runaway tire on a sidewalk with people running in fear

California Runaway Tire Injury Lawyer

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and few are as unexpected and startling as a tire detaching from a moving vehicle. Known as “runaway tire” incidents, these accidents can result in significant injuries, damages, and even fatalities. At J&Y Law Firm, we understand the complexities involved in this type of accident, and we’re here to help victims seek the justice and compensation they deserve.

Video of a Runaway Tire Incident

In this frightening video a pickup truck with tires extending well past the fenders changes lanes on a highway before his front driver’s side wheel suddenly detaches from the truck, rolling in front of a fast moving small SUV, causing it to launch high into the air and doing a summersault in the air before landing on the roof of the car and rolling again onto its wheels before the same tire bounces back towards the totalled SUV, striking it once more. Fortunately, no major injuries were suffered from this incident, but it could have easily led to injuries or fatalities.

Understanding Runaway Tire Incidents

A runaway tire accident happens when a tire, or an entire wheel assembly, becomes detached from a moving vehicle, whether it be a car, truck, or another type of vehicle. These rogue tires can hurtle with great force, posing grave danger to pedestrians, other drivers, and nearby structures.

The Reality of Runaway Tire Accidents: Key Statistics

  • Every year, there are hundreds of reported runaway tire incidents in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that wheel separation accidents account for around 50 to 200 fatalities annually nationwide.
  • While California-specific statistics can be challenging to pinpoint, given the high traffic volume in the state, it’s safe to say that a significant number of these incidents occur within California’s borders.

Potential Causes of Runaway Tire Accidents

  • Improper Installation: If tires or wheel assemblies are not correctly installed, they can become loose over time and eventually detach. This is especially common after a vehicle has had its tires changed or rotated and the lug nuts are not properly tightened.
  • Wear and Tear: Over time, the components holding the tire in place can wear down, especially if they are not adequately maintained.
  • Defective Parts: If any part of the wheel assembly is defective, it can lead to separation. This includes lug nuts, bolts, and the wheel itself.
  • Accidents and Collisions: Previous accidents can compromise the structural integrity of the wheel assembly, increasing the risk of a runaway tire.
damaged tire sitting on the ground

What Can Drivers Do to Prevent Runaway Tire Incidents?

  • Regular Maintenance: Routine inspections and maintenance of tires and wheel assemblies can detect potential problems before they lead to wheel separation.
  • Proper Installation: Always ensure that tires are correctly installed and that lug nuts are tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Inspect After Collisions: If involved in a collision, even a minor one, inspect your vehicle for any damage that could compromise wheel integrity.
  • Be Wary of Recalled Parts: Always keep updated on potential recalls related to your vehicle, especially those concerning tires and related components.

Legal Ramifications and Seeking Compensation

If you or a loved one has been injured by a runaway tire, California law allows you to pursue compensation. Here’s what you should know:

  • Establishing Negligence: To secure compensation, it must be proven that the vehicle owner or a related party was negligent. This could be due to improper maintenance, installation, or the use of defective parts.
  • Potential Damages: Victims can claim for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and, in tragic cases, wrongful death.
  • Statute of Limitations: In California, personal injury claims have a statute of limitations. It’s crucial to act quickly to ensure your rights are preserved.
  • Expertise Matters: Runaway tire incidents have their complexities. An experienced lawyer from J&Y Law Firm can navigate these intricacies, ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.

Why Choose J&Y Law Firm?

At J&Y Law Firm, we’re not just lawyers; we’re advocates for the injured. Our team has:

  • Experience: With years of experience handling personal injury cases in California, including runaway tire incidents, we have the expertise to represent you effectively.
  • Resources: We collaborate with experts, from accident reconstructionists to medical professionals, to build a robust case.
  • Commitment: We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you win. This reflects our commitment to securing the best possible outcome for you.


Runaway tire incidents can be devastating, leading to severe injuries or even death. The aftermath can be overwhelming, with victims grappling with medical bills, recovery, and the trauma of the incident. At J&Y Law Firm, we strive to make this challenging period more manageable. If you or a loved one has been affected by such an accident, reach out to us now by calling (877) 426-6580. Together, we can seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.