Tire blowouts can happen without warning. You may witness a tire blowout driving down the freeway or sitting at a red light. No matter where you are, you have little time to react.
Tire blowouts can cause the driver to lose control. Despite the driver taking proper action, they can still lose control of the vehicle, crossing lanes, slamming into other cars, or even flipping over. When a tire blowout happens in a tractor-trailer, the possible high speeds plus the weight and size of a big rig can cause catastrophic accidents.
Tire blowouts happen with extreme force. This means they have the potential to cause severe damage to not only your vehicle, but also to you and your passengers. If you or a loved one has been injured when another vehicle’s tire blew out, you deserve to have legal representation by a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer. The right lawyer can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Blowout Accident Causes
Most tire blowout accidents happen with big rigs. The tires they use are much larger than the tires on your car, which means the damage is often accordingly much worse. While tire blowouts happen in the blink of an eye, they usually happen because of issues that developed over time.
Common causes of tire blowout accidents include:
- Overloaded vehicle
- Impact with a large pothole
- Impact with an object on the road
- Damaged tire
- Under- or over-inflated tires
- Uneven tire wear
- Tires that are beyond their date of expiration
- Manufacturing defects
If you ever watched slow motion videos of people touching a hot surface, you may have been shocked by the amount of time it took for them to remove their hands from the hot surface. While your brain reacts quickly, it does not react instantly. The same happens when you are driving down the road and witness a tire blowout. You will react, but you might react too slowly to avoid impact with the blown tire or shreds of the tire.
Besides that, when a truck blows a tire, the truck becomes incredibly unstable and difficult to control. The vehicle could wobble and shake violently, causing it to slam into other vehicles on the road, like you.
Driver inexperience is a factor in handling a vehicle after a tire blowout. In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s study, they found that drivers with less than a year of experience do not know how to maintain a vehicle in any way, including checking their tires and tire pressure. This can play an important role in the crash’s cause, but also in the crash’s severity.
Tire blowouts cause over 700 vehicle accident fatalities every year. Injuries vary greatly depending on the type of vehicle involved and where the accident occurred. In California, traffic accidents resulting in death recently increased by 7 percent over two years.
While not all accidents will result in death, tire blowout accidents can cause serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
When you suffer an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, it often makes your injuries more frustrating. It seems this way because you played no part in causing the accident, or your injuries, and all you want is to get better. We don’t blame you.
That’s why you need a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. You deserve to focus on your recovery, and not stress over how you will pay your mounting bills. Do not delay. In California, you only have two years from the date of your accident to bring a personal injury claim.
If you wait too long, you cannot collect damages for your injuries, and likely must pay out of pocket for your medical expenses. Two years may seem like it is a long time, but life frequently gets in the way, especially when you are trying your best to recover from your injuries. More importantly, witness memories fade and important evidence can be lost if a claim is not pursued expediently.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
After you suffer an injury in a tire blowout accident, the next steps you take can play a part in your recovery.
- Call 911 – When you call the authorities, the police will show up at the accident scene and document what happened by speaking with you, the other driver, and witnesses. They may not assign fault, but their police report is objective, and may help you recover for your injuries. Calling 911 also provides you prompt medical attention. Your injuries may not appear right away and you may not be aware of the extent of some of your injuries. Allowing medical personnel to examine you at the scene can help increase your chances of a complete recovery.
- See your doctor – Even if a medical professional evaluates you at the accident scene and you are cleared, you should still see your doctor. Your doctor knows you best and some tire blowout accident injuries may take days or weeks to show symptoms. When your doctor checks you, they can be sure you receive proper instructions on how to improve.
- Talk to witnesses – The police will speak with witnesses, but not all witnesses will stick around for the police to arrive. That’s why it is important that, if you are able, you should speak with witnesses or at least get their contact information. Witnesses often provide a different perspective on the moments leading up to the accident, which can provide clues as to how your accident happened.
- Take pictures – If you cannot take pictures, have a family member or friend take them for you. Get pictures of the accident scene, any debris or impediments on the road, all vehicles involved, the blown tire, and your injuries. These images can help us paint a picture of what you suffered and the severity of your injuries.
- Keep a journal – As you progress through your recovery, you may not recall the individual days of struggle and pain. By writing notes daily in a journal, you keep a record of your daily pain levels, any hurdles you encounter, and how your injuries progress. Taking this route can help to show what you had to go through to make a full recovery.
Your last step is to contact a personal injury lawyer you trust to handle your complex tire blowout personal injury claim. These are not easy cases, and they require the resources of a law firm who has dealt with tire blowout defendants, insurance companies, and defense counsel, and knows how to handle them all.
By handing off the legal issues, you give yourself the best chance of making a complete physical recovery. When you focus solely on your physical recovery and allow your lawyer to focus on the financial recovery, you have the opportunity to get back on your feet quickly. Let us handle that stress and worry while you focus on getting better.
Holding Responsible Parties Liable
Tire blowout accidents may seem like simple legal claims. Often, they are anything but. They are complex because there are typically multiple parties who could potentially be held liable for the accident and your injuries. Examples include:
Lack of maintenance or improper maintenance often causes a tire blowout. This is the fault of the owner of the vehicle. If your blowout accident involved a commercial truck, the vehicle owner could also be a company.
Just like the vehicle owner, the driver is also responsible for the maintenance and safe operation of the vehicle. When a driver speeds, runs a red light, fails to yield, or violates any other traffic law causing a blowout, they put you at risk of great injury, and can be held liable for your injuries.
Sometimes a tire blowout happens because of a defect in the tire itself. This is the fault of the manufacturer. But this does not remove all liability from an owner or driver, as they are still required to check the vehicle to ensure it is safe for operation on the road.
Most new vehicles include a tire pressure monitoring system. In fact, tire pressure monitoring systems are now mandatory under federal law, and all new vehicles must have them. Congress passed this law because under- and over-inflated tires can cause accidents. When you know your tire pressure is not at a safe level, you can take appropriate action; however, sometimes these systems fail. When that happens, you may hold the vehicle manufacturer liable for your injuries.
Your local government or municipality may own the road where you suffered an injury. If there was a road hazard that caused or contributed to the tire blowout, you could potentially hold the government liable for your injuries. When potholes, poor road conditions, and road construction debris are not properly addressed, a government entity may be to blame.
When you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or parties, you do so to receive compensation for your injuries. That can include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Lost earning potential
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
But getting compensation for your injuries is not as simple as just filing a claim. You have to fight for what you deserve. The best way to do that is to work with a personal injury lawyer who has your best interests at heart.
Even though you have paid your insurance premiums every month, your insurance company might not be the aggressive advocate a lawyer would be in your personal injury claim. Insurance companies have an incentive to settle your case quickly and cheaply. We want to settle your case quickly, too, because we know you want to put this experience behind you. But we only want to settle when it’s right for you and your specific situation. That’s why we work tirelessly to prove the at-fault party is liable for your injuries and your subsequent medical bills.
Settlement Offer Caution
Many people think they can handle their own personal injury settlement negotiations. You certainly have the right to do so, but we do not recommend taking that route. Insurance companies are tough and brutal. They want to settle your claim for as little as possible so they keep as much money as possible.
But that leaves you in financial hardship, having to pay out of pocket for medical bills related to an injury you did not cause. To give yourself the best chance of maximizing your financial recovery, a personal injury lawyer who has the skills and resources necessary to help you, should be one of the first calls you make after your accident.
When a settlement offer first comes in, you feel excitement and encouragement that your traumatic experience is almost over. But we urge you to have a cautious attitude and have your lawyer review the settlement offer before you sign. The first offer you receive is likely a low-ball offer that will not cover all of your expenses.
Working with a trusted personal injury attorney can help you create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs and costs. This helps to ensure you do not settle for less than your claim is worth.
Speaking With a Lawyer Can Help
Attempting to handle your own tire blowout accident claim could result in you not getting the compensation you need to get better. To figure out your options, it’s wise to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide you insight into the legal steps ahead. An experienced tire blowout accident attorney can help you pursue the at-fault party or parties and hold them liable for your injuries. Doing so gives you some relief to help you focus on your physical recovery, while your attorney worries about how the medical bills get paid.