Responsible drivers maintain their vehicles to ensure they are as safe as possible to operate on public roadways. When negligence causes a vehicle to lose control and injure people or property, liability issues arise. New Mexico law requires car owners to carry at least $25,000 in liability coverage to cover personal injury costs in an accident. State law enables those injured in car accidents to file personal injury claims with the offending motorist’s insurer or sue in court to recover damages when either the vehicle is not insured or does not have enough coverage to pay full costs.
Many vehicles lack proper maintenance
Vehicles with worn brakes, bald tires or bad suspension parts are examples of poorly maintained cars that are dangerous to drive. When car owners neglect to maintain vehicles and those vehicles become dangerous, the potential for an injury-causing accident is high. The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently reported the driver age groups most at-risk of being in auto accidents also are the two groups that most often drive improperly maintained vehicles.
Older cars represent higher risks
Those two groups are seniors over age 65 and teen drivers. The primary reason they drive relatively poorly maintained vehicles is that neither age group has a lot of discretionary income to spend on newer cars. The vehicles they drive tend to be several years old and often several models removed from current editions of the same vehicle. Many older vehicles also lack the modern safety enhancements, like blind-spot monitoring, auto braking and side-curtain airbags, which often come standard on newer models.
Dangerous cars raise liability issues
When a car with bad brakes rear-ends another vehicle, serious injuries could occur. That is just one way that an improperly maintained car might cause an accident and serious injuries. Sometimes, the level of negligence and the amount of damage done greatly exceeds insurance coverage limits. When that happens, a personal injury case can help to set things right and ensure the offending party pays.