Tire Blowout Accident Lawyer St. Louis, MO. It’s something every St. Louis driver fears: calmly driving down the highway, you hear a loud popping sound, your ride all of a sudden becomes rough and bumpy, and you veer strongly to one side, either destined to hit a barrier or oncoming traffic. Tire blowouts or failures are a sadly too frequent occurrence on Missouri roadways, and in most cases are due not to a car’s owner not properly maintaining their tires but rather because of faulty mounting or defective construction.
The tire blowout accident lawyers at Combs Law Group understand the sudden shock and trauma that an accident due to tire failure can cause drivers and passengers. Our firm also knows that many tire blowout accidents are complex, with multiple potential liable parties, and thus require an advanced level of legal knowledge that not every St. Louis personal injury firm can say they possess. Our skilled personal injury attorneys are ready to take your tire blowout accident case and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (314) 900-HELP to consult with a lawyer and find out all the legal options for your St. Louis tire blowout accident case.
What Causes A Tire Blowout Accident?
Studies have consistently shown that tire blowout accidents are most often single-vehicle accidents, usually due to how sudden and unpredictable they are. Blowouts are also hard to control and combat: the handling characteristics of a car change depending on which tire goes down, as well as whether your car is front-, rear-, or four-wheel drive. Blowouts can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Normal wear and tear
- Mismatched tires
- Not being properly inflated (both too much and too little air can cause blowouts)
- Hitting a curb or other road hazard
- Overloading (putting too much weight on tires with low profiles, for instance)
- Aged tires, or tires that had been stationary/not in use for several years
- Manufacturing/design defects
- The tire not being properly mounted to the rim
- Improper flat tire patching/repair
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have found that in 2017, the most recent year national fatality statistics were available, 738 people died in traffic collisions caused by tire failures. It is estimated that 78,000 car accidents a year are the result of one or more tires blowing out while driving.
Who’s At Fault In A Tire Blowout Accident?
Unlike more traditional St. Louis car accidents, where it is often fairly easy to ascertain who was at fault and to what degree, tire blowout accidents can have multiple parties who have at least a share of blame, such as:
The driver/owner of a vehicle. The operator of a vehicle is expected to properly maintain their car and keep it in road-going condition, including proper tire maintenance. Not regularly rotating or inflating a car’s tires is seen as not only a sign of negligence, but also simply irresponsible behavior for a car owner. In addition, they are expected to be aware of road hazards and adjust their driving habits accordingly.
The tire manufacturer. Manufacturer liability is heavily considered when tire blowouts are due to a defect, but this is not always easy to prove. It could be that NHTSA had known about issues with a particular make and model of tire, issued a recall, and the owner either was unaware of that recall or simply ignored it. In addition, drivers could potentially identify defects themselves during a routine inspection and have the tire at issue replaced.
- The shop that installed/sold your tires. Tire shop customers expect to be sold tires that are in good working order and to have them properly installed and mounted on their vehicle. If you were knowingly sold old or defective tires, or if improper installation is determined to be a direct cause of your blowout, the outlet your purchased them from and/or the garage that installed them can be held liable.
- The vehicle manufacturer. Since 2007, every car or truck sold in the United States is required by law to have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) as standard equipment. These are usually sensors attached to a valve stem that detect the current tire pressure and alert drivers when the pressure gets too low. If the TPMS malfunctioned and did not notify a driver that they needed to add air, the company that made your car could be liable to share at least a part of your damages.
- The town or city in which your accident occurred. If a pothole, uneven pavement, or another road hazard was the cause of your tire damage, the municipality or private property owner may share some fault for your damage, as they have a legal responsibility to maintain a safe and secure roadway for all who use it. However, this can be a bit difficult to prove: municipalities can easily say that a driver could have swerved or slowed down to avoid damage, thus attributing the tire blowout to driver error, but as anyone who has driven in traffic knows this can at times be impossible.
It is also important to know that Missouri is what is known as a pure comparative fault state. This means that damages are reduced or assessed based on the percentage any and all parties in an accident are deemed responsible. For instance, if it is determined that a tire company was 50% responsible for your accident, the municipality where it occurred 25% responsible, and the driver 25% liable, the driver can collect damages from both parties but their total award will be reduced by an amount equal to their liability.
Contact A St. Louis Tire Blowout Accident Lawyer
As you can gather, tire blowout accidents in St. Louis are often complicated cases, and require a personal injury lawyer with legal acumen and knowledge to properly handle these sorts of cases. The tire blowout lawyers at Combs Law Group are proud to say that they have helped many people throughout the St. Louis area navigate the legal process after being in a tire blowout accident, and helped them obtain the results they deserve.
There is a reason why a growing number of St. Louis personal injury clients are choosing the Combs Law Group. They provide an unmatched combination of personal service and fearless legal representation that gets their clients the maximum compensation while allowing them to feel at ease throughout the legal process, all while working on a “no win, no fee” basis. Contact them today to schedule a free discussion with an attorney about your St. Louis personal injury case.