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Tire and Lube Shop Did Not Tighten My Wheels Correctly, Causing Me to Lose Control on the Road. Am I Able to Seek Compensation?
Were you recently involved in an auto accident in South Carolina that may have resulted from an improper tire tightening? You are now likely wondering: if my tire and lube shop did not properly tighten my wheels, or balance my wheels, or properly align my tires, am I able to file a lawsuit against the tire shop to seek financial compensation? There are many ways in which a tire and lube shop can be negligent when servicing your vehicle, particularly when it comes to handling your tires and wheel alignment. As you likely know, whenever you bring your vehicle into the shop for an oil change, you may be encouraged to have your tires rotated and your vehicle aligned.
As a Columbia, SC Firestone Complete Auto Care fact sheet explains, you may need to have your alignment inspected if your vehicle is pulling to one side when you are driving it. And even if your alignment is in check, it is still important to have your tires rotated regularly to ensure even wear to the treads. And in the winter months, even South Carolina drivers may choose to use snow tires in the event of snowfall or icy highways across the state. Whenever you have one of these services completed, however—along with other potential services—the tire shop will need to loosen your tires, and often will need to remove them in order to get the necessary work done.
But what happens when the tire shop does not tighten your wheels sufficiently? Or what happens when they are over-tightened? In short, such negligence may result in a serious car accident. It is important to understand that tire and lube shops, and general auto mechanic shops, can be held liable if their negligence results in an accident and injuries. A Myrtle Beach car accident lawyer can discuss your options with you for seeking compensation.
Understanding the Causes and Effects of Improperly Tightened Wheels
When you take your car to a tire shop for serving in Myrtle Beach or Charleston, for instance, you should be able to expect that, when you pick up your vehicle, the wheels will be properly balanced and tightened. If a shop improperly tightens your wheels, their negligence may cause an accident, and you may be able to seek compensation.
What happens, exactly, when a car has a loose wheel nut? According to a fact sheet from Normark Industries, Inc., loose wheel nuts can happen as a result of both undertorquing and overtorquing. When this happens, the threads can become bare, and the wheel nuts can become cracked, seized, or cross-threaded. While these terms may not be in common usage among those of us who do not service our own vehicles, this is what you should take away: undertorquing or overtorquing can cause wheels to crack, and when this happens, vehicles can get into very serious accidents.
Filing a Negligence Lawsuit Against a Mechanic Shop in South Carolina
If you lost control of your vehicle because of a mechanic’s negligence, it is unlikely that you will be considered at-fault for the accident. Indeed, you should be able to file a lawsuit against the mechanic shop in order to seek financial compensation. Your lawsuit will fall under a theory of negligence, which means that you will need to prove all of the following:
- Your mechanic owed you a duty of care;
- In failing to properly tighten or align your wheels, your mechanic breached that duty of care;
- The mechanic’s breach of the duty of care caused the accident; and
- The injuries resulted from the accident caused by the mechanic’s breach of the duty of care.
There are numerous ways in which a mechanic shop can be negligent, and failing to tighten, balance, or align wheels properly certainly may rise to the level of negligent behavior. If you do intend to file a negligence claim against a tire shop, you will need to ensure that you abide by South Carolina’s statute of limitations for cases like these. Under Section 15-3-530 of the South Carolina Code, a plaintiff must file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the incident.
It is also important to remember that other factors may have contributed to the accident as well, but that should not prevent you from filing a claim against the tire shop. For instance, a report from WYFF ABC News 4 indicated that numerous drivers in South Carolina have been involved in auto accidents resulting from pot holes in the road and have filed claims against the state for damage. If you have questions about liability in your car accident claim, a Charleston auto accident lawyer can help.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney
Were you involved in an accident caused by a negligent mechanic or tire shop? You should speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Myrtle Beach about filing a claim against the shop for compensation. Contact Joye Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.