Austin Tire Defect Attorneys
Helping You Understand Your Legal Options for Recovery
Defective tires are a real problem on America’s roads. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently reported that there are about 33,000 tire-related accidents annually, which kill some 500 people and injure 19,000 more. Since the failure of a tire on a moving vehicle often causes the driver to lose control, tire failure endangers not only the occupants of the car using that tire but all the other vehicles and pedestrians in the area.
Tires are specifically designed to provide a safe amount of traction and vehicle control for vehicles of a maximum weight when the tire is inflated to a specific pressure. Of course, they also wear down with usage, and there’s considerable evidence that simple aging—where the tire sits in storage without use—also gradually compromises a tire’s structure.
If you were involved in a car accident and you believe a defective tire or auto part led to the crash, contact Briggle & Polan, PLLC. Our Austin tire defect lawyers are extensively experienced in this complex area of law. We can help you understand your legal options and work to recover the full, fair compensation you are owed.
Call (512) 400-3278 or submit an online contact form to get started with your free initial consultation.
Manufacturers, Sellers, Installers & Owners All Affect Tire Safety
Many tire failures are caused by things under the manufacturer’s control: the design, the materials used, the process by which it’s manufactured, and the safety information that was provided to consumers. “Defects” in any of those processes support a claim for products liability.
Other causes of failure are under the control of retailers and service centers that recommend which tire to install, do the installation, and may be called upon to repair flats and the like. Still other causes are under the control of the vehicle owner, like keeping the tire properly inflated, not exceeding the maximum weight, and replacing worn tires.
All this means that tire failure in any given case will raise difficult and technical questions about the respective roles of these three entities. Answering those questions is usually crucial to any attempt to recover compensation for injuries (or deaths) caused by the tire failure.
Government Regulation of Tires
The federal government has several specific safety standards for tires, with specific standards for different kinds of tires and different kinds of vehicles.
The federal standards for basic passenger vehicles address:
- New pneumatic radial tires for light vehicles (Standard 139)
- New non-pneumatic tires for passenger cars (Standard 129)
- Retread pneumatic tires (Standard 117)
Other standards apply to new pneumatic tires intended for heavy vehicles and for motor homes and recreation vehicles.
To alert drivers when tires are dangerously under-inflated, regulations also require that new vehicles include tire pressure monitoring systems.
Tire Recalls Leave a Lot to Be Desired
Just in the period of 2009-2013, there were 55 recalls covering 3.2 million tires. Recall information is regularly published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is available on the internet.
While the recall system is certainly better than no system, there are several serious problems that led the NTSB to say in October of 2015 that the recall system was completely broken:
- Only about 20 percent of defective tires are taken off the road by means of the recall mechanism, though another 24 percent end up being taken off the road by other means, leaving more than half of defective tires in use on the roads
- Tire dealers can (but aren’t required to) register tires they sell with the manufacturer
- Most dealers don’t take the time register
- Lack of registration hampers manufacturer’s ability to identify the people who own tires that are being recalled
When you buy tires, you can register them with the manufacturer directly, but that’s something very few people do because very few people realize that registration is the only way that manufacturers will be able to locate them if there is a recall.
Modern Tire Structure & Defects
Modern tires are made up of many different types of material, including rubber, belts of steel, and other components that help keep the components together. A major problem is keeping the rubber and the steel belts from separating. Other problems involve the strength and integrity of the sidewalls.
Many specific, technical, and frequently incomprehensible terms get thrown around in tire defect cases, like nylon overlays, skim stock, body plies, and gum strips. You don’t need to know these terms if you’ve been injured in a tire defect accident, but your lawyer does. And your lawyer needs to know where to find the experts that can explain these parts and their roles in causing the accident.
Skilled Legal Representation for Defective Tire Claims
Getting compensation for injuries caused by a defective tire is a complicated process best handled by an Austin personal injury lawyer who understands the complexities of a case like this. The first job is to establish that (a) the tire was defective and (b) the defect caused the accident. That’s not an easy task—potential defendants have a lot of incentive to claim that the accident caused the tire failure rather than the other way around.
Expert testimony is usually crucial, ranging from accident reconstruction experts to experts in tire design and manufacturing, the physical effects of tire aging, and the practices of tire retailing.
At Briggle & Polan, PLLC, we have the experience to take on tire defect cases. Whether you were in the car that experienced tire failure, a different vehicle that was injured by the car with the defective tire, or are the survivor of someone who was killed in a car accident, give us a call to arrange a time for a free consultation. We can answer your questions and let you know what your next step should be. Time to file your claim is limited by state law, so make that call today.
Contact us at (512) 400-3278 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our Austin tire defect attorneys today.
I very much appreciate all their hard work and will be happy to refer to them should the need come up for friends.- Sandi
I couldn’t be happier with the services they provided.- Emily
I felt really taken care of, have and will continue to refer to my friends.- Patrick
They got me the help I? needed within a few days of hiring them.- Karina
Briggle and Polan were phenomenal.- Tiffany
$1.5 Million Work Accident Caused Brain Injury
Our client was thrown off the back of a work truck, which fractured his skull and caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury. *Net proceeds to the client were $900,052.11.
$1.3 Million Hit By Drunk Driver
Our client was run over by a drunk driver operating a company truck late at night which required multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation. *Net proceeds to our client were $571,000.00.
$1 Million Rear-End Collision Resolved
Our client was rear-ended by an insurance adjuster in a commercial vehicle causing severe back and neck injuries. *Net to the client was $346,766.03.
$450 Thousand DWI Wreck Resolved
Our client was rear-ended by a drunk driver, which injured his back and neck. *Net proceeds to the client were $229,040.12.
$450 Thousand 18 Wheeler Rollover Resolved
Our client was an employee working for a company in Montana when he was injured in a rollover collision with an 18-wheeler. *Net to the client was $214,573.81.
$400 Thousand Defective Tire Case With Co-Counsel
A man driving a cement truck was injured when his tire blew out and the cement truck rolled over. *Net to the client was $123,916.22.
$350 Thousand Distracted Driver Accident
Our client suffered a ruptured abdomen after being violently rear-ended by a distracted driver. *Net proceeds to the client was $134,418.06.
$295 Thousand 18-Wheeler Accident
Our client was sideswiped by the driver of an 18-wheeler, causing his vehicle to fly off the road and strike a telephone pole. *The net proceeds to the client were $127,018.03.
$285 Thousand 18-Wheeler Accident
Our client was hit by an 18-wheeler when it made an unsafe lane change, suffering a low-back injury. *Attorney fees & expenses were $126,436.47
$283.7 Thousand T-Boned in Intersection
Our client was involved in a car accident in Las Cruces, New Mexico and severely injured her arm in the crash. *Net proceeds to our client were $123,133.07.