Every state has been given the freedom to determine how it deals with the aftermath of a car accident. The United States can be divided into two groups: fault states and no-fault states. North Carolina is one of many that is considered a fault state, meaning that the at-fault party is held financially responsible for damages and medical expenses.
There are many factors that go into determining fault in a car accident. Obvious negligence is one such factor, and tires are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to lack of proper vehicle maintenance. Bad tires can often determine the fault in a car accident case, so be sure that you understand the facts. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the specifics.
Tire failures come in many different forms. Some examples include under-inflation, blowouts, or tread separation. It’s your responsibility as a vehicle owner to keep up with your tires and make sure they are well maintained. Make sure they are properly pumped, and take your car in to get the tires rotated roughly every 7,500 miles to ensure even wear. The majority of tire failures are a result of user error.
But there may be times when a failure is not your fault. Manufacturer defects may cause a tire to rip or shred, leading to an accident on the roads. This can be particularly dangerous around other cars, especially when driving at high speeds on the freeway. But who takes the blame when there’s an accident in the at-fault state of North Carolina? The answer, as with many legal matters, is “it depends.”
You may be at fault if…
…your tires were obviously neglected in any way. Noticeable cracks, indentations, or bulges are a sign that regular maintenance should have been completed. Even bald spots may be indicative of negligence, especially when driving in unstable weather conditions like rain or ice. In NC, the fault for any accident would be placed squarely on your shoulders.
You may NOT be at fault if…
…you can prove manufacturer defect or faulty installation. Instead of assigning fault, accident victims may file a claim against the manufacturer or the establishment that installed the tires in the first place. Naturally, running over a foreign object that punctures the tire is not the same as having a bad tire. In any of these cases, you may be able to avoid fault.
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