Maintaining your vehicle goes a long way in preventing accidents. Tire blowouts, stalls, suspension, and steering issues could all cause accidents if they happen while driving.
The vehicle owner must properly maintain a vehicle and fulfill their duty of care to other drivers.
Causes of Tire Blowouts
In most cases, vehicle owners can prevent tire blowouts. However, in some instances, it is unavoidable. Separated tires, low tire pressure, low tread, and uneven wear could all cause blowouts. Vehicle owners can prevent blowouts for these reasons by checking their vehicle’s tires at least monthly and repairing the problem immediately.
Sometimes, hitting debris in the road or hitting a deep pothole could cause a tire blowout. These types of blowouts are not always avoidable. A driver might not have the room to avoid debris in the road or a pothole because other vehicles or fences, trees, and other inanimate objects are in the way.
How a Tire Blowout Causes Accidents
A rear tire blowout could cause an accident, but not as readily as a front tire blowout. Because the front tires are your steering tires, a front tire blowout often rips the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
A rear tire blowout is not as risky, though it could still cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. When a rear tire blows out, the chance of going into a spinout or a slide is high. If a driver does not have enough experience to drive out of the spinout or slide, they could hit nearby vehicles or damage property such as fences, mailboxes, and utility poles.
Tire Blowout Accident Injuries
A tire blowout accident could cause a driver to crash into others on the road. Depending on several factors, including speed and how the vehicles hit, accident injuries could be as minor as bruises and scratches, or they could be catastrophic or cause death.
Injuries could include:
- Bruises, cuts, scrapes, and scratches.
- Strains and sprains.
- Pulled and torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Thermal and chemical burns.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Crushed bones.
- Crush injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Amputation of a limb or digit.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
After an accident, even if you believe you do not have serious injuries, always allow the emergency medical technicians to check you over and seek medical assistance once the police release you from the scene. Some injuries do not manifest for hours or even days after the accident. The early medical intervention starts the paper trail should injuries pop up later.
How a Tire Blowout Constitutes Negligence
Most people think that a tire blowout is just an accident, but because the vehicle owner must keep a vehicle in good working condition—including the tires—the courts could look at a tire blowout as negligence.
Part of the investigation into the accident is checking the condition of the vehicle’s tires. To have a successful negligence case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not adhere to the duty to keep others safe by keeping his vehicle, including the tires, maintained.
The five elements of negligence are:
- Duty: Everyone on the road must drive in such a way as to keep others safe by maintaining the vehicle and obeying traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: If a defendant did not use reasonable care, she breached her duty to others. Not changing worn tires could cause a tire to blow out and cause an accident.
- Causation: The actions or inactions of the defendant caused the accident. In this example, the defendant’s vehicle had a separated tire, and the defendant did not check the tires as he should have. The tire blew and caused the defendant to sideswipe the plaintiff, pushing the plaintiff under a big rig.
- Proximate cause: A reasonable person knew or should have known that a separated or worn tire would blow out and cause an accident.
- Damages: The defendant’s actions or inactions—in this case, not changing the tires—caused damages, including medical expenses for injuries suffered in the accident.
Recovering Damages After a Tire Blowout Accident
You could recover compensatory damages after a tire blowout accident even if the investigation finds that the tire blowout was not driver negligence. Others who might share responsibility for your damages include the tire manufacturer or the municipality in charge of taking care of the roads. You could even recover damages from a driver who dropped debris from his vehicle, causing the defendant’s tire blowout.
Damages you might recover include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, including doctors’ appointments, surgeries, prescriptions, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy, psychological therapy, hand controls for your vehicle, and updates to your home to make it more accessible, including but not limited to ramps, widened doors, and grab bars.
- Lost wages.
- Loss of future earning capacity.
- Death-related expenses, including funeral and burial expenses, cremation expenses, and probate court attorneys and expenses.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make life changes, such as using ambulatory aids or taking prescriptions for the rest of your life.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of use of a body part or bodily function.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, such as grocery shopping, lawn maintenance, house cleaning, and home repair and maintenance.
- Extra compensation for amputations, excessive scarring, and/or disfigurement.
Call a car accident lawyer if someone’s blown tire injured you. You can find out if you may recover compensation for your injuries during a free case evaluation.