Neglecting Routine Vehicle Upkeep Can Cost You in a Car Accident Lawsuit
Many Americans depend on their cars daily to transport them safely from home to school, work, and the grocery store, or to visit friends and family. Driving carries the inherent risk of being involved in a car accident, even if you do everything in your power to be a responsible driver.
However, thousands of car accidents can be prevented by simply taking care of your car. Each year, around 45,000 accidents are attributed to mechanical issues, leaving drivers liable for damages in a civil claim for negligence.
As a car owner, it is your responsibility to keep your vehicle in working order for the sake of safety. When drivers fail to do so, car accidents involving vulnerable road users or other motorists may result in catastrophic injuries and totaled vehicles. A few simple car maintenance practices can keep your car out of the shop and you out of court.
Burned Out Lights Present a Major Driving Hazard
As the weather gets warmer and schools let out for the summer, pedestrians and bicyclists will hit the streets in droves. Ensuring that both of your headlights are working is critical to identifying obstacles like bicyclists in the shoulder or pedestrians in the crosswalk before it’s too late to react.
Functioning brake lights are also necessary to alert drivers behind you of your intention to slow down or stop. Without them, rear-end collisions would abound, especially at nighttime, on poorly lit roads, in areas of high traffic congestion, or in inclement weather conditions.
The gravity of vehicle maintenance can be seen in the fact that law enforcement officers are authorized to give citations for burned-out lights, as part of a class of offenses known as mechanical violations. You can avoid the ticket and the lawsuit by replacing your car’s lights.
Checking Your Car’s Tire Pressure is Essential to Safe Braking
With summer right around the corner, Floridians should be aware that changing weather conditions can have an effect on tire pressure. When the weather is transitioning seasons, experts recommend routinely checking that your tire pressure matches the level specified to your car before the warning light comes on.
Excessive heat can cause tire pressure to increase, which upsets the PSI level that each make and model of car requires to properly grip the road. In effect, your car may take longer to come to a full stop or be less capable of maneuvering.
Without these critical functions, you could be found at fault if you cause an accident, even if the failure lies with your car’s mechanics, not your judgment. It’s not worth the risk when tire pressure gauges are affordable, and most gas stations have air refillers where you can fill your tires for less than a gallon of gas.
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Keep Up With Your Car’s Fluids to Avoid Engine and Operations Failures
We all dread the “check engine light” because it can mean an inconvenient trip to the mechanic and entail pricey repairs. To save yourself the expense, your routine should include regularly changing your oil and switching out your brake fluid.
It may also save you the stress of a lawsuit. If your oil isn’t changed regularly, dirt builds up and the oil can’t properly lubricate the engine. The engine may overheat and fail, leaving you stranded wherever you happen to be: in the carpool line, on a bridge, or crossing a railroad track.
Brake Fluid Protects Your Brake System From Malfunctioning
Brake fluid is even easier to replenish than oil and can be done at home for a low cost. Replacing brake fluid prevents the degradation of your braking system due to toxins or moisture contamination.
Failing breaks are always dangerous but can prove deadly when the driver chooses to speed or engage in other illegal driving behaviors. Faulty brakes due to poor maintenance in combination with bad driving habits compounds negligence and leaves drivers open to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Owners and Operators of Poorly Maintained Cars May Be Liable in a Lawsuit
This advice may seem obvious, but many of us are guilty of putting off a 5 five-minute repair for weeks. The distractions of everyday life, like job deadlines and taking the kids to school, can overwhelm anyone’s schedule.
The reality is, an unscheduled trip to the emergency room or court date is much more disruptive than taking the time to hunt down a screwdriver and lightbulb. Drivers have a duty of care to other road users to behave in a reasonable and safe manner; when they don’t, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Even if you are partially to blame in a car accident involving improper vehicle maintenance, you can still recover damages to compensate for the cost of repairs and other injuries in a personal injury lawsuit due to Florida’s pure comparative negligence law.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me in a Car Accident Claim Involving Poor Vehicle Maintenace?
Determining who is at fault when a broken car caused an accident can be an involved process requiring extensive evidence to pinpoint a driver’s poor vehicle maintenance as the direct cause of an accident. The accident must then be proven to have inflicted meaningful injuries or losses.
At Dolman Law Group, our team of lawyers handles cases for car accident victims who are struggling to meet their needs due to unexpected and costly medical bills and car repairs. We also know the effects of a car accident are rarely just physical or financial, and you may be eligible for damages to compensate you for mental and emotional distress.
Dolman Law Group will relentlessly pursue a range of damages, negotiate on your behalf at trial, have the car in question evaluated by an expert mechanic, and use our considerable resources to recover your losses in a fair settlement.
Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Car Accident Lawsuit
Inadequate car maintenance can result in a car wreck that injures pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists. If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney to handle your lawsuit.
There’s no better Florida firm to represent you in a car accident lawsuit. We won’t be intimidated or outfoxed by big insurance companies. Dolman Law Group will have your back throughout the personal injury claims process and recover the damages you are owed.
Contact us at (833) 55-CRASH for auto accidents, or (727) 451-6900 for other claims. You can also send us an email on our contact us page.