The Legal Consequences That May Be Involved with Flat Tires

At some point or another, most drivers will have a flat tire. It may be caused by a tire puncture from driving over a sharp object, such as a nail, broken glass, or piece of construction debris; the result of normal wear and tear; a leaky valve stem; or something else. Whatever the cause, flats often seem to happen at the worst possible time and in the worst place. If you're in traffic, you can't just stop in the middle of the road, but driving on a flat tire can ruin your rim. Then you'll not only have the expense of a new tire, but you'll also be shelling out hundreds more if you have to replace the rim. It's usually okay to go a few yards to get to a safe place, but driving more than about 100 yards almost certainly means you'll damage the rim. And if the vehicle has all-wheel drive, it could be damaged as well, which means even more expensive repairs.

If an accident occurs as a result of the flat, you could be facing more than the costs of repairs. There could be legal consequences. Legal consequences from a flat tire? Really? Yes. Every state has laws about unsafe driving. When a tire is flat, vehicles pull to one side to the extent that makes it hard to drive in a straight line. If you're on a motorcycle and have a flat tire, you no longer have the same level control of either speed or direction. In either case, driving with a flat tire may be considered unsafe. Having a flat tire is, at best, an annoying nuisance. At worst, it can be dangerous, expensive, and have legal consequences.

Flat tire

If There Are Injuries

A flat tire can result in an accident, and people can be injured in accidents. A driver whose vehicle has a tire blowout is often held accountable for any damages caused because drivers are responsible for keeping their vehicles in good driving condition.

Sometimes, though, an accident is beyond the driver's control. If an auto shop mounted the wrong type of tire for the vehicle, they might be liable or partially liable. Or the tire could be defective. If a manufacturer produced a defective product, the fault could lie with them. If a retailer knew they were selling a defective tire, it's possible they could share in the liability.

When an accident involves injuries, damages can quickly become very expensive. The injured plaintiff will seek compensation for losses, both economic and noneconomic. These might include:

  • Medical care
  • Hospital bills
  • Cost of medications and medical supplies
  • Physical therapy (if required) or other treatments
  • Lost income and lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering

Prevention Is Always the Best Practice

Practicing good safety habits and preventing an accident is always the best practice. To help prevent a flat tire, always check for good tread when purchasing tires, avoid driving near construction zones, check tires regularly for signs of wear, and keep tires properly inflated.

Unfortunately, even the most careful, safety-conscious people can have an unexpected flat tire. If a flat tire results in an accident, it's wise to get good legal representation. Contact George Stein Steelhorse Law at 1-888-38-COURT or chat live with us online to tell us about your accident.

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