When someone is injured or killed in an auto accident, the driver is usually responsible. But blame could also rest in the hands of the manufacturers and even the legal system designed to keep defective vehicle parts off the road.
In October, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that the system to recall defective tires is broken and ineffective. The investigation was launched in response to an auto accident in Florida involving a van equipped with defective tires that left two people dead and eight others injured. Neither the owner of the van nor its mechanics were aware the tires had been recalled.
According to the NTSB, there are 33,000 accidents in the U.S. each year due to defective tires, and even when tires get recalled, most drivers are unaware. Having defective tires can result in you being held responsible for the damages in an auto accident.
If you have been the victim of an car accident, contact a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer today.
How to Check if Your Tires Have Been Recalled
Finding out whether your tires have been recalled and are unsafe is not necessarily easy. Due to outdated and ineffective methods of recall by the federal government, the process can be a little tedious.
Do not trust your mechanic to do it for you. Most mechanics lack the training to identify a recalled tire and cannot easily identify them by sight alone. Generally it is up to the vehicle’s owner to find this information.
First, you need to identify the tire’s serial number, located on the side of the tire. The first seven or eight numbers are the serial code, while the last four are the date the tire was manufactured. Take these numbers to Safecar.gov and search for your tire. This can be a frustrating process as the site requires you to sift through multiple documents to find if your tire was manufactured at the right time to constitute a recall.
Another, slightly less painful way is to register the tire with the manufacturer in order to receive up-to-date recall notices.
How to Know if Your Tires are Safe
Even if your tires have not been recalled, they can still be unsafe. The age and usage of tires can be detrimental to the handling of your car and could lead to accidents in the future. According to some safety experts, tires can begin to lose their tread and separate as early as six years on the road. In order to check the age of the tire, simply look at the last four digits of the serial number printed on the tire, which indicate the week and year the tire was made. There is currently no law against selling old, worn out tires, so always be sure to check the serial number before purchasing tires.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been the victim of a car accident in the Miami area, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. Law Firm. Call today for a free consultation and our team with over 43 years of experience representing victims of auto accidents will fight for the compensation you deserve.