If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an auto accident, you can usually expect that the driver is responsible for the accident and injuries. However, there are some situations where the manufacturers of vehicle parts, and even the legal system designed to keep these defective parts out of vehicles, can also hold some legal liability.
A perfect example of this was presented when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) discovered that an investigation into defective tire recall system was warranted. It all began when a Florida car accident killed two people and injured eight others because of defective tires on the van that was in the accident. The tires had been recalled, but the owner of the vehicle and the mechanics who worked on the vehicle were unaware of this.
At least 33,000 United States accidents are caused by defective tires every year. In most situations, if the tires have been recalled, the driver knows nothing about it. Thus, the driver can be held responsible for deaths and injuries that occur in an accident where the driver’s tires were defective, even if he or she never knew that this was the case.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it would be wise to contact a Miami personal injury attorney right away to learn more about your rights and potential liability.
Have Your Tires Been Recalled?
It’s important to know whether or not your tires have been recalled and determined to be unsafe, but it’s not a simple task to find out. Thanks to the ineffective and outdated government recall methods, it takes some time and effort to discover the truth about your tires. You can’t simply trust in your mechanic, because even mechanics are not typically trained to identify recalled tires. As the owner of the vehicle, it will be on you to find out.
The first thing that you’ll need to find out if your tires have been recalled is the serial number, which can be found on the side of your tires. You’ll want to note that the first seven to eight numbers will be the serial code and the last four numbers will be the date of manufacture. Go to Safecar.gov to enter the serial number and search for the tire. That sounds simple, but it’s going to take a bit more effort than that. Once you’ve searched for your tire’s serial number, you have to look through several documents until you can find when the tire was manufactured and whether or not a recall was instated for that timeframe.
Alternatively, you can register your tires with the manufacturer and receive recall notices as recalls occur. This is a much simpler method.
Are Your Tires Safe?
Your tires may be unsafe even if they haven’t been recalled. This is because the amount of use that the tires have seen and their actual age can create a safety hazard on the road. Safety experts advise that tires can start to lose their tread and can start to separate after about six years of driving on them. This means that checking the last four digits (date of manufacture) that follow the serial number can give you some indication of whether your tires are still safe. Keep in mind that it is legal to sell tires that are old, so it is up to you to check the year of manufacture before you even purchase tires for your vehicle.
Should You Hire an Attorney?
Any time you’re in a car accident in Miami, you are wise to contact an attorney. An auto accident attorney can give you a free consultation and help guide you in the right direction.