Verdicts for Tire Explosions Include a $1.2 Million Award

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Tire explosions are more common than you might think. The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that tire explosions cause 11,000 collisions each year and 612 fatalities. This sudden loss of tire pressure makes it difficult for a driver to maintain control over their vehicle and frequently impacts other cars. 

There are several reasons for a tire explosion, such as lack of maintenance, excessive wear and tear, or defects in the unit’s manufacture and design. It is the latter that we will look at and provide a case review to illustrate how this happens and the results of a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Dangers in Tire Explosions

The biggest danger after a tire explosion is loss of vehicular stability. Truckers are trained to recover control after tire explosions. However, passenger vehicle drivers are not. In addition, drivers never know when tire explosions will occur, so they can do little to prepare for them. 

Mechanics are also in danger when inflating a tire or mounting one. Specific problems such as bead failure can be blamed for the explosion, which is usually linked to a tire defect. 

Defect Types in Tire Explosions

The most common types of tire defects that can lead to an explosion are:

  • Explosion due to tire inflation: On some occasions, a tire can explode when it is mounted and inflated. This is frequently due to tire defects during the design or manufacturing phase of the product.
  • Separation of the tread and belt: This type of defect is the most common. It involves the plies, which help seal in air, and occurs when the plies separate from one another. This makes it more likely a tire explosion or blowout will occur.
  • Bead wire failure: The bead wire is the reason for many tire explosions during inflation due to weakness. Excessive weakness in the bead wire can also lead to highway tire blowouts. 
  • Sidewall failure: This is a common element in a tire blowout.
$1.2 Million Verdict in a Tire Explosion Lawsuit

In 2017, a mechanic was changing a tire on a large farming machine when it exploded, causing him severe and permanent injuries. In this instance, the bead wire would not fit properly on the rim, and the mechanic demounted the tire and reinflated it when it exploded. He applied for workers’ comp and received it. Afterward, the mechanic and his employer filed a product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactured the tire for breach of warranty, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn. 

The plaintiff’s injuries included a lacerated spleen, internal bleeding, intestinal contusions, arm laceration, and arterial damage. The jury awarded $1.2 million to the plaintiff in a mixed fault verdict. Of this, the tire manufacturer was obligated to pay the plaintiff $342,791.

Product Liability Cases

It is crucial to have an experienced attorney at your side when you are involved in a product liability lawsuit since they can be convoluted and challenging to resolve successfully for the plaintiff. Manufacturers have a big budget for fighting lawsuits against their products and do not admit liability. 

An experienced attorney will examine the product for defects, using experts who can help provide proof the product was defective. That is why it is essential to preserve the defective product, including those involved in a tire explosion. 

California Strict Liability

Under California’s strict liability law, proving that negligence was involved is not necessary. Instead, plaintiffs must prove the product was defective, the defects caused the accident and their injuries, and the product was used in an unaltered state. Your product liability lawyer can help ensure that the proof you provide is adequate

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you are injured by a defective product, you need the legal insight an experienced attorney can provide. Call (916) 921-6400 for my free and friendly advice. I can also be reached at (800) 404-5400 or online.

I’ve helped many Sacramento and Northern Californian residents resolve their product liability issues successfully, as well as car accident injuries, wrongful deaths, and other forms of trauma.

Learn more about my firm by clicking on the links below:

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Photo attribution: Image by Etienne Marais from Pixabay 

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