Rubber and other component parts of tires degrade over time. Weather, heat and sun accelerate deterioration. This can result in tread separations, which can cause an accident.
Rubber and the other component parts of tires degrade over time. Weather, heat, and sun accelerate deterioration. This can result in tread separations, which can cause an accident. If tires age prematurely, or if old tires are sold as new, the victim of an accident caused by one may have a claim against the responsible party.
Tires have a shelf-life, much like pharmaceuticals, food and many other products. As they age, experts say, even unused tires become less elastic and are subject to tread separation. Many tires sold as new to unsuspecting customers are dangerously old and should not be used. These ticking time bombs can be identified prior to purchase, and they should be refused by everyone.
At the end of a long string of numbers (DOT code) that run around the sidewall of every tire are three or four digits that tell when that tire was manufactured. Experts warn that no tire six years old or older should ever be used. A failure could result in an accident with catastrophic injuries or death.
By way of example, the code works like this:
3406 means the tire was manufactured in the 34th week of 2006
261 means the tire was manufactured in the 26th week of 2001
096 means the tire was manufactured in the 9th week of 2006
1104 means the tire was manufactured in the 11th week of 2004
The British government considers the matter to be so serious that it issued a warning to British consumers (many of whom purchase U.S. manufactured brands) that any tire older than six years is too old to be installed.
NOTE: If you check your existing tires, you may find they were mounted on your vehicle with the DOT code facing inward – not outward.
Preserving Evidence and Investigation
Following any tire failure accident resulting in serious injuries, it is imperative that the vehicle and the faulty tire be obtained at the earliest possible time and adequately secured for later examination by experts. This evidence is critical to the victims' claims, and failure to preserve it is likely to result in a loss of any claim against the tire manufacturer.
For this reason, you should immediately see to the protection of this evidence and retain a lawyer who is experienced in tire defect cases to represent you. He or she will attend to the preservation of all the important evidence and employ the experts to examine it and render important opinions as to the cause of the failure.
In defective tire cases, time is of the essence!
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