A tire blowout is when a motor vehicle’s tire explodes rather than leaking or popping more slowly. A tire blowout can cause a loss of motor vehicle control and result in a serious car accident. If a car accident in Connecticut is traced back to a tire blowout, a range of options could be the liable or financially responsible party.
The Owner of the Vehicle
Tire blowouts can occur when a tire has physical damage, such as worn tread or a tear in the tire wall. These issues can cause the tire to shred and fall off of the car while in transit. Blowouts can also be connected to small punctures and low tire pressure. Losing air pressure in a tire will make it start to deflate. This can wear down the sides of the tire as they make contact with the road surface.
If an issue with the tire causes a blowout accident, the liable party could be the owner of the vehicle. It is an owner’s responsibility to make sure that a vehicle is properly maintained at all times. The tires of a vehicle should be inspected regularly for defects or wear and tear. If a tire is no longer safe for use, the owner is responsible for replacing it in a timely manner. If the owner neglected to properly maintain the tires of his or her car, this can lead to liability for a blowout accident.
The Tire Manufacturer
Some tire blowouts take place due to defective tires. A tire may have come from the manufacturer with uneven tread, for example, or issues with the thin rubber wall. This can make the tire more prone to a blowout. If an investigation determines that the tire contained a manufacturing defect, design flaw or marketing mistake, the tire manufacturer or distributor could be held responsible through a product liability lawsuit.
Tire manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure that their products are reasonably safe for consumer use and free from defects. If a consumer gets injured because of a tire defect, the manufacturing company can be held responsible – even without proof of negligence or fault, under the legal theory of strict product liability. This law makes it easier for injured car accident victims to hold tire manufacturers responsible for blowouts.
A Trucking Company
Tire blowouts are often associated with commercial truck accidents. An 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer may be prone to a tire blowout due to how much weight is exerted on the tires. Carrying heavy loads puts excess pressure on a truck’s tires. At a certain point, the tires can no longer safely bear the weight of the truck and may explode – especially if they also have uneven tread wear. In this situation, the trucking company may be held liable for failing to properly maintain the truck’s tires or for improper cargo weight distribution.
Finally, the government could potentially be held liable in a tire blowout accident that is caused by road defects, hazards or unsafe road quality. If a driver strikes a pothole, for example, and this causes the tire to pop, the state or local government could be responsible for failing to maintain the road.
Road hazards such as potholes, craters, cracks, uneven surfaces and debris could all lead to a tire blowout disaster. If the government entity in charge of road maintenance knew or had reason to know about the road defect that caused the crash, it may be held responsible for failing to repair it within a reasonable amount of time.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tire blowout accident, discuss the potentially liable parties with an attorney in Connecticut for more information.