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Can Vehicle Maintenance Become a Factor in a Car Crash Lawsuit?

using socket wrench on engineThere are many reasons why car crashes happen, from driver negligence to bad weather or poor road conditions. One factor that does not get as much attention is a lack of maintenance of one of the vehicles involved in the accident.

For example, over or underinflated tires could blow out while a car is in motion, causing the driver to lose control and cause a dangerous crash. The faster the vehicle is traveling when the blowout occurs, the more serious the crash is likely to be.

There are many other ways a lack of maintenance of a vehicle could result in a crash. Below, learn more about how lack of maintenance could factor into a car crash claim. Our Harrisburg auto accident attorneys are available to discuss the factors involved in your car crash claim. The initial consultation is free of charge.

Linking Vehicle Maintenance to an Accident

When you file a car crash claim, you need to prove the other driver’s negligence directly resulted in the accident and link the accident to your injuries. One possible example of negligence is not performing regular maintenance on your vehicle.

For example, if a driver has problems with the brakes on his or her vehicle and does not get them worked on, the brakes could fail and result in a crash. Drivers have a responsibility to get their vehicles serviced regularly to make sure everything is working as it should. Failing to maintain their vehicles or deal with problems they notice or should notice could result in them being held liable if a crash happens.

However, your lawyer must link poor maintenance to the cause of the crash. For example, underinflated tires likely have nothing to do with a rear-end crash. However, if a driver making a right turn crashes into an oncoming vehicle with broken headlights, the driver of the oncoming vehicle may be held liable for not getting his or her lights fixed. Failing to fix your brake lights could also make you liable if a car rear-ends you at night.

What Steps Should Drivers Take to Maintain Their Vehicles?

Following your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule is a good way to help make sure your vehicle is safe to operate. It could also help prevent you from being held financially liable in an accident.

Make sure to take your vehicle to the dealer or a mechanic with the proper certifications. It is not enough to take your car in to get worked on, you need to be sure the mechanics know what they are doing and do good work. If you follow the maintenance schedule but the mechanic does bad work, you could still be held liable for a crash if problems with your car were the cause.

It is very important to keep an eye on your brakes, steering, tires, headlights and taillights. Problems with these could not only cause you to get into an accident, they could also result in you being held liable for an accident.

Checking Tires

If your tires look underinflated, use a tire pressure gauge to check if they are properly inflated. If they are not, add more air until they are properly inflated – the proper tire pressure for each tire should be on each tire and in your vehicle owner’s manual. You should also check the treads to be sure they are not too worn down. If they are, your tires will have more trouble gaining traction on the road, particularly in the rain or snow.

Problems with Brakes

When it comes to your brakes, if you hear noises, such as squealing, squeaking or grinding, you need to get to a mechanic right away. Sometimes brakes feel spongy when you apply them. This could be incredibly dangerous because your brakes may not work as quickly as usual, particularly if you need to stop quickly. This could make you more likely to crash into someone.

Steering Problems

Any problems with your steering should be investigated immediately. For example, if you notice vibrations, trouble turning or having to expend more effort to turn the wheel than normal, there may be problems with your vehicle’s steering system or your wheels. Vibrations could indicate your wheels are not properly aligned. This could make it more difficult to move forward or backward in a straight line.

Sometimes you just need more power steering fluid in your vehicle. Other times you may need an alignment or other maintenance to make your steering system function properly.

Call Today for Help with Your Claim

After an accident it is important to talk to a licensed attorney who has significant experience representing car crash victims. He or she can help you determine if you may have a case and what it may be worth.

At Schmidt Kramer, we have recovered millions on behalf of auto accident victims in Pennsylvania. We know how to build a robust case and aggressively pursue maximum compensation. We can determine if a lack of vehicle maintenance played a role in your crash.

Our lawyers work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees and we do not get paid for representing you unless you get paid for your damages.

Have questions? We have answers. Call today. Phone: (717) 888-8888.