Tire explosions typically come on suddenly and can lead to catastrophic circumstances. If a tire blows out in the middle of a highway, not only is the driver at risk but surrounding motorists and pedestrians within the vicinity are also at great risk for harm. When someone has been injured due to a tire explosion, the question of liability looms. If a driver failed to inspect a vehicle’s tires with reasonable frequency, he or she could be held liable for the injuries of other drivers. Manufacturing and design defects could be factors as well, which would point the finger at manufacturers. When an individual has suffered injuries due to a tire explosion, it is critical to retain a skilled Philadelphia car accident attorney to explore all available legal options.
What Causes Tire Explosions?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) completed a survey about motor vehicle crashes across the country and their causes. NHTSA found that tire issues existed prior to collision in 1 of 11 motor vehicle crashes. Some factors that can contribute to tire blowouts include:
- Aging tires
- Overloading vehicle
- Manufacturing defect
Many of the accidents involving tire explosions could have been prevented if proper precautions were taken prior to driving the vehicle. Making a habit of inspecting your tires before long trips, being careful not to overload your car, and changing your tires as needed are all measures that can prevent a blowout from happening.
What Should I do if My Tire Explodes While I’m Driving?
Experiencing a tire blowout while driving is a terrifying and stressful ordeal. It can happen so fast that it feels like there is no time to react. While no one can be 100% prepared for a tire blowout, there are some tips to remember in case it happens to you. A few of these tips are as follows:
- Try your best to stay calm. Tire blowouts can be loud and it is easy to panic. Focus on keeping control of your vehicle.
- Grip the steering wheel. When a front tire explodes, it may feel like your vehicle is being pulled strongly to one side. Stabilize your car as best as you can.
- Do not slam your brakes. Let your car slow down gradually.
- When it is safe to do so and there is a slowdown in traffic, pull your car over to the side of the road and turn your emergency flashers on.
Once your car is in a safe place on the side of the road, change your tire with a spare or call for roadside assistance. If a collision with another vehicle has taken place, call 911 immediately.
Establishing Liability in a Tire Explosion Collision
Tire explosions can be chaotic and every car and driver react differently. Unfortunately, crashes can be inevitable especially when traffic is heavy and high rates of speed are involved. The aftermath of tire blowout accidents can be devastating and the injuries can be severe. Victims of tire explosion accidents can find themselves up to their necks in medical bills and expenses with little means of paying them all back. It is crucial for victims to consult with a Pennsylvania car accident attorney who can give an honest assessment of damages that can be recovered.
Determining who is liable for injuries incurred during a tire blowout can be tricky. Is it the driver’s fault? The manufacturer? The retailer? Liability for such accidents is established on a case by case basis depending on the surrounding facts and circumstances. In some cases, the driver could be negligent. To establish driver negligence there are three essential elements that must be shown:
- The driver owed a legal duty of care to other motorists;
- The driver breached the legal duty of care; and
- As a result of the breach, one or more motorists and/or passengers suffered damages
A driver could be found liable for breaching a duty to inspect. If a driver fails to replace tires as needed or does not monitor tire pressure, a victim could establish that the driver was negligent. A victim could also prove that a driver was negligent if it can be shown that a driver knew that a tire was defective but chose to drive the vehicle with careless disregard of this fact.
Victims of tire explosion accidents could also sue the tire manufacturer for injuries sustained during a tire blowout. Product liability claims against manufacturers, retailers or distributors could be based on the following:
- Defective construction of the tire
- Failure to warn users of risks associated with the tire
- Design of tire was inherently dangerous
Filing a claim against major tire manufacturing companies can be an intimidating process. Retaining a skilled Philadelphia product liability attorney to develop a plan of action for your case will put you in an optimal position for recovering damages.
Philadelphia Tire Explosion Attorney
If you or someone you love have been injured due to a tire explosion accident, call the attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm today. Our Philadelphia tire explosion accident attorneys are here to fight tirelessly for you to get the compensation you deserve. Call the offices of The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 246-9000 and schedule a free and confidential consultation.