Who's to blame when a tire flies off a car?

Posted on in Wrongful Death

The question in this week's post title comes to us courtesy of a story out of Florida where a freak car accident killed a 33-year-old man and injured a 45-year-old man. And although the accident occurred far from residents here in San Jose, California, we wanted to highlight the accident in this week's post because it raises important questions about liability and who is at fault in an accident like this.

According to reports, a man was driving his vehicle northbound on U.S. 41 when his left front tire broke free from his car. After hitting a driveway apron, the tire flew into the air, clearing a 6-foot-tall fence before landing on the 33-year-old man. He was killed instantly. The tire then hit the 45-year-old man who was airlifted to a hospital, having suffered serious injuries.

So who is to blame for this fatal accident? Who should be held liable for the death and injuries this accident caused?

These are not just questions being asked in Florida but could be asked by anyone here in California if a similar accident were to occur. That’s because knowing who is liable lets accident victims know who to name in a personal injury claim. As with this case, it’s possible that a defective vehicle part was to blame. As a result, the car’s manufacturer or place that sold the part could be held liable in the case. If the tire flew off because of poor maintenance, then the driver or his mechanic could be held accountable in future litigation.

So who is to blame in this accident? Investigators still aren’t sure and are looking into the matter. The hope though is that the accident victims and their families know that they may be able to seek compensation in this case.

Source: The Gainesville Sun, "Tire breaks from car, clears fence and kills Williston man," March 3, 2014

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