What if my car was messed up?
Cars on the road need to be in good driving condition. When something on a car isn’t working right and the broken thing contributes to an accident, that driver will be held responsible.
There's the obvious stuff that needs to work: the brakes, steering, headlights, brake lights and turn signals all need to work properly. The headlights must be aimed to light up the road in front of the car, and a ways down the road (not off to the side or up towards the sky).
If a car is broken in a way that makes it dangerous, it shouldn’t be driven! A person doesn’t have to be a mechanic to know when brakes are not working properly, or that tires have no tread left. If whatever is wrong with the car is clear from a basic inspection, that’s a problem for the driver. If a person took their car to be fixed, and the mechanic missed something that causes an accident, the driver is still liable. The person driving the car is responsible for that car being in good driving condition (although it doesn't stop the person from suing the mechanic, it's just that a mechanic’s mistake won't protect the driver from his responsibility toward whoever gets hurt because of what was wrong with the car).
What if my car was full of stuff? What if the windows were all muddy?
Along the requirement that a car be in good driving condition, a car should also not be dangerously over-loaded. An example of this would be filling up the back and/or passenger seat with so much stuff that it blocks the driver’s view out the back or side windows. Another problem with over-loading is when the trunk is stuffed so full that the brake lights are blocked. As drivers are required to be able to see behind and alongside their car, the windows need to be relatively clean and not painted over or covered up in any way.
If you have been injured in an accident and would like to discuss your legal options with an experienced Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney, contact us online or call us at 916-921-6400 or toll-free at 800-404-5400 to set up a FREE consultation.