Tire FailureOn Sunday afternoon, a rollover accident occurred on I‑10 in Phoenix.  A Chevy Tahoe carrying nine people experienced a tire tread separation blowout and rolled, crossing the median barrier into opposite lanes of traffic.  This is terrible accident resulted in injuries to seven people, and the death of two.  In a situation like this, who pays for the losses experienced by the victims?  here are some of the possibilities.

Arizona law requires that if someone is going to pay for damages, they must be at fault for the losses.  They must have been negligent in some way that contributed to or caused the injuries to occur.  In a tire blowout incident it is possible that the driver did nothing wrong. But, I suppose it is possible that the driver was responsible for the maintenance of the tires.  So if the tire blew because of lack of proper maintenance or replacement, the argument could be made that the driver was at fault for not taking care of the vehicle.

It is also possible that the tire failed because of a design or manufacturing problem with the tire. If that is the case, then the tire company itself may be at fault for the losses.  If there is a problem with a whole bunch of tires of the same kind, this is when you hear about it in the news, see recall notices, and class action lawsuits. As you can imagine, the companies are not quick to admit wrongdoing, so these lawsuits are usually hard-fought, lengthy, and expensive. However, those lawsuits not only help compensate the harm to the immediate victims, but may save many others from a similar fate.

In this new story about Sunday’s collision, there is no indication as to why the tire failed.  Sometimes the cause is never identified, and who or what is responsible is not determined. Unfortunately, the losses to the injured and deceased are still just as real.  For now, regularly check your tires.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Attorney Kevin Fine with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner at (480) 733-6800 or via email kfine@davismiles.com.