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Liability when a tire gives out and causes an accident

You're heading to work when a tire blows out on the car ahead of you. That vehicle spins out of control and slams into you. You're injured, your car is destroyed, and you wind up spending the next few days in the local hospital, rather than at work. You want to seek compensation for your costs and losses, but who is liable for that crash?

It may simply be the other driver. Drivers do have a responsibility to maintain their vehicles and work hard to keep them in good condition so that others are safe. If the other driver neglected his or her tires, not changing them when they needed it, that driver may be at fault.

The driver may argue that the tire was actually defective, leading to the blowout. If that's true, then the manufacturer may be at fault. This is essentially a product liability case, even though it started out as a car accident case. This is especially problematic if the company tried to cover up known defects.

In some cases, the tire installer could be liable. Perhaps the tire wasn't defective and the driver just had his or her tires rotated or changed. The person who did the job put them back on incorrectly, giving the driver a dangerous vehicle without his or her knowledge. The crash happened despite that driver's best efforts because of someone else's negligence on the job.

These are just three examples, but they help show how even a relatively simple accident can have many causes and factors that need to be considered. Make sure you consider them all as you look into your legal options.

Source: Findlaw, "Who's Liable for a Tire Blowout Injury Accident?," George Khoury, Esq., accessed April 12, 2017

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