Tire Defect Cases: Where To File Your Lawsuit
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UPDATED: Feb 7, 2020
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If you’ve been involved in an accident that resulted from a tire defect, knowing where to file suit can be an arduous process. Some cases are filed in state court; others must be filed in federal court. Knowing the difference can save you time, money and a lot of hassle.
We asked Rick Morrison, an attorney in Montgomery, Alabama who deals with tire defect cases about where these actions are filed – state or federal court. Morrison explained, “It could be either. It would depend on where the parties are aligned. If the victims were residents of Alabama and purchased the defective tires in Alabama, they could bring the claim here in state court because there was one Alabama resident bringing a claim against another Alabama resident. However, if an Alabama resident sues anybody who is not a citizen of the state, it would have to be brought in federal court.”
Hiring the right attorney
Hiring the right attorney when you need to file a federal lawsuit doesn’t mean that you have to travel to another state. In fact, a local attorney can represent someone from other states. Morrison continued, “Currently, I have cases pending in eight different states. I would say our firm, in just the product liability section, probably has cases throughout the country. Product liability, and particularly defective tires and defective vehicles, is somewhat specialized though. You need lawyers who have had some experience with this type of work. Not only because they’re going to know how to prosecute the companies, but also they’re going to have the contacts with the engineers and know through experience how to prosecute these cases.”
“It even gets more specialized. If I have a case and it deals with a particular component part, such as a seatbelt, the defendant’s counsel usually only defends that one seatbelt and that one particular vehicle, so it’s an area of the law where the defendants have very specialized representatives. Therefore, as a consumer and a victim, you need to have the same experience. Goodyear has their own corporate counsel who operate across the entire country.”
Beat the clock
When do you need to act after being in an accident caused by a tire defect? As soon as possible, says Morrison. “I always advise consumers to contact someone immediately because every day the evidence that you need becomes less fresh, so to speak. Consumers should know that each state has a different time period in which you can bring a claim. In Alabama, it’s two years from the date of accident. In Tennessee, it’s one year. In Mississippi, it’s three years. In Texas, it’s two years. So, all the states have different time periods. You need to find out as quickly as possible whether you have a claim because, for lack of a better way of saying it, the clock’s running.”
Hiring the right attorney can mean all the difference, especially when it comes to dealing with an issue like the Goodyear G159 tire defects. While a general practice attorney with product liability experience could do the job, an attorney who knows how and why this tire works – or doesn’t work – will certainly be more effective as he or she has other clients who have gone through the same experience.