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Does Your Vehicle Maintenance Affect Your Liability?


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When it comes to car accidents, liability is perhaps one of the first, and most important, issues that come to mind. Second only to any injuries sustained, liability can greatly impact your life. Especially if you are found at fault, since it could be devastating to your finances, your driving record, and even your personal reputation. As a driver, it’s easy to assume that you aren’t likely to be at fault as long as you “follow the rules.” You don’t drink and drive. You fully stop at intersections, and you proceed through with caution. You use your signals. You frequently check your mirrors when behind the wheel. 

You should be in the clear, right? 

Not necessarily. Did you know that how you maintain your own vehicle can actually affect your liability if and when you experience a collision with another driver? It’s true. If you fail to maintain your car and keep up with standard repairs, you could find yourself being hit with a ticket claiming that YOU are the at-fault driver in an accident. Keep these things in mind when it comes to taking care of your car and how it could affect you when the unexpected comes your way: 

  • Timely repairs. Did your mechanic let you know that your brakes were in imminent need of replacement at your last tune-up? How about that faulty electrical system that kept making your vehicle lights short out? If you chose to ignore these issues and just keep on driving, it could come back to haunt you if you end up in an accident. If records show that your car was in need of repair, and you were clearly told about it and chose not to take action, you could be held liable in a collision.
  • Recalls. If you’ve left that recall letter from your vehicle manufacture languishing on your kitchen counter for a few months, saying you’ll “get around to it” when you have time, you could be in for a shock. Injuries and damages sustained in an accident could be tagged on you if it is proven that you were aware of the recall, knew of the needed repair, and had not taken the time or effort to have it repaired.
  • Routine maintenance. Simple maintenance is actually vital to the performance, and safety, of your vehicle. Regularly checking your tires for pressure, and tread life, is a huge part of preventing blowouts, and resulting accidents because of them. Keeping fluids changed out and refilled, investing in new wiper blades as needed, etc. are also important in keeping your car at its best, and therefore making you less likely to experience an accident. Don’t do these things, and you could find yourself holding bills with charges much larger than those new wipers or new tires would have cost.

If you’ve been injured or suffered damages thanks to the negligence of another driver, Sessums Law Group is here and ready to help you. We are Tampa Bay’s number one choice for representation when the unexpected comes your way, and we fight to get the compensation you deserve. WE STAND FOR YOU!

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