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Blow out accident


My cousin had an accident on his Fazer caused by a van coming the other way towards him having a tyre blow out. He has been told by his insurer that because it was a tyre blow out he cannot claim compensation from the van driver and the claim will go down on his insurance as his fault, increasing his premium. Does he need a solicitor?

Jonny B, by e-mail



A tyre blowout is different to a punctured tyre. A blowout is a sudden loss of pressure where the tyre is quickly destroyed making it difficult to drive. A puncture involves a tyre is slowing losing pressure and the tyre will eventually become flat.

Drivers have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy. If a vehicle is not roadworthy and this is the cause of an accident then the injured person can claim compensation subject to being able to prove it.

The most common cause of tyre blowout seems to be under-inflation, made worse if a vehicle is overladen with weight. The problem is it is difficult to prove that a tyre was underinflated once it has burst. If the opposite tyre is grossly under inflated a court might accept, on the balance of probabilities, that the one that blew was also underinflated and thus the vehicle was not roadworthy and this caused the accident. Alternatively if an examination of the tyre reveals a manufacturing defect then a defective product claim could be considered against the tyre manufacturer. I suggest your cousin does get a solicitor to look into the potential claim.



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