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How Poor Car Maintenance Can Impact Liability for a Car Crash

mechanic working on the brakes of a carMotor vehicle crashes are mostly caused by errors, bad decisions and other types of negligence while driving. People do not generally plan to have an accident. That said, drivers who fail to maintain their vehicles often create hazardous conditions before they ever get behind the wheel.

Today’s blog discusses what you need to know about maintaining your vehicle, including how failing to keep your car in safe working order could lead to a crash, cause harm to others and result in you being assessed with liability for any subsequent damages.

At Jay Trucks, our qualified attorneys are dedicated to helping accident victims obtain the compensation they need after a motor vehicle accident. Initial case reviews are completely free, and we welcome your questions about the legal process. We have the resources and staff to determine the cause of your crash, including whether it may be due to poor vehicle maintenance.

Let Us Review Your Case: (800) 762-8623

How Can Vehicle Maintenance Impact Road Safety?

Regular maintenance can significantly impact the safe operation of a vehicle. For example, failing to replace bald tires could lead to a blowout while driving and cause a crash.

Regardless of how new your vehicle is, there are many parts that will regularly wear out and fail, including:

  • Your tires – Getting your tires checked and rotated when you go in for routine maintenance helps. However, in-between routine servicing, you should also check them for tread wear and tear, slow leaks, punctures or other concerns that could increase the risk of a blowout. Also, be careful when inflating your tires to keep them at the pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Overinflating could cause a blowout, while underinflating may make them harder to handle and can also cause your tires to wear out faster.
  • Brakes – Even if you maintain the brakes regularly, they may need replacing sooner than you expect. A good indicator is if you hear unusual sounds, like grinding or screeching sounds whenever you apply the brakes. If this happens, driving could be extremely dangerous as your brakes may not be fully functioning. Get them in for servicing immediately to protect yourself and others from potential harm.
  • Steering – There are several issues that can mess up your ability to steer normally. For instance, if the alignment is off, your steering wheel may vibrate or pull in a certain direction. Additional issues may be down to the steering column, which could be even more serious. In other cases, it could be as simple as adding more power steering fluid. Regardless of what might be wrong, steering is a critical element in maintaining the safe operation of your vehicle.

Is Your Car Safe to Operate?

Drivers are responsible for taking measures to keep their vehicles in safe operating condition, which means, at a minimum:

  • Taking vehicles in for routine servicing, as recommended by the manufacturer/dealer
  • Caring for tires and brakes that may wear down sooner than expected, based on driver use and/or quality of the parts
  • Responding to recall notices and getting the affected parts repaired or replaced without delay
  • Being proactive about checking and repairing non-working headlights, taillights, brake or signal lights on your vehicle

Drivers who cause a crash after continuing to operate their vehicle despite a known or suspected hazard may be assessed with liability for causing a foreseeable incident.

What if My Routine Maintenance Resulted in a Faulty Repair or Defective Part?

When you have your car maintenance done at a repair shop, you expect your vehicle to be safe to operate when you drive away, but unfortunately, this does not always happen. Sometimes repair shops or mechanics may be liable for a crash due to negligence that may include careless or illegal repairs or allowing an inexperienced mechanic to work on your vehicle without supervision.

If you have your vehicle regularly serviced, but a failed or defective part contributed to the crash anyway, the service or repair shop may be assessed with liability for the damages. In some situations, a third party, such as the manufacturer or dealer, may be held liable if a defective part contributed to your crash.

Speak to a Qualified Lawyer About Your Crash Today

If a driver’s failure to maintain the safety of his or her vehicle caused the crash that led to your injuries, you may have the ability to file a liability claim for additional damages against that at-fault party.

At Jay Trucks, we are available to determine what legal options you may have for recovering compensation if a negligent driver's failure to maintain the safe operation of his or her vehicle caused you to suffer injuries in a crash.

Our Grand Rapids-based car crash attorneys are here to help you understand all your potential legal options for seeking compensation. Initial consultations are free, with no obligation to move forward. There are also no upfront costs to pay if we represent you.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. (800) 762-8623