Can I Be Liable for Not Repairing or Maintaining My Car if There Is An Accident?
Maryland law imposes numerous obligations on the owners of a motor vehicle keeping it:
- inspected and
- up to par on emissions standards.
Seasoned personal injury and accident lawyers in Baltimore are also very aware that owner has an obligation to keep that car safe as well. Section 22-101 of the transportation code mandates that all owners must keep their car in such a condition that it would not pose a threat to the safety of others.
One that fails to keep their car mechanically sound and safely operable can be responsible if that failure leads directly to an accident.
In most circumstances, if you own a car, and operate it in a negligent fashion, you are going to be held accountable if there is an accident. An alternate theory of liability, in an appropriate circumstance, would be that although the car was operated in a safe manner, the overall condition of the car- poor maintenance, failure to repair a known defect- was such that simply putting that car on the road in and of itself was a negligent act. If, causation can be demonstrated- that the failure to maintain or repair caused the accident- the owner may be accountable for the accident. Proof issues in a failure to maintain or failure to repair cases can be difficult. Expert testimony is almost always going to be required. Evidence preservation considerations loom, especially where the vehicles are damaged to the extent of being declared a total loss.
- This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 1/7/20.