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Tire Defect Investigation

Each year, about 23,000 crashes are caused by tire blowouts.

Since 1973, the attorneys of Sanders & Parks in Phoenix, Arizona have represented people locally and nationwide in cases involving injuries caused by automobile defects. Many of these cases involve defective tires. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident caused by tread separation or any other form of tire defect, our lawyers can help you.

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Tire Defect Investigation

Litigation against tire manufacturers is complex. However, it is increasingly clear that many accidents and rollovers caused by a tire blow out are due to a design defect in the tire. Accordingly, an attorney with experience in tire defect litigation should review the accident facts for a possible product liability claim against a tire manufacturer.

The most importance evidence in an auto or tire defect case is the vehicle that was in the accident. Without it, an automotive defect case is difficult if not impossible to establish. It takes time and the assistance of people who have expertise in accident reconstruction, forensics, or biomechanical analysis to identify if a defect in a tire contributed to the accident.

Preliminary Accident Reconstruction

A preliminary accident reconstruction will help determine if you have a viable product liability case against a tire manufacturer. For example, excessive speed and accident force levels may eliminate the possibility the tire failed. An accident reconstruction can determine collision speeds, angles of impact and departure, and changes in velocity. Many tire blowouts result in a vehicle rollover accident. Reconstruction of a rollover accident will determine the number of rolls, roll distance and unique aspects of the terrain, such as slope heights, drop heights and distances.

Forensic Examination

A forensic examination of the vehicle includes a detailed analysis of the interior portions of the car. One of the objectives in a forensic examination of the interior is to identify occupant impact marks, such as a head print in the roof. This analysis can help determine the actual cause of injury and connect that injury to a defect. A forensic examination should also include a non-destructive inspection of the seat belt. When a belt has been worn during an accident, forensic markings sometimes referred to as "load marks" can often be found on both the seat belt webbing and the D-ring. In addition to proving the occupant was belted, these markings can also demonstrate where the belt locked and whether it was snug or slack at the time of lockup.

Biomechanical Analysis

A preliminary biomechanical analysis builds upon the forensic examination and accident reconstruction. The objective of a biomechanical analysis is to determine how the occupant's injuries occurred and to determine if the injury would have occurred but for a defect. A biomechanical analysis combines the disciplines of engineering, medicine and physics to determine how occupants move during an accident and how bodies interact with the vehicle interior. A biomechanical analysis also requires a careful review of the early medical records to determine whether the occupant's injuries are consistent with key forensic evidence, such as potential head strike marks.

Conclusion

Victims of accidents due to a tire defect suffer serious injury and often death. A successful claim against a tire manufacturer for a defective product is complex and often involves expert analysis. Besides tire experts, these cases usually require experts in accident reconstruction, vehicle dynamics, biomechanical engineering, seat belts, metallurgy, human factors, and warnings. An attorney who is experienced in tire defect litigation can lead the exhaustive and thorough investigation that is necessary to form the basis of a viable claim, ultimately maximizing the plaintiff's recovery.

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