When automobile accidents in New York are caused by intoxicated, distracted or speeding drivers, establishing responsibility may be a fairly straightforward process. However, determining who is to blame for an accident caused by a tire blowout can be more challenging. In these situations, experienced personal injury attorneys may study accident investigation reports closely before deciding whether to initiate litigation against the driver involved or the manufacturer or supplier of the tire.
If police or car accident investigators determine that a blowout was caused by a tire that was worn or not properly inflated, a lawsuit will usually be filed against the driver of the vehicle involved. Motorists owe a duty of care to all other road users, and they are expected to check the tires on their vehicles regularly. However, when the tire involved was relatively new or evidence suggests that it was inspected prior to the accident, a product liability lawsuit may be filed against its maker or installer.
Product liability lawsuits usually feature defendants with deep pockets and much to lose, and expert testimony is often needed to explain to juries how insufficient testing, inadequate quality control measures or lax oversight during the manufacturing process can result in defective or dangerous products. This can make pursuing a product liability claim in a tire blowout case expensive, but plaintiffs who prevail could be awarded punitive as well as compensatory damages.
While the defendants in car accident lawsuits are generally concerned only with the details of the specific case involved, companies facing product liability litigation often have other, and sometimes more pressing, concerns. Admitting liability in this kind of lawsuit could expose manufacturers to a rush of similar claims, and even unsuccessful product liability litigation can seriously damage brand names and corporate reputations. Experienced personal injury attorneys may be aware of these considerations, and they could urge companies to settle these claims quietly and quickly.