When distracted by activities like eating or speaking on the phone when driving, you cannot react appropriately to a tire blowout, which can lead to injury. As a distracted driver, you can be liable for a tire blowout injury. Additionally, you might react unreasonably, like braking instantly or swerving sharply when you suffer a blowout if you do not concentrate while driving.
If You Are Negligent and Fail to Observe Traffic Rules
You can be liable for a tire blowout injury if you’re negligent and fail to observe traffic rules. Driving at high speed, especially on hot tarmac, can inflate the tires. Once the tires are overinflated, they might blowout, thus causing an accident. Ignoring other traffic rules like slowing down on a rough road might lead to a tire blowout. Therefore, you might be liable for a tire blowout injury if you are negligent and refuse to observe traffic rules as a driver.
In California, there are speed and weight limits. One of the leading causes of a tire blowout is excessive tire pressure. The increase of the tire pressure can be a result of overloading. A driver is liable for a tire blow out injury if the blowout is a result of overloading.
Similarly, when a car is at very high speeds, especially on hot days, the tire pressure increases due to air expansion. If, as a driver, you are liable for the tire blowout injury since you should be driving within the set speed limit.
Ignoring Red Flags or Apparent Mechanical Problems When Driving
As a driver, you can also be liable for a tire blowout injury if you ignore apparent mechanical problems when driving. If you realize the car is vibrating too much, you have the responsibility to check for any defective parts. If an injury occurs due to the defective tire, which you should have identified, you will be liable for a tire blowout injury.
The Owner of The Vehicle or Truck Can Be Liable for A Tire Blowout Injury
Many companies use vehicles in their daily operations to transport goods from one point to the other. It is the company's responsibility to ensure that the vehicles are in perfect working condition.
If an accident occurs due to a defective tire and causes an injury, the company which owns the vehicle is liable. The company is also responsible for a tire blowout injury if they do not replace the defective tires once the mechanics have recommended a change. Some companies have policies that prohibit the swapping of tires before a given time frame. If the tires wear out before the time frame and the company’s policy prohibits the changing of the tires, the company is liable for a tire blowout injury.
The Tire Distributor Can Be Liable for A Tire Blowout Injury
Another party who can be liable for a tire blowout injury, especially due to an accident, is the tire distributor. Many fleet owners or companies rarely buy tires directly from the manufacturers. They prefer to buy them from distributors. According to California law, it is the distributor's responsibility to ensure that the tires are up to standard before they accept them from the manufacturer.
The distributor must also ensure they store the tires properly to avoid any degradation. Exposing the tires, for example, to extreme conditions or leaving them exposed to the elements greatly reduces the tires' lifespan. Therefore, if the distributor does not take all the necessary precautions to store the tires properly, they can be liable for a tire blowout injury if an accident occurs due to the tires' degradation.
According to California law, it is the distributor's responsibility to ensure the tires are in perfect working condition before selling them to the customer. This means that the distributor must check for any defects before selling any tire to a customer. If the distributor sells a defective tire, he is liable for a tire blowout injury.
It’s also the distributor's responsibility to know the right type of tires to sell to their customers. If the distributor sells the wrong type of tires, there is an increased chance that the tires will wear out faster than expected. When the tire wears out, it can blowout, thus causing an injury. Therefore, a distributor can be liable for a tire blowout injury if they sell the wrong type of tire to their customer.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
Many parties can be liable for a blowout injury. The vehicle’s driver is responsible if they fail to inspect the tires constantly and drive with worn-out tires. They are also liable for tire blowout injury if they fail to take any corrective measures. The tire manufacturers can also be liable for a tire blowout injury if they produce defective tires, which leads to an accident. Another party that can be liable for a tire blowout injury is the owner of the vehicle. If the owner fails to replace worn-out tires, there is a high possibility of an accident occurring due to tire blowouts.
Identifying who is liable for a tire blowout in California is a complicated task. That is why you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to acquire evidence of who’s liable for a tire blowout injury. If you suffer an injury in California due to a tire blowout, you deserve compensation from the defendant.
At the Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer, we will help you identify who’s liable for a tire blowout injury. We have helped many car accident victims in Los Angeles receive their compensation. Reach us at 424-237-3600 any time and let us help you identify who is liable for a tire blowout injury so that you can get your rightful compensation.