Phoenix Defective Tire Lawyer
When it comes to safety, tires are one of the most important components of any vehicle. Properly-maintained tires help support a vehicle’s load and improve its overall performance on the road when accelerating, braking or steering. However, when a tire shreds or blows out due to a defect, it can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, resulting in devastating accidents and serious injuries. If you have suffered an injury or property damage caused by a defective tire, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. Contact Phillips Law Group today to schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation. Our Phoenix defective tire lawyers help injury victims throughout the Phoenix area obtain the justice and compensation they deserve.
We take all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs or legal fees for our services unless you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
About Tire Defects
There are numerous types of tire defects. The most common tire defects that causes accidents include tread separating from the tire, wear and tear and weak points in the tire that can cause a blowout. These defects can occur in the manufacturing or design process or when tires are repaired.
Tread separation can happen in new tires when there is a problem in the manufacturing or design of the tire. The thread of a tire is the pattern of grooves that allows the tire to maintain traction on the road. If the thread begins to separate from the tire, it can lead to a rollover incident. This is especially dangerous for vehicles with a higher center of gravity, such as SUV’s and large trucks.
When tires have been retreaded without enough curing time or inferior products were used to retread the tire, tread separation could be more likely. Poor adhesion can ultimately cause tires to fail because the steel belt and the tire’s rubber components are not adequately bonded during the manufacturing process. Low-quality tire materials and incorrect tire assembly can lead to tread separation as well.
Blowouts can happen when there is too much internal pressure, bursting a weak spot in the tire and causing it to rupture. Blowouts can be caused by manufacturing defects, defects in design or from tread separation. The rubber can lose its bond with the steel cord reinforcement and internal fabric resulting in a rapid loss of air pressure.
At high-speeds, a tire blowout can cause a driver to lose control, run off the road or crash into another vehicle or fixed object. Blowouts can also cause rollover accidents, which can result in life-changing injuries.
When a tire gets old, it can become vulnerable to defects and cause an accident. This is because the chemical ingredients used in rubber degrade over time. When manufacturers carelessly allow tires to sit in warehouses for years before distributing, this can cause tires to become defective by the time they reach consumers even though the tires may not have been defective when manufactured.
In addition to product defects and aging, tires can also be dangerous when they are not correctly installed or mounted properly. When tires are not rotated or aligned correctly, this can make a vehicle much more dangerous to operate and possibly increase the risk of a serious accident.
Tire defects cause thousands of injuries and deaths every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that tire failures accounted for 19,000 people injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2015 and 733 total fatalities in 2016. Many of these tire failures were caused by a manufacturing defect or design defect.
If you or a loved one was in an accident that involved a rollover, tire blowout, or tip over, defective tires may be the cause. Our licensed Phoenix defective tire lawyers can review your case and determine if you have a viable claim for compensation.
Talk to a member of our legal team by calling 1-800-706-3000.
Proving Liability in Defective Tire Claims
If a tire was defective and caused you injury, you may have a valid claim against the manufacturer, distributor or the seller of the tire. Under Arizona’s product liability laws, you have the right to bring legal action against a liable party to recover damages for bodily injury or property damage resulting from the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, assembly, labeling, packaging, sale or use of any product.
This also includes the ability to hold any party accountable for failure to warn or protect against a danger or hazard in the use or misuse of a product.
In Arizona, a product liability action can be based on the legal theory of negligence or strict liability.
To hold any party legally liable for negligence, you must show that the at-fault party was careless or negligent by manufacturing or selling a defective product that ultimately caused personal injury or property damage. Defective tire claims may include allegations of design defects, manufacturing defects or failure to provide adequate warnings on the product.
The four elements needed to prove negligence include:
- Duty of care – The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. For example, the manufacturer had a duty of care to sell safe and effective tires for consumers to purchase and use on their own vehicles.
- Breach of Duty – The at-fault party breached his or her duty by failing to exercise reasonable care. For example, the manufacturer breached the duty of care by selling tires to consumers that have been sitting in a warehouse for years, causing them to become old and defective.
- Causation – The manufacturer’s actions directly caused your injury. For example, were it not for the manufacturer selling a defective tire, the tire would not have lost traction or caused a blowout, resulting in the injuries you sustained in a rollover accident.
- Damages – Failure to exercise reasonable care resulted in actual damages to you. Damages could include things like medical bills and lost wages.
Under the legal theory of strict liability, anyone injured by a defective product can recover compensation from the manufacturer or seller without having to prove negligence. Strict liability only applies against a manufacturer whose business it is to regularly sell the kinds of products in question.
Even though you do not have to show carelessness on behalf of the manufacturer or seller, the following conditions must exist:
- The tire had an unreasonably dangerous defect that caused injury or property damage
- The defective tire caused injury or property damage while being used in the way it was intended
- The tire was not substantially changed or altered from its original condition when it was sold
Reach out to a Phoenix defective tire attorney today if you have been injured due to a tire defect. We can help hold the responsible party accountable for manufacturing, distributing or selling a defective product.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form now to get started.
Filing a Defective Tire Claim
If you are considering filing a defective tire claim, there are certain steps you can take to strengthen your claim in order to obtain compensation. This includes the following:
- Save any pieces of evidence - the tire, tire thread and tire rim
- Keep the vehicle well-preserved after the accident
- Seek medical care and let a doctor document your injuries
- Photograph the entire accident scene
- Identify witnesses and write down their contact information
Failure to gather and document this information may affect your chances of recovering favorable compensation for an injury or property damage caused by a defective tire.
The statute of limitations in Arizona to file a defective tire claim is generally within two years from the date the injury occurred. However, under the state’s discovery rule, the time period you have to file a lawsuit does not start until you discover or should have reasonably discovered your injury or property damage. If you fail to file within these deadlines, you will lose the right to do so and may lose your chance to obtain any compensation.
Liable parties and their insurance companies will try to find ways to pay you as little as possible. They may argue that you are responsible for any tire blowouts due to inadequate tire maintenance and not because of a defect in manufacturing or design.
This is why you need to consult an attorney right away. Our defective tire lawyers in Phoenix can help investigate the reasons behind the tire failure and find strong evidence to dispute claims from insurance companies and liable parties about your amount of fault for your injuries.
Damages Available in a Defective Product Lawsuit
If you can prove a defective tire caused an accident resulting in your injuries, you may be able to recover damages. This can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, Arizona limits the amount of damages awarded based on its comparative negligence rule. If you are partially at fault, you can still recover compensation for the injuries you sustained. Your damages will just be reduced based on your degree of fault. For example, if you sustained $40,000 worth of damages and are found to be 40 percent at fault, your maximum recovery would be $24,000.
However, if you intentionally caused or contributed to your injuries, Arizona law says you may not be able to recover compensation.
Contact a Phoenix Defective Tire Lawyer Today
Defective tire claims can be difficult to file without practice and legal knowledge of Arizona laws. It often requires the assistance of a lawyer with experience handling defective tire cases.
At Phillips Law Group, we have helped many injured victims of defective products file lawsuits on their behalf. Our Phoenix defective tire attorneys will be by your side every step of the way, fighting for your legal rights and working to get you the compensation needed to recover and move on with your life.
Get in touch with our firm today for a free legal consultation to evaluate your case at no obligation to you. There are never any upfront fees for our services unless we help you recover compensation, so there is nothing to lose.
Get started today by calling Phillips Law Group at 1-800-706-3000.