Few people think about the safety of their tires when commuting to work or taking their children to school. Unfortunately, defective tires can cause catastrophic injuries when their tread suddenly separates and it explodes at a high speed, resulting in a rollover or a collision with a traffic barrier, pedestrian, or another vehicle.
Types of Tire Defects
There are several types of defects that can cause a tire to perform unsafely or to suddenly rupture:
- Tread peeling or separating
- Rim explosions
- Loss of air pressure
- Sudden tire explosions
- Inadequate or improper tire installation
People injured in tire defect cases have a right to claim injuries under Florida’s product liability law. The responsible parties include the tire manufacturer and designer. In some cases, the retailer may be sued if it sold an old tire it represented as new but the tire showed evidence of deterioration on the inside.
Also, a garage or tire retailer may have negligently installed the tire or improperly maintained or stored it causing it to fall off the vehicle or its tread to separate.
Causes of Action
You can bring an injury claim if your vehicle’s tires were defective and the defect was the cause of your injuries. Also, anyone else injured such as a passenger, other motorist, or pedestrian who was injured may also bring a claim.
The following types of causes of action are available in a product liability or tire defect case:
- Strict liability--In this case, you only have to show that the tire was defectively made or designed. If you can show that the tire lacked appropriate tread or was defective in some other manner and the defect led to your injury, then a strict liability cause of action may apply. You will then have to prove your damages, which are usually your medical expenses and lost wages in the past and future, pain and suffering, inconvenience, scarring, mental anguish and loss of the capacity to enjoy life.
- Negligence--For a negligence claim to prevail, you have to demonstrate that the tire was defective and that the manufacturer or designer was also negligent in not following or meeting certain standards to avoid unreasonable risks.
- Breach of warranty--This involves a showing that the tire was not fit for its intended purpose or did not meet the terms of the express warranty, usually of fitness. In this action, you can recover the costs of replacing the defective product along with compensatory and possibly punitive damages.
A product defect case should be handled by a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney who has litigated and tried similar cases. Damages can include but are not limited to:
- Special damages--These are your economic losses and include past and future medical costs and past and future wage loss.
- General damages--An experienced personal injury attorney can aptly demonstrate how your injuries have affected your life, the nature and extent of your suffering, prove the extent of any disability you have sustained, and the reasonable value of your pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages--Also known as exemplary damages, these are only awarded in especially egregious cases where the defendant has exhibited gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
If you were injured in an accident because of a defective tire, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries. However, you should not trust your injury claim to any personal injury lawyer in Orlando or elsewhere in Florida. Call The Wiseman Law Firm of Orlando, Florida for a free consultation.