Is a Tire Blowout an At-Fault Accident?
A tire blowout is an extremely dangerous situation where the tire of a vehicle explodes, potentially causing a loss of vehicle control. If you or the other driver experienced a tire blowout that caused a car accident in Los Angeles, determining liability can be difficult. Whether or not a tire blowout is an at-fault accident depends on the circumstances.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance and Tire Blowouts
An investigation of the tire blowout accident is often necessary to understand how and why the crash occurred. First, investigators will try to determine why the tire exploded. A common issue is a lack of proper maintenance by the driver or owner of the vehicle, such as worn-out tread or an underinflated/overinflated tire. Every vehicle owner in California has a legal responsibility to properly maintain his or her car, including the tires. This obligation involves periodically inspecting the tires and replacing them as needed.
If it is determined that poor tire maintenance caused the tire blowout accident, the owner of the motor vehicle can be held responsible. After a commercial truck accident involving a tire blowout, for example, fleet maintenance records will be consulted to find out if the trucking company or truck owner should have replaced the tire sooner. If the tire blowout accident would not have occurred but for the vehicle owner’s negligence, it is considered an at-fault accident.
Tire Blowouts Caused by Potholes or Road Hazards
Tire blowout accidents in California can also be caused by road defects such as cracks, craters and potholes. If a tire strikes a pothole or road debris the wrong way, the tire could pop or the tread could be shredded. These types of car accidents could point to the fault of the state or local government for failing to properly maintain the roadway. Every municipality has a responsibility to inspect, maintain and repair its roads to prevent disasters such as tire blowout accidents.
Tire Defects and Blowout Accidents
Finally, some tire blowout accidents are traced back to defective tires. Defective tires can have design, manufacturing or marketing flaws that make them unreasonably dangerous for consumers to install on their vehicles. If a defective tire has uneven wear and tear, for example, the tread could be worn down enough for it to cause a blowout accident. In this scenario, an injured crash victim could file a product liability claim against the tire manufacturer or distributor rather than the driver of the motor vehicle.
Disputing Fault for a Tire Blowout Accident
If your tire blew out and this resulted in you losing control of your vehicle and causing a car accident, you may need to dispute fault during a car insurance claim. The other driver’s insurance company may try to pin the blame on you for failing to prevent the tire blowout, even if you had nothing to do with the state of the tire. You may need to hire a car accident attorney to help you dispute fault in this scenario.
An experienced Los Angeles injury attorney can hire experts, such as mechanics, to check the tread depth and air pressure of your tires. This can prove that your tires were in good condition when you drove the vehicle, or that the tire that exploded contained a manufacturing defect that was outside of your control. Revisiting the scene of the crash and analyzing photographs may also make it possible to base your defense on the fact that you hit a pothole that the city should have repaired prior to the wreck.
A lawyer will work closely with you to personalize your legal strategy and pursue maximum financial compensation for your tire blowout accident, regardless of the circumstances. Tire blowout accident cases in California can be complex and highly technical. Contact an attorney at Rose, Klein & Marias, LLP for assistance with this type of personal injury claim.