Any accident can be a scary experience, but tire blowouts are particularly frightening. Whether from a stray nail in the road or from an incorrectly pressurized tire, blowouts can be dangerous and can lead to injury. Although accidents between two vehicles generally fault someone who then pays for repairs, tire blowouts and flats are sometimes more of a gray area. When you have a tire blowout, here’s what you need to know.
What is an at-fault accident?
Put simply, being “at fault” for an accident means that you are the reason for the accident. Usually, it’s easy to determine fault in an accident when a driver breaks a law like running a red light through an intersection or performing a U-turn on a street where they aren’t permitted. Generally speaking, most states are fault states, meaning that if you are the cause of an accident you and your insurance company will be responsible for damages.
How do tire blowouts factor into determining fault?
While the above examples are pretty cut-and-dry, an accident involving a tire blowout is a bit more complicated. In a situation where there was no reasonable way for you to avoid hitting what caused the blowout, you will rarely be placed at fault. This means that if avoiding the deep pothole or broken glass that caused your blowout would have required you to swerve into oncoming traffic, you will have a strong defense.
There are some cases where you may be placed at fault for the blowout, though. For example, if you were texting and distracted while driving and could have avoided the blowout if you had been paying attention to the road, you’ll likely be found responsible for the accident. Another way you might be found at fault is if your ill-maintained car caused the blowout. Remember that rotating and changing your tires is an important part of vehicle maintenance. The same goes for motorcycle riders, so make sure that you’re replacing your old tires for new Dunlop motorcycle tires when the tread starts to wear down. If you are sued and the mechanic’s records show that you haven’t been keeping up with your car or bike’s maintenance, you could be in big trouble.
When to speak with a lawyer
Although it would be nice to pretend that the only damages that come from a blown tire are to the tire itself, that sadly isn’t the case. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “78,392 crashes occur annually due to flat tires or blowouts.” With collisions and accidents come injury and property damage, all reasons to consult with a legal team about your case. If you were injured in the accident, a personal injury lawyer like Davis Kelin Law Firm can be helpful to speak with. If charges are pressed against you for damages beyond what your insurer will cover, having the right legal team in your corner can be the difference between owing a large settlement and appropriately defending your case.
Tire blowouts may seem random, but with proper maintenance, you can minimize your risk for having one. In the event that you are in an accident because of a blowout, it’s important to determine whether or not you’re truly at fault. If you’ve been keeping good care of your vehicle and could not have avoided the blowout any other way, you’ll likely not be found responsible. If you are taken to court over the accident, though, there are plenty of ways to gain legal counsel. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you determine whether or not the event constituted an at-fault accident or not.