Car accidents have numerous different causes, tire problems being just one of them. Here’s what to know about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit for a car accident that was caused by tires with too much or too little air inside them.
Can Car Accidents Be Caused By Improper Tire Pressure?
Yes. The pressure inside of a tire must be kept within a certain range in order to maintain safety. A tire that is too low in pressure causes too much of the rubber to come into contact with the surface of the road. The greater amount of friction will make it more difficult to brake, steer, and otherwise maneuver the car. There’s also a risk of the rubber overheating, causing damage to the tire.
Tires that are too high in pressure are at risk of a blowout, where the tire essentially “pops” like a balloon. This is because there’s not enough of the tire’s rubber on the surface of the road, in addition to the excess tension on the walls of the tire.
Who’s To Blame For a Tire Pressure Car Accident?
When determining who will pay for damages resulting from a tire pressure car accident, there are several potentially liable parties to consider:
The Vehicle Manufacturer
In some cases, a vehicle manufacturer may be held responsible for improper tire pressure if a design flaw or manufacturing defect resulted in the tire’s inability to properly maintain its pressure. Another uncommon scenario is where a vehicle’s tire pressure sensor fails to trigger when the tire pressure is beyond the manufacturer’s recommended parameters.
More often than not, the driver themselves are at fault for too much or too little pressure in their vehicle’s tires. This is usually caused by drivers who neglect to monitor their tire pressure or add air to their tires, or by drivers who put too much air in their tires. In these cases, the driver may be able to file an insurance claim with their own motor vehicle insurance carrier depending on the type of coverage they have.
If the vehicle was recently serviced and the mechanic or auto repair shop was negligent in regards to tire pressure, they may be considered an at-fault party. For example, say a mechanic was responsible for checking the vehicle’s tire pressure and ensuring all tires were filled with an appropriate amount of air and did not, they may be responsible for damages caused by the accident.
Similarly, if a mechanic did fill the tires with air and did so improperly, they would also likely be considered at fault.
How to Prove Liability & Damages After a Tire Pressure Car Accident
First and foremost, you must prove that the accident was caused by improper tire pressure. Your insurer may inform you of this, or you may need to work with an accident reconstruction specialist. Either way, you need to have on record that the collision was the direct result of improper tire pressure.
Then, you need to prove that the at-fault party is indeed at fault. This is generally done by providing evidence of the at-fault party’s mistake, such as video surveillance footage of a car repair shop neglecting to check a customer’s tire pressure when it was a service the customer paid for or was otherwise promised to them.
You’ll also need to prove that you incurred damages as a direct result of the collision and what those damages are. You can generally do this by submitting copies of important documents like your medical records or pay stubs from before the collision if you are also pursuing lost wages.
Get Help From an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
In any car accident claim, it’s in your best interests to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You may think that an attorney is out of your budget, but most accident lawyers typically take cases based on contingency, meaning that they do not require upfront payment in order to be retained for the case and only take a percentage of your winnings if the case is successful. If the case is lost, the client may only be responsible for minor paperwork fees or nothing at all.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we’re committed to helping New Hampshire and Massachusetts residents overcome the challenges brought by an unexpected car accident and its resulting damages. If you or a loved one were injured in an improper tire pressure car accident, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions. We’re available now to assist you by calling (978) 744-8000 or toll-free at (855) 693-9084.