Tires are an incredibly important part of a car’s makeup. They help to move the vehicle from point A to point B as safely as possible. As more people head out on the roads as businesses begin to reopen, motor vehicle accidents are bound to happen; and, depending upon the seriousness of an accident, litigation can result. If a tire defect caused or contributed to a car accident, how does the legal process differ than that of a standard car accident lawsuit?
Car Accident Lawsuits
Car accidents can occur in a variety of ways, including single vehicle accidents, two passenger vehicles colliding, or a passenger car wrecking with a company vehicle belonging to a business, among others. In most instances, car accidents involve two cars that are either owned or leased by a single person.
The largest numbers of motor vehicle crash deaths occur between two or more passenger vehicles, including cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs, and large passenger vans, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Car accident lawsuits where one individual driver has a claim against another individual driver are incredibly common. In these lawsuits, the defendant would be the other driver as well as their insurance carrier.
However, if an accident involves a passenger vehicle and a commercial vehicle – such as a company owned car or truck – the lawsuit would be slightly different. Commercial vehicles are typically only driven by professionals trained and authorized to operate them. Whereas the drivers of passenger vehicles have personal insurance coverage, work vehicles should be insured by a commercial policy. Lawsuits involving commercial vehicles will be able to target not just the driver, but also the company responsible for the vehicle, the company’s commercial insurance carrier, and other entities involved. In these instances, the driver of the commercial vehicle, the owner of the vehicle, those who provided maintenance, and others can all be sued or held liable in the event of an accident.
Tire Defect Accident Lawsuit
Lawsuits involving a defective automotive component part – such as tire defects – are different than those in a standard car accident case. Firstly, whereas disputed car accident claims typically turn into personal injury lawsuits, tire defect issues become products liability lawsuits.
When a defective tire caused or contributed to a car accident, the injured party or parties can file suit against all of the various entities involved in the manufacturing and supply chain for that tire, including the designer, manufacturer, seller, or even a mechanic who performed maintenance on the tire. This – coupled with the high-level expert testimony required to prove up a defect case – makes these lawsuits more complex in nature.
Products liability law holds a company liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer resulting in an injury. In a tire defect lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the defective tire caused the accident via evidence, including certain types of damage to the tire, photos of the tire damage, evidence of others with the same type of tires experiencing similar issues, and manufacturer recalls, among other evidence.
In a passenger vehicle accident, personal injury claims are typically filed to prove the negligence of a driver caused the accident and resulting injuries. However, when a car accident lawsuit involves a defective tire or another defective car component, strict liability can be imposed in the event the following can be proven:
The vehicle or one of its components had an “unreasonably dangerous” defect that caused injury. The defect can come into existence either through the design, during manufacture, during handling or shipment, or through a failure to warn consumers of a all applicable risks.
The defect caused an injury while the vehicle was being operated in a way in which it was intended to be used.
The vehicle had not been substantially changed from the condition in which it was originally sold or in a way that affects how it performs.
Houston Tire Defect Attorneys
Defective tires can cause horrific motor vehicle accidents resulting in a catastrophic injury or death. It’s important to determine early on if a defective tire caused a car accident, so that evidence can be preserved and all of the liable parties can be held accountable for producing a faulty product. At Ramsey Law Group, we fight for our clients to receive the compensation and assistance they deserve. If you or someone you know has been involved in a roadway accident involving a defective tire, contact us today to discuss your case.