Defective Tire Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
Tires are one of the most important features of an automobile, yet one of the most overlooked. As the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road, tires are fundamental in a car’s ability to accelerate, stop, and steer. When a tire performs as it should, a driver rarely notices. Perhaps this is why all too often they are some of the last safety features to be replaced when an issue arises.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2017 alone, over 730 traffic fatalities can be attributed to an issue with a tire. Defects in particular play a large role in these types of accidents. From defective designs to defective manufacturing, a tire that fails to perform as it should is a recipe for an accident. And when these accidents occur, injuries can result.
If you were injured in a car accident and suspect a defective tire may have played a role, contact our defective tire lawyer in Fort Lauderdale today. With years of experience litigating these types of cases, the lawyers at Schlacter Law know how important compensation is following an accident and we will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Defects
Modern tires are lightyears ahead of their early counterparts. When the automobile was first invented wood was the material of choice for its wheels. Durability and safety were hardly a top concern at the time, as wooden wheels would wear away quickly and provide very little traction.
Tires have come a long way in the last 100 years. Today’s tires consist primarily of a rubber outer layer with a tread which aids in gripping the road. Its innermost layer is called the casing, and in between is a belt system designed to straddle all the way around for support. Sidewalls also assist in supporting the weight of a vehicle.
When a defective tire fails there are often common issues, such as:
- Tread separation
- Retread failure
- No separation prevention
- Belt separation
- Manufacturing defects
- Missing components
- Sidewall failure
When a tire fails to perform as it should it is typically considered defective. There are two types of defects that an attorney could argue existed in a product liability lawsuit. These defects are:
- A design defect
- A manufacturing defect
A design defect is one that exists in the planning phase of production and exists throughout the product line. A defect may exist in the overall design, including a poor decision in the use of material, dimensions, and numerous other design elements. With a design defect, the plaintiff needs to show that there was an alternative design that would have been safer and just as economically feasible as the defective design.
A manufacturing defect exists after the planning phase and occurs while the product is being produced. Because it was not planned, the defect was not intended and simply deviated from the original concept. The defect might occur in some products, but not necessarily every product.
When a tire fails, whether due to a design defect or a manufacturing defect, the results can be catastrophic either way. This could include severe damage to the vehicle and wheels and could contribute to a serious accident where the driver and passengers are severely injured. When a tire contributed to an accident, the company that produced it should be held responsible and a defective tire lawyer can help. A consultation with a Fort Lauderdale tire blowout attorney such as Schlacter Law can help you understand your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Strict Liability in Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to defective products, a claim may be successful under the doctrine of strict liability. Strict liability would hold a party liable, even if they used reasonable care to prevent the injury. Unlike negligence, where it is essential to prove that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and this duty was breached, strict liability merely needs to show that the plaintiff was injured even if the defendant’s actions were not intentional.
Evaluating strict liability is complex and requires an evaluation by an experienced defective tire lawyer. Even in cases where strict liability might be used to argue a claim for compensation, there are instances where that argument might fail. Call us today so a Fort Lauderdale defective tire lawyer can help you determine the cause of an injury.
Ways to Avoid an Accident
Even if a vehicle is equipped with defective wheels, there are measures a car owner can take to help reduce an accident. Some of these measures include:
- Ensuring that all tires are properly inflated
- Periodically inspecting the wheels to ensure there is no noticeable damage
- Inspecting for any sharp object that may have penetrated
- Inspecting the tread to ensure it is within state and local limits
- Making sure a tire is sized correctly for the rim it is installed on
Improperly inflated tires are one of the biggest issues concerning a failure. To ensure that all tires are at the correct pressure, a vehicle’s manufacturer will print the proper pressure levels on the inside of the driver’s door. It is important to periodically check to ensure they are at the correct level.
If a tire is damaged it is more likely to fail. Hitting a curb could scuff and damage the sidewall or tread, causing it to weaken, and making it more prone to failure. If a vehicle hits a curb, or any irregular road surface, be sure to inspect for any damage and replace the tire immediately if you suspect they were compromised.
Sharp objects, such as nails and glass, can easily cause a puncture. Pressure may decrease slowly, and a slow leak will typically indicate that a small puncture exists somewhere. Replacing or patching the tire is necessary to ensure its integrity and that it can sufficiently hold the proper pressure.
States have guidelines for how much tread must be present to pass inspection. When a tread is worn it is more prone to lose pressure and fail. Be sure to have them inspected at the time intervals required by your state and change them if the tread is beyond those limits.
Lastly, tires that are sized improperly for the wheels they’re mounted on could easily cause a failure. Be sure that the tire and wheel size match properly before purchasing and installing them. Additionally, even if mounted on the correct wheel size, some tires could cause the wheel to be too large to fit in the wheel well of the vehicle. This can present a problem when turning as the wheels might rub on the inner well, causing tread wear and a possible loss of pressure. Before using new tires be sure that they properly fit within the wheel wells of the vehicle they’ll be used with.
If you have any of the foregoing problems, it may have been caused by another party that may be held liable. Call Schlacter Law today to evaluate your case.
Tire defects can exist in any tire, and their failure can lead to catastrophic injury and property damage. If you were involved in an accident and suspect a defective tire may have contributed, contact a Fort Lauderdale defective tire lawyer today. We can help.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to file a lawsuit right away?
If you were injured in an accident there is a limit on the amount of time available to file a lawsuit. Known as the statute of limitations, the time limit in Florida is four years from when the accident occurred for a negligence lawsuit. If a lawsuit isn’t filed within this time period then the case might be dismissed, eliminating any chance of receiving compensation. Be sure to talk to a defective tire lawyer today for an evaluation.
What if I was partly at fault for the accident?
Florida follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This allows a plaintiff to receive compensation even if they were partly at fault for an accident that led to their injuries. To determine the amount of compensation that would be awarded the court would reduce the amount by the percentage the plaintiff was at fault. For example, if the plaintiff would have received an award of $100,000 but was 30% at fault, the award would be reduced by $30,000. Consult a Fort Lauderdale attorney for more information on comparative negligence.
How much does an attorney cost?
Attorneys typically get paid through a contingency fee which would give them a percentage of any money they are able to win on your behalf. the percentage is usually between 33.33% and 40%. Because the lawyer is only paid if they are successful, this allows a victim to retain the services of a Fort Lauderdale attorney without having to pay any money upfront.