More than 2 million people in America are injured or disabled in road accidents every year.
Unsafe vehicles are often the cause of these accidents. If your car is in poor condition, you may be liable for any damage caused in the event of an accident.
In this article, we’ll explain how a dangerous car could land you in legal trouble.
When You’re Responsible for a Dangerous Car
You’ll be legally at fault in the following situations.
When You Don’t Maintain Your Car
If you fail to maintain the safety of your car by getting it checked and repaired regularly, you may be deemed negligent. As a result, you’ll be legally liable for any damages.
Drivers and car owners have a duty of reasonable care. This means that they are obligated to take steps to avoid harming or endangering other people. Failure to maintain a car falls under this umbrella.
Those involved in an accident can hire a personal injury lawyer to make a case against you.
Make sure that your brakes, lights, tires, and steering wheel are all in good working order. These are some of the most dangerous things to ignore on your car.
When You Let Someone Else Drive
You don’t need to be driving your car to be liable for damages. If you let someone else borrow it, you could also be held responsible for their actions while they’re behind the wheel.
If you purchase a car for business use, you will be held responsible for any accidents caused by employees who drive it. Similarly, you will also be liable if you are the owner of a family car, and a family member is involved in an accident while driving.
If there is ‘Negligent Entrustment’
Negligent entrustment means that you allow a ‘reckless’, ‘unfit’, or ‘incompetent’ driver use your car. If they cause an accident, you could be liable for any damages. This is not only because you have a dangerous car, but also because you’ve let a dangerous driver use it.
This would apply to the following types of people:
Underage, Unlicensed or Inexperienced Drivers
Allowing someone who is too young to legally drive or doesn’t have a license to drive your car unsupervised is negligent entrustment.
This applies to elderly individuals who would be deemed unfit to drive due to slow reaction times, sight problems, or other issues as a result of their age.
Of course, if you allow someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to drive your car, you could be liable. However, this may also apply if the individual is sober but likely to become intoxicated while using your car. For example, if they have a known addiction or history of substance abuse.
This applies when you allow someone who has a history of reckless driving behind the wheel of your car.
Keep Your Car Safe
It’s important to keep your car in tip-top condition. Regular maintenance will ensure that it’s roadworthy and keep you legally protected.
If you’re handy with cars, you might be able to perform some of this maintenance yourself. However, there are certain types of maintenance that need to be done by professionals.
Any mistakes you make with DIY car repairs could be dangerous. Take your car to a good mechanic for peace of mind.