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Who’s Responsible for the Woman Hit by a Flying Tire?

By Lependorf & Silverstein on November 12, 2017

This summer, a car was hit by a flying tire while traveling southbound near Exit 10 on the New Jersey Turnpike. The car’s passenger sustained injuries for which she was taken to Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick.

The cause of this “flying tire” wasn’t immediately made clear, but this accident has left many people wondering if tires are going to start flying at their own heads.

Also, who owes this woman some money to treat her injuries?

A Liability Mystery

One thing is completely evident in this case: this woman did not cause her own injuries. She’s not to blame and shouldn’t be stuck with medical bills, lost wages, and any other inconveniences this accident caused her.

Was it another driver? In most cases, the driver of the car with the dislodged object would be legally responsible. This is true with things such as cargo, and ice and snow that have not been properly cleared. It could also be true with car parts, such as the tire that hit the car on the Turnpike.

Drivers are responsible not only for making sure their driving is safe, but also that their vehicle is safe as well. That includes maintaining the car properly and ensuring that things like tires and other car parts won’t fly off and hit another person in the face.

Was it the manufacturer? Perhaps the owner of the car did properly maintain the car, but parts (in our example, a tire) were defective. If the defect couldn’t be detected through regular maintenance and still fell off and hit someone, the tire manufacturer could be held responsible. Manufacturers must make sure their products are free from design or manufacturing dangers to consumers; if defects are present, the company could be held liable for any injuries that are sustained as a result of that defect.

Was it someone else? The biggest problem in the Turnpike Tire Situation is that they never did identify where the flying tire came from. If the road had red light cameras, maybe that footage could have been viewed to identify the vehicle. Unfortunately, New Jersey ended this program in 2014 and those cameras were removed.

When an at-fault vehicle cannot be identified, a personal injury lawsuit probably won’t be possible. Luckily, New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that the injured person may still be able to receive compensation from her own insurance company.

If you have been injured on a dangerous roadway, contact Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today at (609) 240-0040. Insurance companies always try to offer the lowest settlement possible in the hopes that the injured person will accept it. One of our attorneys can represent to make sure you get everything you deserve to heal from your injuries, however you got them.

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The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty years.

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