Swimming Pool Injury, Liability, Accidental Drowning & Slip & Fall

In Arizona, accidental drowning is one of the most devastating types of accidents a family can experience. It only takes a few moments for a family’s future to be permanently changed because of a swimming pool accident. Whether an accident results in a swimming pool injury or fatality, the experienced attorneys at Hutzler Law are…

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First Posted At https://hutzlerlaw.com/swimming-pool-accident-attorney/

Created May 3, 2021 at 09:40PM

Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injury After an Accident

Accidents in Arizona can cause significant injuries. When others negligently cause accidents and injuries, the victims are entitled to pursue compensation for their losses by filing personal injury lawsuits. However, some people who have pre-existing conditions suffer an exacerbation of injury because of their accidents.

In other words, the victims’ underlying pre-existing injuries might be aggravated by their accidents. Insurance companies frequently point to a pre-existing injury in an effort to reduce the amounts that they might have to pay to accident victims or to avoid paying claims completely.

If you have suffered an aggravation of pre-existing injury in an accident, you should talk to an experienced attorney at Hutzler Law to learn about your rights.

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If a pre-existing injury has been aggravated as the result of an accident, give us a call. We’re available to discuss your case and review the possible maximum compensation you deserve.

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Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injury


Examples of Pre-existing Injuries

Many different types of injuries can predate an accident, including the following:

  • Bones broken in the past
  • Disc herniations
  • Back pain
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck pain
  • Sprains and strains

Some injuries that predate an accident will not worsen because of it. However, others will be aggravated and cause worsened symptoms. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it can also cause your accident-related injuries to be worse.

Some examples of medical conditions that can impact the severity of your injuries from an accident include the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetes
  • Degenerative disc disease

Woman speaking to Personal Injury Lawyer


Determination of Liability in an Injury Claim

When you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you and the insurance company will both have to determine liability or fault. Most injury claims are based on theories of negligence, meaning you will be required to show that the defendant was negligent by proving each legal element.

The elements of negligence include the following:

  • The defendant owed a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances.
  • The defendant acted in such a way that the duty was breached.
  • The defendant’s breach of duty caused your accident and injuries.
  • You suffered actual harm as a result.

To prove the elements of negligence, you will have to present evidence. Some examples of evidence that might be available include your medical records, witness statements, photographs, and others.

Immediately after an accident, you should go to a doctor for a thorough evaluation to document your injuries and show a causal relationship between them and your accident. You will need to tell your doctor about your accident and any symptoms you are experiencing. If you have a pre-existing condition or injury, tell your doctor that your current symptoms did not start until after your accident.

Your claim amount should not be reduced simply because a degenerative condition was discovered after an accident. In many cases, previously undiagnosed conditions will be identified in imaging tests completed after injury accidents.

If you had an old injury, you should ask the doctor who treated you to provide you with documentation of when it occurred, when you were treated, and when your treatment was completed. By showing that the previous treatment you received was successful, you can show support for your new claim involving an exacerbation of injury.

pre-existing back injury settlement


How Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect Accident Claims?

If you are wondering how a pre-existing injury can affect an accident claim, an injury that predates an accident can cause several problems. In most injury claims, proving that an accident caused a specific type of injury is challenging. When the original injury predated the accident, proving that the accident caused the injury to worsen can be even more difficult.

For example, if you have a herniated disc that causes you to experience lower back pain, and you are subsequently injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to prove that your worsened back pain was caused by your accident instead of the pre-existing condition.

You can try to show the aggravation of pre-existing injury by presenting evidence that your disc herniation was less severe before your accident but was worsened because of it. For example, you might present evidence that you could control your back pain before your accident with ibuprofen or other over-the-counter medications but now require steroid injections and potential spinal surgery because of the impact of the accident.

Because of the subjectivity involved, an insurance adjuster will likely argue that you are malingering or are understating the effect of your old injury.


When Should You Disclose Your Pre-Existing Injury?

Accidents can happen without warning, and you have little control over how serious an accident might be. In many accidents, new injuries can impact injuries that predate them.

It is best for you to disclose any previous injuries you have at the beginning of the claims process. However, you should be careful in how you make this disclosure. It is best to discuss your case with a certified personal injury attorney at Hutzler Law first to avoid any complications.

Avoid Recorded Statements

After most injury accidents, insurance adjusters will reach out to the victims and ask them to provide recorded statements about what happened. However, you should avoid giving a recorded statement without an attorney.

Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in a specific way to elicit statements that the insurance companies can use against injury victims. If you say something wrong or allow the insurance adjuster to get you to agree with a statement he or she makes, your injury claim can be severely harmed. These types of statements are considered to be admissions against interests and can harm your ability to recover compensation in your case.

You are under no legal obligation to talk to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Instead, you should politely refuse and tell the company you want to talk to a personal injury lawyer at Hutzler Law. Your attorney can then deal with the insurance company on your behalf.

Avoid Signing a Medical Authorization Form

Another common tactic used by insurance companies is to ask victims to sign medical authorization forms to allow them to access the victims’ medical records. You might be told that the insurance company needs the authorization to verify the severity of your injuries. The adjuster might tell you that your claim will be paid more quickly if you agree.

However, you should avoid signing a medical authorization form for the at-fault party’s insurance company. The company will use this form to pore through your entire medical history to try to find an earlier incident to blame your accident-related injuries on.

You should not sign anything sent to you by the insurance company without talking to an experienced attorney at Hutzler Law. Your attorney can handle the disclosure of your medical information without providing the company with wide-ranging access to your entire history.

What Needs to Be Disclosed during an Injury Claim

Medical records about your pre-existing condition or injury will need to be provided to the insurance company. If you do not disclose a pre-existing condition, your claim could be harmed. Failing to disclose this type of information can hurt your credibility and your ability to recover damages. Your attorney at Hutzler Law will know how to present evidence of your pre-existing condition and your current injuries in a way that supports your injury claim.


Reasons it is Important to Retain a Lawyer for Your Claim

If you suffered severe injuries because of your accident and had the symptoms of your pre-existing condition exacerbated, you will likely need the help of an experienced attorney to secure an appropriate amount of compensation.

Attorneys know the different approaches insurance companies take to avoid liability and can help you to navigate your claim. With a lawyer’s help, you might show that the accident caused your worsened condition and recover full compensation for your losses.


Arizona Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Injuries

Employers in Arizona are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees when they are injured in workplace accidents. Workers are not required to prove that their employers were negligent to secure benefits. However, they also are not allowed to file lawsuits against their employers unless an exception applies.

In the context of an exacerbated pre-existing condition in a workers’ compensation claim, you will not be able to recover benefits for the pre-existing injury itself. However, you should be entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits for the aggravation of your injury. You will need to take care to separate your new injuries from the original condition to recover benefits.

Employers and insurance companies typically dispute or deny workers’ comp claims when they know about pre-existing conditions. You will have the burden of proof to show that your workplace accident caused your injury to be aggravated. To increase the likelihood that you will fully recover the benefits you deserve, you should do the following things:

  • Disclose your condition.
  • Specify how your condition has been aggravated and how it affects your daily life.
  • Be prepared to appeal if necessary.
  • Hire an attorney.

When you have a pre-existing condition and suffer further injuries in a workplace accident, you will likely have to fight to recover workers’ compensation benefits. By retaining an experienced attorney at Hutzler Law, you stand a better chance of recovering the compensation you deserve.


What is an “Eggshell Plaintiff”?

Arizona recognizes the common law principle of the eggshell plaintiff. Under this doctrine, a plaintiff that is medically fragile has the right to be fully compensated for injuries sustained in a negligence accident even when their injuries are more severe than they might have been without a pre-existing condition.

In other words, defendants are required to take plaintiffs as they find them. Even if an accident would not have seriously injured a person without a pre-existing condition, the at-fault party will still be liable for the aggravation of your injuries.

For example, if you have a pre-existing cardiovascular condition and suffer a heart attack because of a car accident, your attorney should be able to present evidence showing that your heart attack was caused by the accident. The defendant would then be liable to pay damages for the medical costs related to treating your heart attack after your accident.

You should be entitled to be fully compensated for your losses even if you have a pre-existing condition.


Expertise.com Best Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer 2021

Speak Today to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Your personal injury claim can be more challenging when you have a pre-existing condition. However, you should never take an insurance adjuster’s word that you must settle for less because of your underlying condition.

When someone else has caused an aggravation of your injuries because of negligence, you should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer at Hutzler Law as soon as possible. We can review your claim and explain to you whether it has legal merits.

Call our law firm today to request a free consultation at (602) 730-4530.

First Posted At https://hutzlerlaw.com/pre-existing-injury-in-settlement/

Created April 22, 2021 at 02:40AM

At-Fault Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents or Truck Accidents

A simple mistake while driving can result in an accident. If you caused an accident in Arizona, your insurance company will likely be responsible for paying the other driver’s damages from your at fault accident.

For car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, Arizona is a fault or tort state. This means a driver involved in an at-fault car accident will use his or her insurance coverage to cover the other involved driver’s losses. Depending on the type of coverage you have, your insurance might also reimburse you for your losses after an at fault accident.

Even when you think that an “accident is my fault,” you should not admit responsibility at the accident scene. Drivers can share fault for causing a collision, and something might have happened that you are not aware of. Arizona follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that you could recover a portion of your damages even if you were partially at fault.

The car accident attorneys at Hutzler Law can help you to understand whether you might have a claim for damages if you were injured in an at fault accident.

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Were you at-fault in a car accident? You have rights too! Speak to accident attorney Jason Hutzler for a free accident report review and fconsultation.

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What does it Mean that Arizona is an “at Fault State?”

Some states have no-fault insurance systems. In those states, people submit car accident claims to their own insurers regardless of who was at fault. Arizona, by contrast, has a fault system for accidents. In Arizona, people who are injured in accidents file claims with the at-fault drivers’ insurance policies instead of their own. Coverage for medical expenses will only be provided after the fault for the accident has been determined.

Because of the fault system, auto insurance is usually cheaper than insurance costs in no-fault insurance systems. The at-fault party can be sued by others for nearly any type of loss in an accident, including hospital bills, emotional distress, lost wages, and other damages that exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

If you cause an at fault accident in which someone is injured because of your negligence, there are several things that you should do and things you should avoid to protect your financial and legal interests.

at-fault car accident

What to do if You Think an Accident is Your Fault

The first thing you should do when you think an “accident is my fault” is to stay at the scene and call the police. By leaving the scene of an accident, it will be considered a hit and run, which is a criminal offense! The officers that come to the scene will take statements and write a report. A police report can be useful if the other driver later changes what he or she originally said or tries to exaggerate what happened.

You should also cooperate with all emergency responders who come to the scene. Try to stay out of their way while they are trying to provide care to any injured victims. Give the police officer your statement about what happened, but do not admit fault.

You are required to exchange your information with the other people involved in your accident. Give your name, driver’s license number, address, insurance information, and registration information for your vehicle. You should also get the same information from the other individuals. If anyone saw what happened, try to get the names and contact information of each witness.

Use your smartphone to take as many photographs as possible. You should take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and any injuries. You should also photograph the entire scene and relevant details such as the weather, road conditions, skid marks, traffic control devices, or speed limit signs.

You should also see your doctor after an accident for an examination. If you have obvious injuries, you should go to the hospital for treatment. This can help to prevent any injuries you suffered from worsening and can protect any claim that you might file after your accident.

Make sure to call your insurance company to report your accident. If you fail to notify your insurance company in a timely manner, your coverage could be canceled.

Finally, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. This is especially important if your insurance company does not defend you against a claim. A lawyer can help you through the process while fighting to protect your rights.

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What Not to Do After Causing an Accident

You should never leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive. Remain at the scene and exchange your information with the other driver. The responding officers will tell you when you are allowed to leave.

Do not move your car after an accident if at all possible. You should leave it in place so that the police can investigate what happened. You should only move your vehicle if it is causing a hazard to the safety of others. If it must be moved, move it to the nearest safe spot to the accident scene.

Do not discard anything related to the accident. You must preserve all evidence of an accident or injury. Destroying evidence could cause problems when a case is filed against you.

Finally, avoid talking about your accident with other people. You should not talk about what happened with the other driver’s attorney or the other driver’s insurance company. If you hire a lawyer, your attorney can handle the communications for you.

At-fault Car Accident with Car Insurance vs. Without Car Insurance

If you have insurance and cause an accident, the other motorist can file a claim with your insurance company. Most insurance companies include provisions in their policies that require their insureds to report their accidents. Make sure to report the accident to your insurance company promptly. They will then work to determine liability and determine whether to pay any claim filed by the other motorist. If you have collision coverage, you can also file a claim with your insurance company to pay for your losses minus your deductible.

If you cause an accident in which someone was injured and do not have insurance, you can get into serious trouble. Your vehicle might be impounded, and you could be charged with a crime. Your driving privileges may also be suspended. The other driver could file a lawsuit against you for all of the losses he or she suffered in the accident.

If you do not have insurance, you will be personally liable to pay the injured victim’s damages. If the other driver obtains a judgment against you after a trial, he or she could pursue multiple avenues to collect on the judgment, including liens, bank levies, wage garnishments, and others.

At-fault Car Accident in a Company Vehicle

If you cause an accident while driving a company vehicle, your employer might be liable to pay damages to the other motorist. Companies carry liability insurance that covers their employees when they drive company cars for work purposes. Your employer might have to pay the other motorist’s damages, including medical expenses, income losses, property losses, and non-economic losses.

Your employer’s insurance coverage will also protect you from being sued by the other driver. This means that you will not be responsible for paying the damages. If the other party files a lawsuit against you, your employer’s insurance company will also likely cover your legal fees. If you are determined to not be at fault, you can recover damages from the other driver’s policy.

If you suffered injuries in an accident when you were driving a company car, you can also file a claim with your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance provider. Worker’s compensation provides coverage for medical care and related costs for workers who are injured while working within the course and scope of their jobs. If your injuries left you with temporary or permanent disabilities, you might also recover benefits for your temporary or permanent disability.

At-Fault Car Accident in a Rental Car

If you caused an accident while driving a rental vehicle, you are responsible for any loss or damage to the rental vehicle since you are the renter. When you rent a car, you sign a contract obligating you to return it in the same condition it was in at the time that you picked it up.

When you rent a vehicle, the rental company will offer you a liability policy. This policy should cover you if you are in an accident. Your own insurance can also pay for damages caused to the rental vehicle and suffered by the other driver.

Finally, the rental car company might charge the credit card that you used to pay the rental fee for damages to the rental vehicle. Be sure to read any agreement you signed very thoroughly to know what you are liable for.

At-Fault Multi-Vehicle Accident

The fault in a multi-vehicle accident is often unclear. One or more parties might share fault for causing the accident and any resulting injuries. Arizona has a comparative negligence law found in ARS 12-2505. Under the state’s comparative negligence rule, a jury will apportion fault after an accident in which both drivers are to blame.

You will be responsible for paying the portion of damages that are allocated to you. For example, if you are found to be 60% at fault, you will be responsible for paying 60% of the damages awarded to the other driver. If that driver is found to be 40% at fault, his or her damages will be reduced by 40%.

Under ARS 12-2501, the state also has a contributory negligence law. Under this statute, all parties found to have contributed fault to an accident share responsibility for paying for the victim’s injuries and losses.

Get Help from an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Arizona Car Accident Injury Law Firm - Hutzler Law StaffEven if you believe that you are solely to blame for an accident, the situation could be more complicated than you realize. It is a good idea to talk to an experienced car accident attorney for help with determining fault.

With the state’s comparative negligence law, you might be entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries even if you shared fault. Contact Hutzler Law today by calling us at (602) 730-4530.

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First Posted At https://hutzlerlaw.com/at-fault-car-accident-arizona/

Created April 19, 2021 at 07:40PM

Love Your Ride Sweepstakes!

#GiveBackLocal is back for April with the – 😎 LOVE YOUR RIDE Sweepstakes! 🚗🚙🏍
👉 5 Lucky Winners Will Win the Following Prizes
** Free Set Of 4 New Tires! (Up to $1,000) 🥳
** Free Oil Changes For 1 Year! 🎉
** Free Car Washes For Six Months! 🎊
Sweepstake ends on April 30, 2021, at 11:59 PM MST
Five Winners Will Be Selected, Announced On Monday, May 3, 2021.
Be Sure to LIKE & SHARE Our FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM Pages for Updates!
*No purchase necessary*

OFFICIAL RULES – Full Terms & Conditions can be found here.

Winners will be selected in a random drawing on Monday, May 3rd, 2021.


2. Eligibility. Subject to the additional restrictions below, The Hutzler Law, PLLC “Love Your Ride” (the “Sweepstakes”) is open to Arizona residents who are 18 years or older at the time of entry. Employees of Hutzler Law, PLLC (“Sponsor”), promotional agencies, or partner/affiliated companies are not eligible to enter or to win.

3. How To Enter: The Sweepstakes will begin at 8 a.m., MST. on Monday, April 12th, 2021, and end at 11:59 p.m., MST, on Friday, April 30th, 2021 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). Only one entry per household. One person may earn multiple entries by “Liking” and “Sharing” the Sweepstakes on their Social Media profiles. To be eligible all entries must be received before 11:59 p.m. MST on Friday, April 30th, 2021. Sponsor will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, late, or illegible entries or for failure to receive entries due to transmission or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and none will be returned. Any questions regarding the number of entries submitted shall be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Sweepstakes.

4. Winner Selection. One (1) Grand Prize Winner and four (4) Secondary Prize Winners will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received to be held on or about 12 p.m., MST, Monday, May 3rd, 2021.

5. Prizes and Odds. One (1) First Prize Winner will receive a $1,000 Gift Card / Voucher redeemable towards Four (4) New Tires at our affiliated tire partner (valued up to $1,000 – No Cash Value – Non-transferable). Two (2) Second Place Winners will win gift cards/vouchers good for One (1) Year of Free Oil Changes at our affiliated oil change partner (Valued at $300 total – No Cash Value – Non-transferable). Two (2) Third Place Winners will win gift cards/vouchers good for Six (6) Months of Unlimited Car Washes at our affiliated car wash partner (Valued at $180 total – No Cash Value – Non-transferable). Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

6. Winner Notification and Acceptance. Winners will be notified on or about 12 p.m., MST, Monday, May 3rd, 2021 by Social Media direct message, tagged on “Winner Announcement” post, and emailed individually. Failure to reach the winner and receive a confirmation by winner after three (3) attempts may result in disqualification of the winner, forfeiture of his or her interest in all prizes, and selection of a substitute winner from among all remaining eligible entries. Confirmation of Winner and arrangements to collect MUST BE received NO LATER than 30 calendar days starting on the day the winners are announced, no exceptions. Valid photo id identification will be required. Winners may waive their right to receive prizes. Prizes are non-assignable and non-transferable. No substitutions allowed by the winner. Prizes and individual components of prize packages are subject to availability and the Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value. Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. Except where prohibited, acceptance of any prize constitutes winner’s consent to the publication of his or her name, biographical information and likeness in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation the Internet, or further compensation. Prizes not won and claimed by eligible winners in accordance with these Official Rules will not be awarded and will remain the property of Sponsor.

7. Participation. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Sweepstakes as solely determined by Sponsor. In the event the Sweepstakes is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering, or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness, or proper operation of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Sweepstakes. Should the Sweepstakes be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, Sponsor reserves the right to award prizes based on the entries received before the termination date.

8. Construction. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.

9. Sponsor. The Arizona Republic Grocery Giveaway is sponsored by The Arizona Republic Media. The decisions of Sponsor regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Sweepstakes shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing, or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the Sweepstakes. For any further questions, please contact media [at] hutzlerlaw.com.

First Posted At https://hutzlerlaw.com/love-your-ride-sweepstakes/

Created April 12, 2021 at 08:40PM

March Pet Photo Contest Winners!

Congratulations to All of Our Participants & Winners!

We made it through all the “👍“, “❤‘” and comments, we are ready to announce the winners of our first Pet Photo Contest. 🥳
As we shared before, each and every pet was a winner in our eyes. Thank you to all pet parents for entering 🐾

Without further ado, here are your winners🎉

🎉 The first-place winner is Bridgette Lee Phipps. Congratulations Bridgette, as you have won the private photoshoot 📸 with

Pawsitively D’Lish Pet Photography

As a result of winning the photoshoot, you will get to select your favorite, local animal rescue group so homeless pets may have a photoshoot too.

🎊 The second-place winner is Kayla Johnson. Kayla congratulations as you will receive the dog training package with

Pink Warrior Dog Training and Pet Massage

🎉 Our third-place winner is Cheryl Samuelson. Give a big congratulations to Cheryl and her dog. Cheryl, you too won a private photoshoot 📸 with

Pawsitively D’Lish Pet Photography. PLUS you will get to nominate your favorite local animal rescue group for a private photoshoot for their homeless pets.
Next up, we have our fourth and fifth place winners.
🎊 Fourth place goes to Taylor Kelly
🎉 Fifth place goes to Juana
Congratulations to Taylor and Juana and you both will receive a $100.00 gift card to be used at Peoria’s Pet Market 🛒
Join us in giving everyone a big round of applause and congratulations!

First Posted At https://hutzlerlaw.com/march-pet-photo-contest-winners/

Created April 8, 2021 at 07:40PM

Car Accidents Caused by Defective Tires and Tire Blowouts

Car accidents can be caused by many different factors, including driver negligence and others. In some cases, accidents result from defective tires when a tire blowout occurs and causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle he or she is driving.

Each year, hundreds of people are killed in the U.S. because of defective or worn tires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 738 people were killed in car accidents caused by tire problems in 2017 alone.

Tire safety is something that should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to regularly check their tires, which could result in blowouts and accidents. When a driver or vehicle owner causes an accident because of worn tires that fail, the driver or owner can be found liable for the losses caused to others injured in the resulting collision. The injuries and property damage caused by driving with unsafe tires can be extensive.

There have also been numerous instances involving unsafe or defective tires that have defects even when the tires are new. Some of these defects have led to massive recalls in the past following accidents.

If you have sustained serious injuries in an accident caused by bad tires, you should talk to an experienced attorney at Hutzler Law to learn about the rights that you might have.

Speak to an Injury Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident due to a defective tire or tire blowout, give us a call. We’re available to discuss your case and review the possible maximum compensation you deserve.

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Blow tire caused car accident

Common Causes of a Tire Blowout Accident

Some of the most common causes of a tire blowout accident include the following:

  • Overloading
  • Defects in the roads
  • Tire punctures
  • Sharp debris in the road
  • Defective tires
  • Underinflated or overinflated tires
  • Worn, bald tires

Overloading is a common cause of semi-truck tire blowouts, but it can also cause blowouts in overloaded passenger vehicles. If the weight capacity of a vehicle is exceeded, the increased pressure placed on the tires can result in a blowout. The driver might then lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident.

Since large semi trucks have 18 tires, the driver might maintain control of the truck. However, the tire debris can fly out from under the truck and collide into the windshield of a passenger car, causing a serious truck accident.

Poorly maintained roads that have obstacles and potholes can cause tires to blow. When a motorist drives over a pothole, the edges can cause the tire pressure to abruptly change. This change can then increase the stress on the tire walls and cause a blowout to occur.

Punctures in a tire might not immediately be noticed by drivers. If a driver runs over a nail or other small object in the road, the tire can slowly leak air until the tire is underinflated. The tire walls may then have more pressure placed on them and cause them to blow.

Debris in the road can also cause tire-related accidents. If something lying in the road is sharp, a driver might drive over it, causing the tire walls to be punctured and the tire to blow out immediately.

When people purchase new tires, they do so with the belief that their tires will be safe and perform well. However, manufacturers issue defective tire recalls each year. Many different types of defects can happen during the manufacturing process. When those defects cause tires to fail and accidents to happen, the victims can file claims for their defective tire accidents against the companies.

Tire-related car accidents can also happen when people drive with over or under-inflated tires. Failing to inflate tires enough or overinflating them can place too much pressure on different areas of the tires, resulting in failures and accidents. People can check the air pressure in their tires with a gauge and should ensure that they inflate their tires to the manufacturers’ specifications.

Finally, some motorists continue to drive on tires long past their safe life cycles. If you drive on tires with worn treads or bald spots, you have a much greater risk of having a blowout and causing an accident.

Tips to Avoid a Car Accident from a Tire Blowout

Before purchasing tires, people should check to make sure that the tires have not been recalled. People should also visually inspect their tires regularly to check for bald spots, punctures, and worn treads. Tires should be regularly maintained with appointments for tire balancing.

Some tips to help prevent tire failures include the following:

  • Choose tires based on weather conditions and vehicle types.
  • Check U.S. government ratings for the tires you consider.
  • Regularly check for recalls.
  • Visually inspect tires before driving a vehicle.
  • Keep tires inflated at the recommended pressure.
  • Have tires rotated and balanced on schedule.
  • Regularly check the depth of your tire tread.
  • Make sure to place new tires on the rear of your vehicle for better traction.

Low tire pressure sensor TPMS

Note About Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

Vehicles manufactured after 2008 come with TPMS, which are sensors that monitor the air pressure in a vehicle’s tires. This is a federal law that the tires be monitored. When the air pressure in a tire is too low, a warning will appear on the car’s dashboard, indicating which tire needs attention. However, you should never use TPMS as a substitute for checking the pressure in your tires.  

Many TPMS systems are not designed to show warnings until the tires are underinflated by 25% or more, which is significantly higher than what is recommended by most tire manufacturers.

A common tactic that can be used by insurance companies to deny a claim is if the tires were underinflated or overinflated, then it is negligence on the owner for not proper equipment. Don’t let this happen to you!

Instead, make a habit of quickly checking your tire pressure with a gauge before you head out on the road.

Defective tire separation caused tire blowout

Common Tire Defects that can Cause Car Accidents

Even if you regularly check and properly maintain your tires, a blowout can still occur if the tires are defective. Your tires transfer the weight of a car to the ground through the axle, and they also provide your vehicle with traction and help with steering.

Motorists rely on their tires to keep control of their vehicles when they travel at high rates of speed and when avoiding obstacles. A defective tire can cause you to lose control of your car and cause an accident in which you, your passengers, and others might be injured.

The most common types of tire defects include tread separations and weak areas in the tire. Both of these defects can cause blowouts to happen. Tire defects can be caused during the design or manufacturing process or when inferior products are used to repair or make tires.

Tread Separation

Tire treads are the portion of the tire that contains grooves to provide better traction. These grooves let the tires expel water so that you won’t hydroplane on wet surfaces. Delamination occurs when the tread separates from the rest of the tire, causing drivers to lose control.

In new tires, delamination can be caused by design or manufacturing defects. Retreaded tires can also delaminate if inferior products were used or the company used inadequate curing time. If you take your car in for a flat tire repair, improper repairs can also cause the tread to separate.

Tire Blowouts

Blowouts happen when the tire ruptures while a vehicle is traveling and can result from tread separation, manufacturing defects, or design defects.

If there are weak spots in the tires, the areas can blow under pressure while you are driving. The bond between the rubber and the steel belting can come apart, causing a rapid pressure loss and a resulting blowout.

Tire rubber on road

Liability in a Car Accident Caused by Bad Tires

If you had an accident because of a defective tire that contained defects at the time it was purchased, you will not have to necessarily prove who was responsible for causing the defect.

Under the product liability laws in Arizona, the parties that were responsible for bringing the tire to the market can all be liable, including the tire’s designer, manufacturer, distributor, and seller of the defective tire.

Strict liability for defective tire accidents

Consumers are generally not in a position to know the causes of a tire defect. By filing a product liability lawsuit, a plaintiff can pursue compensation without having to prove negligence.

Strict liability can be imposed in defective product cases for manufacturing defects, design defects, or warning defects. Strict liability makes it easier for plaintiffs to prove their claims and recover damages for their losses.

To prevail in a product liability claim for defective tires, you will need to prove the following things:

  • The defendant was the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the defective tire.
  • The tire was defective at the time it left the possession of the defendant.
  • The manner in which your accident occurred as a result of the defect was reasonably foreseeable.
  • You were injured because of the defect.

To show that the tire defect was the cause of your accident, you might need to present expert testimony. Your accident attorney might send pieces of the tire and copies of the accident reports to the tire expert, who might then provide an expert opinion about how the defect caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence claims

If a tire did not contain a defect in it at the time the tire was sold to the consumer, then another party might be liable for the accident. Some of the potentially liable parties in negligence claims for tire-related accidents include the following:

  • Vehicle’s owner
  • Tire repair shop
  • Mechanic
  • Seller of used tires

In Arizona, accidents are frequently caused by the negligence of one or more parties. If your accident resulted because of the negligent actions of a person or entity, the defendant might be responsible for paying damages to you for any injuries and losses you suffered. To prevail in a negligence claim, you will have to prove the following elements of negligence:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached his or her duty.
  • The defendant’s breach was a substantial factor in causing your accident and injuries.
  • You suffered actual harm as a result.

What Damages are Recoverable in a Defective Tire Lawsuit?

Plaintiffs can seek compensation for their losses in a defective tire lawsuit. The total compensation amount that might be available will vary, depending on the facts and circumstances of an individual case.

Compensatory damages are meant to compensate injured victims and place them in similar positions as to where they would have been if they had not had their accidents.

Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary awards for the pecuniary losses suffered by a plaintiff. Non-economic damages are monetary awards for the more intangible losses plaintiffs suffer as a result of their accidents.

In a tire defect lawsuit, some of the types of damages that might be recovered include the following:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital stays, emergency care, and future treatment that might be required
  • Medical supplies
  • Past and future income losses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement/scarring
  • Disability
  • Emotional harm
  • Loss of consortium
  • Other damages

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

No Win No FeeCar accidents can happen suddenly and may be caused by many different things.

If you were seriously injured in a tire-related accident, you should talk to an experienced injury attorney at Hutzler Law today by calling (602) 730-4530.

First Posted At https://hutzlerlaw.com/accidents-caused-by-defective-tire-blowouts/

Created April 6, 2021 at 07:40PM