People get injured every day in Florida, whether through slip and fall, boat accidents, and even car accidents. It is crucial to be well informed about personal injury law. This will help you to seek help immediately you get injured, especially when you believe that someone else was at fault. Among the many types of personal injuries that you can seek compensation one of the most common are car accident injuries as a result of defective tires. The Clay County Personal Injury Attorney is your best option if you want to pursue compensation for all the damages sustained.
Defective Tire Injuries in Florida
No one is usually prepared for a car crash. However, the reality is that many people spend much of their time traveling on the roads. Car crashes can take many forms, and most of the factors that cause accidents are usually beyond human control. No matter how much precaution a person takes while on the roads, you are always at a greater risk of getting into an accident. When a crash happens, it is crucial to have a personal injury attorney by your side.
One of the leading causes of serious road crashes in the state of Florida is defective tires. Tire blowouts are a common occurrence on the roads. Such an accident happens when no one is expecting- a car that is speeding on a highway can experience a tire blowout, and in no time, it flips over. Some cars flip over just once, and others flip over several times. Since these accidents happen on highways, several cars could get involved in the crash. Even in a case where only one car flips over, serious injuries can be expected.
When an accident happens like that, it is best to speak to a personal injury attorney immediately because it is not just the car that gets damaged. There are serious crashes that happen similarly, and sometimes they result in death. A good personal injury attorney will put investigators in the scene of an accident to establish the real cause of the accident. When it is found that indeed the car that caused the crash had defective tires, the party responsible for that defects will be held responsible for all the damages sustained.
Tire Defects that can Cause Serious Injuries
Among the most critical parts of a vehicle that keeps a driver and everyone else in the vehicle safe is the tire. When tires have defects, they can endanger the life of the driver and everyone else on the road. There are many types of issues that could cause a tire to blowout, and maybe cause damage to the car if it explodes. However, the first person to get injured when tire issues arises is the driver. Other motorists could be involved in the accident too, as well as passengers, pedestrians, and even motorcyclists. Therefore, there is a need to know what to do once a tire defect in your car has caused an accident.
Tire defects are an unfortunate cause of auto accidents in the state today. Car owners have the responsibility of maintaining their car tires in good working condition, monitoring pressure, and doing due diligence when buying new tires. This is done to avoid tire issues that could result in accidents. However, even when this is done, tires fail because of other defects, maybe at the manufacturing point. When this happens, and the car is on the road, driving at high speed, the potential damage and injuries sustained in such an accident can be severe.
Common Causes of Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts are the leading cause of tire defect injuries on our roads today. Causes of tire blowouts are many, and may include the following.
This is the leading cause of failure in tires. Under-inflation means that tire pressure is too low and that much of the tire’s surface is touching the road, increasing friction on the tire. This increased friction may cause the tire to overheat, leading to premature wear on the tire, tread separation, and also cause blowouts. Under-inflation is the quickest way to damage a tire, which is why drivers should check the amount of pressure on their tires as often as they should.
The pressure is, after all, what allows tires to bear the heaviness of the vehicle and everything else that is in it. With insufficient pressure, the interior parts of the tire, such as its fabric, composites, and rubber will contract beyond their normal limits. Once the internal components are over-flex, they weaken and will, in the end, fail.
The recently-produced vehicles have their suitable tire pressure provided on the door jamb on the driver's side of the car. Again, Tire Pressure Monitoring System has been made mandatory for all vehicles since 2007. However, the system does not give warning to the driver until the tire is significantly out of pressure. For that reason, drivers have to take the initiative to check the tire pressure manually or have a tire merchant do it for them.
When an accident occurs as a result of a tire defect caused by under-inflation, the driver could be liable for not checking the tire pressure as regularly as they should. However, if the vehicle did not have a pressure monitoring system installed, the liability could fall on the car manufacturer.
Overloading a vehicle can fatally damage its tires. Many people only consider the amount of space they have in their car without thinking about the extra weight and the damage it could cause. Even if a pickup has enough space to carry more, its tires may not be able to bear the weight. This could become even more serious if the vehicle’s tires are under-inflated.
It is crucial that every driver finds their vehicle's Gross Vehicular Rating, which is always provided on the door jamb on the driver's side of the car. When you carry extra weight in your vehicle, the weight will put a strain on your car's tires, which could subsequently result in a blowout.
Again, an overloaded vehicle will be unstable on the road. If the driver finds it hard to control the car, they can quickly get into an accident, especially if the driver is going at high speed on a highway.
When an accident occurs as a result of a tire defect caused by overloading, the liability will fall on the driver or the trucking company if the vehicle in question was a truck.
Potholes are another way in which tires can easily be fatally damaged. When a driver slams into a pothole, the impact squeezes the internal components of the tire between the wheel and the obstacle. If the impact is tough enough, it could cut out or fray the tire's components. Some potholes are capable of cutting through the tire's rubber and fabric, damaging the tire on the spot. Other damages are not spotted until many months later.
Unfortunately, roads are not always consistently level. Most roads, especially on highways and in urban areas are studded with loose rocks, debris, and sometimes loathsome potholes. The small bits of debris are easy to run over without any consequence, but there are those large holes that will eventually damage your car or cause you to lose control of your car, resulting in an accident.
When such accidents occur, it will be as a result of negligence on the part of people responsible for road management. The roads in most states are maintained by counties, cities, and the state in general. What this means is that your battle with personal injury claims will be against government agencies that have been mandated to ensure public road safety.
Tire manufacturing defects
Some tires are defective straight from the manufacturing point, in which case the manufacturer will be held liable for any injuries and damages that could result from accidents caused by those tires. The law requires manufacturers to thoroughly test their products before they release them to the market. Many defective tires have been recalled because of manufacturing faults, but for this to happen, there must be reports of several issues about the same product.
A significant manufacturing defect that could result in tire blowout is if the tire comes with a lower speed rating. If a tire has not been adequately tested before being sold and has a lower speed rating, it can quickly overheat and eventually cause a blowout.
An imbalance in the compounds or even the presence of impurities or moisture in the tire during its manufacturing can cause a radical tear from its bead to the tread. The result will be a sidewall that can quickly create an accident.
The use of a wrong design in the manufacturing of tires or inadequate use of rubber compounds can cause a full deflation of a tire while on the road.
When an accident happens as a result of a tire defect that stems from the manufacturing point, the tire manufacturer will be fully liable for all resulting damages. However, if the driver or a trucking company was at fault in the regular checking and maintenance of the tire, they too could be held liable for the accident.
Florida Product Liability Claims and Proof of Fault
When a car accident happens in Florida, someone has to take responsibility for the resulting injuries and damages. That is why the injured needs a lawyer. An accident resulting from defective tires will call for product liability claims. Such claims are handled differently in the state when compared to other types of personal injury claims.
A product liability claim will occur when a person has been injured by a defective product. The state of Florida uses the principle of strict liability in such claims. This means that a duty on the manufacturer and anyone else in charge of the product is imposed to make sure that the product is safe for use. If the product was not safe for use and caused an injury to the victim, a product liability claim will ensue.
The role of your injury attorney in such a case will be to help you prove the party that is responsible for your injury, even when in the beginning, the fault is not very clear. Your attorney will take charge of the investigations that are needed to determine the cause of the accident. He/she will also collaborate with the safety experts to understand tire defects and the various reasons for such errors, which could have caused the accident.
In determining who was at fault for your injuries, your attorney and the safety experts will begin with the manufacturer and whether or not he/she would have made the tires safer. If it is established that there was a fault from the manufacturing point, the conclusion will be that the manufacturer should not have been selling those tires in the first place. He/she will be made to take responsibility for all the damages and injuries that resulted from the accident.
If, on the other hand, it is established that the manufacturer did his/her part of production really well and that someone else was at fault, maybe by not checking the tire pressure, over-speeding or overloading the vehicle, your attorney, together with the team of safety experts will seek to find the exact party at fault.
The most critical thing in filing for compensation for an accident resulting from defective tires is to get to the bottom of the cause of the accident and show proof that the tire was flawed and that was the reason why the vehicle got into the accident.
The other bit will be to prove that the guilty party was negligent or careless. Tire manufacturers have a set of safety standards they must adhere to in the manufacturing of tires for different types of vehicles. Car manufacturers have their part to play too, in ensuring that their consumers know the pressure rating of their car's tires and how much load the vehicles can carry. Drivers, on the other hand, have to do their part in ensuring that they are safe on the roads. This can be achieved by driving at a normal speed for the type of vehicle they are operating, checking the pressure on their tires regularly, and ensuring that their tires are well maintained at all times.
If any of the above and other mandates are not taken with the seriousness they deserve, somebody must take full responsibility when an accident occurs.
How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Car Accident Caused by Defective Tires
The state of Florida allows people who have been injured to file personal injury claims for all other accidents except for automobile accidents. In the case of auto accidents, Florida is a no-fault state, in which case the injured person’s car insurance should pay for all their injuries and resulting damages, no matter who the responsible party was. Every driver in the state is expected to have a protection policy for personal injuries, which will cover at least $10,000 per person for every crash.
However, Florida laws allow a person to file a claim for personal injury when injured in a car accident if the sustained injuries were severe. Serious personal injuries, in this case, will be, for instance:
- Damages that result in significant or permanent loss of a significant function of the body
- Permanent injuries that call for a substantial degree of medical attention, greater than scars and disfigurements
- Significant or permanent disfigurement or scarring
If you have been involved in a car crash caused by defective tires, and you believe that another person is liable, and you also believe that the injuries you have sustained are serious, the first thing to do is to talk to a personal injury attorney in the state for help with your injury lawsuit.
Remember that there is a statute of limitations for personal injuries involving car accidents in the state. A statute of limitations will be the set time limit within which the injured person must file a lawsuit against the liable party. If you miss the set time and you try to file a lawsuit after the deadline has already passed, then the Florida court system will most definitely dismiss your case. In most cases, the plaintiff has up to four years to file a lawsuit in court.
After filing the lawsuit, the court will look into your case and interview as many witnesses as possible to ascertain your claims. For a person believed to be at fault to be found liable for your injuries, the law needs to prove the following:
- That the person had a responsibility to be careful not to harm another person, but they failed on that duty
- That the person’s failure on that mandate is related directly to the sustained injuries
- That the injured person indeed suffered damages
If your claim is accepted and the liable party/parties are found responsible for all the injuries you suffered from the accident, you will be able to get the compensation that you deserve. Some of the damages that could be compensated in this case will be:
- Medical expenses that were incurred immediately after the accident, as well as the current and future medical needs
- Any lost wages, including time spent away from work going for therapy and medical appointments
- Any property that was damaged in the accident
- Any permanent disability or disfigurement that you could have sustained
- The cost of the services offered by the person you hired to help you around the house
- The amount of emotional distress you might have suffered, including stress and depression
- Any problems that the injuries could have brought in your relationships also called the loss of consortium
- All the other costs that could have directly resulted from the injury
It is important to note that more than one party could have been at fault for your injuries. Florida laws take this into account as well, because there are situations where more than one party could have been a fault in a car accident or involved in a careless action that caused another person to be injured. For this type of issue, Florida has a well-structured system that deals with personal injury lawsuits that involve more than one defendant.
The amount of liability for every party that is at fault is calculated as a percentage of the entire claim. A party that is 10% less liable will not pay for the 10% economic loss they are not liable for.
If, on the other hand, the claimant is partly to blame for their injuries, the state of Florida uses comparative negligence law. Under this law, any claimant that is partly answerable for the accident that resulted in the injury will not be eligible for the potential full award at trial.
What Can Your Attorney Do?
The most important obligation for your attorney is to help you prove that the tire was defective and that another person was at fault.
Once that has been done, your attorney will fight to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. The tire manufacturer, the trucking company, or your car repair and maintenance company will be quick to offer some form of payment once they realize that there is no way to escape. However, will they provide the maximum amount that your case deserves?
Your attorney will help evaluate the extent of injuries you have suffered, including emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, and lost income for the period you will be recovering, away from work. All the damages that the defective tire had caused you will be put into account, to show the total amount of compensation the guilty party will be paying.
Find a Clay County Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you have been involved in a car accident caused by defective tires, you need a good attorney by your side. An experienced attorney who is professionally able to evaluate the number of injuries you have sustained and help you fight for the compensation you deserve is what you need. At the Clay County Personal Injury Attorney, we will walk with you every step of the process. Call us at 904-494-8242 if you are in Clay County, FL, and let us help you file for the personal injury claim that you deserve.