Who’s Liable For a Tire Blowout Accident in New York?

tire blowout accident

Few things are more terrifying on the road than a sudden tire blowout. In an instant, you can lose control of your vehicle as it swerves and shimmies violently. These accidents often result in serious injuries and vehicle damage when drivers overcorrect or collide with other cars, guardrails, or objects.

But who is actually liable when a tire blowout causes a devastating crash in New York?

The answer isn’t always cut and dry. It could be you, the manufacturer, the other driver, or sometimes multiple parties could share the blame. Ultimately, it depends on the cause of the tire failure and the specifics of the case.

At Held, Held & Held, our Brooklyn personal injury lawyers break down the key factors in determining fault.

What Causes Tire Blowout Accidents?

Before examining liability, it’s important to understand the main reasons why tires can experience sudden, explosive blowouts while driving:

Old Tires

As tires age, their rubber compounds dry out and deteriorate, increasing blowout risks. Many automakers recommend replacing tires once they reach 6-10 years old, regardless of remaining tread depth.

Overloading a Vehicle

Carrying too much weight, whether passengers or cargo, can cause excessive heat buildup and put dangerous levels of stress on tire sidewalls.

Poor Tire Pressure

Underinflated tires are more susceptible to blowouts, especially in high-heat situations. Overinflated tires are also problematic.

Manufacturing Defects

Design flaws or shoddy craftsmanship from the factory can create interior tire weaknesses prone to explosive failure under certain conditions.

Poor Road Conditions

Potholes, debris, or other hazards can cause impact damage and blowouts in otherwise healthy tires.

Extreme Weather Conditions

Heat waves can accelerate tire rubber degradation. Cold snaps increase rigidity and blowout risks.

What Are the Signs of a Tire Blowout?

Paying attention to warning signs can sometimes give drivers a few vital seconds to try and regain control before a blowout happens:

  • Thumping or flapping noises could indicate internal tire damage
  • Excessive vibration or shaking, especially at high speeds
  • Steering difficulties with the vehicle “pulling” to one side
  • Low tire pressure warning lights illuminating
  • Cracking or bulging on the tire’s exterior side walls

Recognizing the blowout is imminent can allow you to safely decelerate and guide your vehicle to a safe area for repairs or a tow truck.

Who’s Liable for a Tire Blowout Accident?

In the aftermath of a tire blowout accident, liability often hinges on identifying the blowout’s underlying cause and which party was negligent:

Scenario 1: Vehicle Owner Negligence

If poor maintenance like bald tires, underinflation, or overloading caused the blowout, the owner is likely liable.

Scenario 2: Manufacturing Defect

If a defective tire was to blame, the manufacturer or distributor could be held liable through a product liability claim.

Scenario 3: Road Hazards/Conditions

When unavoidable road conditions like potholes, debris, or construction zones factor in, the municipality or contractor may share liability.

Scenario 4: No Clear Cause

If the blowout seems patently unpreventable, no one may be assigned fault from a liability standpoint.

Working with skilled personal injury attorneys like those at Held, Held & Held is crucial for conducting thorough investigations to identify the negligent party and prove their liability.

New York’s Negligence Laws and Tire Blowout Accidents

It’s important to note that even if a tire blowout victim was partially negligent and contributed to the cause of their accident, they may still be able to recover damages in New York – just not the full amount.

This is because New York follows a “pure comparative negligence” model that allows injury victims to get compensated proportionally to their percentage of fault in an accident.

For example, if a manufacturing defect primarily caused a tire blowout but the victim’s tire tread was also dangerously worn, they could be assigned 20% of the fault by the court. In this scenario, the victim would be able to recover 80% of the total damages from the tire manufacturer.

There are no restrictions on the percentage of fault—a victim could technically be 99% at fault and still collect 1% of the damages from other liable parties under pure comparative negligence rules.

However, assigning any percentage of contributory negligence can severely limit the amount of compensation that is ultimately recovered, especially in catastrophic injury cases with millions of dollars in damages at stake.

This makes it crucial to work with an experienced Brooklyn tire blowout accident attorney who can:

  • Thoroughly investigate all potential sources of liability beyond just the victim
  • Build a strong defense against attempts to inflate the victim’s percentage of fault
  • Present clear evidence of other parties’ negligence that caused or contributed to the blowout
  • Calculate and advocate for the maximum recoverable damages owed to the victim

At Held, Held & Held, our legal team has successfully represented many tire blowout victims and protected their ability to secure fair compensation, even when they were initially deemed partially culpable. We know how to leverage New York’s comparative negligence statutes in our clients’ favor.

Ultimately, whether you can recover full damages or just a portion hinges on having skilled legal representation examine your tire blowout accident from every angle. Don’t simply accept that you were at fault and unable to get compensated—let the professionals at Held, Held & Held properly evaluate your rights and options first.

What to Do If You’re in a Tire Blowout Accident

Should you experience a sudden blowout while driving in New York, remembering these steps can help prevent further injury or damage:

If You Experience a Tire Blowout

  • Grip the steering wheel firmly and keep your vehicle heading straight
  • Remove your foot from the accelerator and allow the vehicle to coast
  • Do not hit the brakes! This could cause your car to spin uncontrollably
  • Once slowed, safely guide your vehicle onto the shoulder or nearest exit
  • Only then should you apply the brakes gently and find a safe place to stop

Once stopped, you can assess the situation and any damage. Call for roadside assistance, document the accident scene thoroughly if another vehicle was involved, and then seek medical attention for any potential injuries before contacting an attorney.

While tire blowouts are a scary scenario, they don’t have to automatically result in a devastating accident. Remaining calm and remembering the proper safety protocols can help avoid escalating the situation.

Held, Held & Held: Brooklyn’s Tire Blowout Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in the New York City area due to a tire blowout collision, don’t try to navigate the complex liability question on your own. Securing fair compensation often depends on proving negligence by the tire manufacturer, mechanic, or even a municipality responsible for hazardous road conditions.

At Held, Held & Held, our skilled team of Brooklyn personal injury attorneys have decades of experience investigating blowout accidents and establishing liability for our clients’ painful injuries and accident damages. We know how to gather the evidence needed to build a compelling case, whether against a negligent driver, mechanic, tire company, or another third party.

Don’t trust insurance companies to take your claim seriously after a blowout collision – they have a vested interest in minimizing their financial exposure. Our dedicated legal team will calculate the fair settlement you need to recover while aggressively protecting your rights at every turn.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation on your potential tire blowout accident case. We’ll review the details, explain your legal options for pursuing compensation, and outline the next steps for securing justice with no upfront costs or fees for our services.

Author Bio

Edward Held is the founding member of Held, Held & Held, a family-owned multi-practice law firm in Brooklyn, NY. With more than 40 years of experience, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including personal injury, real estate, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and estate law.

Edward received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School and is a former President of the New York Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has been admitted into the Supreme Court of the United States and the New York State Courts.

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