Most people are completely unaware of the potential danger a defective tire can cause. Many car wrecks are caused by tire failures. Often, the families of those injured or killed in tire failure wrecks do not even know that a tire failure was the cause.
Tire failure often results in catastrophic injury or death in automobile crashes. The primary reason for this is that when a tire fails, it is nearly impossible to control the vehicle. Most catastrophic tire failures occur at high speed. When a tire is suspected of causing a serious wreck, it is vitally important to recover as many pieces of the tire as possible because a highly specialized expert tire analysis may be necessary to prove the cause of the failure.
Most people believe that it is possible to judge the quality of a tire by looking at the tread depth. The thought is that if the tire has a lot of tread then it should be good for lots of miles. Sadly, this is absolutely false. Tires can be defectively manufactured just like any other product. If there was a mistake in the manufacturing process or design of the tire it may fail at high speed causing the tire tread to separate from the rest of the tire. When this happens, the tire can instantaneously lose air pressure making the vehicle impossible to control. Most drivers who experience a tread separation will react to the noise the tread makes as it hits the wheel well of the vehicle, and the reaction frequently increases the inability of the driver to control the vehicle. Defects in the manufacturing process or design of the tire are not obvious and usually cannot be identified by merely looking at the tread.
Another issue in tire litigation involves the aging of tires. Tires degrade over time just like anything else, but the sinister thing about tires is that they degrade just as fast whether they are being used or sitting on the shelf. A new tire sitting on the shelf at a tire store or in the trunk of your car as a spare for several years can be just as dangerous and likely to fail as a tire that has been in use for the same period of time.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile wreck where a tire is suspected of failure, it is vitally important that you immediately contact an attorney with experience with tire litigation as soon as possible so that the tire evidence can be preserved and evaluated by a competent tire expert. It is important to preserve the failed tire carcass and locate any pieces of tread that might be lying around the crash scene. Sometimes the wrecker crews will only save the tire tread lying in the road. The chunk of tread still lying in the ditch could be the most important piece of evidence in your case. It is also vitally important to preserve any vehicles involved together with the remaining tires so that the experts can evaluate all of the physical evidence.
If you or a family member have been involved in a wreck and a tire defect is suspected to be a cause, you should call my office right away. I do not charge people to talk about their cases.