Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident Caused by a Defective Tire?

When disaster strikes, who is responsible? That is the key question most personal injury lawyers spend their time answering. One question we have heard from time to time is, who is responsible for a truck accident caused by a defective tire?

Driving is not just about getting behind the wheel to get to your destination. It’s not just getting from point A to point B. It is also making sure you and your passengers are safe. But here’s the tough part, no matter how safe you drive, or how much you inspect your car before you begin driving, or how careful you are on the road sometimes accidents happen.

How Common Are Truck Accidents Caused by A Defective Tire?

Auto accidents, and in particular truck accidents, caused by a defective tire is dangerously common. Over 736 auto accident deaths were caused by tires in some way. (NHTSA)

Though not the most common type of auto accident, a truck accident can be even more deadly and destructive purely based on weight and speed. Truck accidents involving other cars can be especially destructive.

tractor tire

Who is Liable for A Truck Accident Caused By A Defective Tire?

This answer is something you may hear from a lawyer from time to time: it depends. Without the full facts of the truck accident case, it becomes difficult to generalize based on no information at all. What we can say is that some comparative negligence may be at play as well.

Comparative negligence reduces the number of damages that you can recover in a negligence claim based on how much you or another party may have contributed to the injuries caused.

So if you played some small part in causing the accident, even if ultimately the truck accident was caused by a defective tire you may recover less for your injuries. However, you MUST always speak with your lawyer before you decide if that’s the case.

Truck Driver Liability

How often are you checking your tires? We can all remember when we first took our driver’s license test, and how we were supposed to inspect the car. Well, according to Florida law, all truck drivers are supposed to inspect their trucks regularly. Section § 396.11

It is the driver’s responsibility to inspect the vehicle. However, some tire defects may be invisible or not show up during the regular inspection. In these cases, the truck driver’s liability will likely decrease, if the lawyer can prove that they inspected the truck and the defect was unnoticeable.

Additionally, a driver may have been forced to use an illegal maneuver which could have exacerbated the issue. So even though a truck accident caused by a defective tire may seem cut and dry, it could be caused by driver fault in some way.

Car Driver Liability

A study reference by the Tampa Bay Newswire, from earlier this decade, found that 91% of truck accidents were caused by cars. (FMCSA)

Which leaves a staggering 9% of all truck accidents caused by other cars. What does this mean for your potential truck accident lawsuit? Well, it might mean nothing at all. We always encourage victims to contact a truck accident lawyer before making any judgment calls yourself.

Manufacturer Liability?

Some tire manufacturers take shortcuts to speed up production and meet market demands. Some have taken steps to lower production costs while enjoying increased profits.

Unfortunately, tire companies who cut corners blatantly ignore the negative consequences of selling poor quality tires with poor quality. Consumers have the right to file a liability claim against tire manufacturers, distributors, and the shop owner.

Courts in Florida have two theories to determine what happened in a defective tire lawsuit; namely product liability theory or negligence theory.

Additionally, determining who is liable depends on the type of tire defect. So, if it is a manufacturing defect, then, you can file a lawsuit again the manufacturing firm. Or like if the tire falls off from the truck after replacement, it could be the mechanic’s fault.

Product Liability Law in Florida

In Florida, an injured person due to a defective tire has a maximum of 4 years from the date of injury to file a claim under product liability. On the other hand, the family of a victim who died due to defective tire injuries has two years to file a lawsuit.

Under the Product Liability Law in Florida, victims of truck accidents caused by a defective tire can ask for an experienced vehicle defects claim attorney to determine the appropriate type of defect that matches your circumstances.

There are 3 types of defects under product liability: manufacturing defects, design defects, and negligence or failure to warn.

Manufacturing defects refer to defects that develop during the manufacturing process. These are the most common types of defects and they can be caused by faulty machinery on the factory floor or even storage issues.

Design defects cover elements in the design that make tires dangerous to use. These are less common and can sometimes result in massive recalls, especially after a truck accident caused by a defective tire sets a legal precedent. In this case, find a personal injury attorney who is also a defective product expert.

Manufacturer’s negligence feres to instances where the manufacturer failed to provide warnings or willingly manufacture truck tires that they knew were dangerous or flawed. Above all, this will hold the manufacturer responsible for the defective tires that are being distributed in the market and could be cause for a class-action lawsuit. This is one of the times you can sue the manufacturer for the accident.

Speak With a Lawyer

When an accident happens due to a defective tire, it is a must for the victim to take charge and have the car or the tires evaluated. Being proactive is only your first step in making a claim and be compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional suffering. And anyone who suffered from life-changing accidents caused by a defective tire deserves compensation.

Despite having excellent driving skills, accidents can still happen due to environmental issues, traffic situations, or defective tires.

Speak with a lawyer today: (800) 560-5059.


About The Author

Michael Feiner

Michael Feiner

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Michael A. Feiner is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 2001, Michael has devoted his practice to representing plaintiffs throughout Florida in various tort and strict liability cases and has successfully litigated cases against national insurance companies, large public companies, and governmental agencies, resulting in tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He has handled all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of plaintiffs, including automobile negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, product liability, dog bites, and sexual harassment. Michael’s product liability case against Microsoft, as well as his representation of victims of sexual harassment and abuse by physicians, has garnered him important media attention at both the local and national levels. Michael is an experienced trial lawyer and successfully argued an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. In the reported decision Ortlieb v. Butts, 849 So.2d 1165 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), Michael persuaded the Fourth District Court of Appeal that a directed verdict on liability was appropriate where the defendant did not rebut the presumption of negligence of a rear driver in a rear-end collision.