Here in the state of Florida, most vehicle accidents are caused by a speeding, reckless, or negligent driver. If you are injured by one of these drivers, you are entitled to compensation.

But what if a faulty vehicle repair – by an improperly trained or negligent mechanic – is the reason you are injured in an accident? What are your rights in such circumstances?

Unfortunately, after a faulty vehicle repair, you could crash into another vehicle or run off the road entirely because your vehicle does not steer or brake properly. But, can a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer help?

WHO HAS LIABILITY IF FAULTY AUTO REPAIRS CAUSE INJURIES?

If a mechanic puts you in a vehicle that is not roadworthy, that mechanic – and the shop the mechanic works for – may have legal liability.

If you file an injury claim against a mechanic or a repair shop here in South Florida, such a claim will have two separate parts. To prevail with that claim, you and your attorney will need to prove that:

1. The repair work done on your vehicle was done negligently.
2. That faulty vehicle repair was a direct cause of the accident that injured you.

You should clearly understand that simply because a mechanic has worked on a vehicle, that mechanic cannot be held accountable for anything that might go wrong with the vehicle. Only if the actual repair work that the mechanic did is faulty can that mechanic or shop be found liable.

HOW CAN YOU PROVE AN INJURY CLAIM BASED ON FAULTY REPAIR WORK?

Always, always keep parts receipts and repair receipts. If you cannot prove that a particular mechanic or shop worked on your vehicle, you will have no case.

To prove that the repairs on your vehicle were done improperly, you will probably need to have an automotive expert – a certified and qualified mechanic – serve as an expert witness and give a deposition or testify in court to explain exactly what went wrong with the repair work.

When a mechanical failure is responsible for an accident, it is not usually difficult to prove. Instead, what is difficult is proving that a particular repair was faulty and a direct cause of a collision.

That is why an expert’s insights and testimony can be so critical in these cases.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF AN ACCIDENT HAPPENS?

If you are involved in a traffic accident in South Florida, because of a faulty vehicle repair or for any other reason, what steps should you take? There will not be an attorney to advise you at the accident scene, so you may want to print out this page and keep a hard copy in your vehicle.

Here is what you will need to do if you are involved in a South Florida traffic collision:

1. If anyone is injured, summon medical assistance at once. After any traffic crash, that is the number one priority.

2. Call the police. Ask the officers when and how you can acquire a copy of their written accident report.

3. Trade your contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved.

4. Take plenty of photographs of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles (be sure to photograph the license plates), and your own visible injuries.

5. If there are eyewitnesses, try to obtain their contact information. Later, your attorney may need to ask them for statements or testimony.

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT PRIORITY?

Speaking as quickly as possible to an accident attorney is your next priority. After you have been examined by a healthcare professional, arrange at once to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney.

Victims of negligence are entitled by Florida law to full reimbursement for injury-related medical costs, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all other injury-related damages and losses.

And if the real cause of your injuries is a mechanic’s carelessness, you are still entitled to compensation. An accident attorney’s help is also your right.

HOW QUICKLY WILL YOU NEED TO ACT?

If you believe that you were injured in an accident because of faulty repair work, launch the legal process as quickly as you can.

Florida imposes a four-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions linked to traffic injuries. If you have been injured, however, do not wait four years. Candidly, you should not even wait four weeks.

Put an accident lawyer on your case at once. Evidence in personal injury cases – especially evidence of a technical or mechanical nature – could quickly deteriorate or disappear, and the memories of eyewitnesses can fade fast.

For those reasons alone, the sooner you put an attorney on a personal injury case, the more likely it is that your injury claim will prevail and that you will receive the full compensation you need.

WHAT WILL JUSTICE COST YOU?

The Federal Trade Commission reports that vehicle repair problems rank high among consumer complaints. Nevertheless, most repair shops in South Florida are professionally managed and provide superlative customer service.

Other repair shops, however, fail to reach that mark, and when they carelessly do repair work on a vehicle, the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who share the road with that vehicle are at risk.

What will it cost you to learn more about your rights if faulty vehicle repairs are the reason you have been injured? Not a thing. Most accident lawyers in South Florida offer the victims of negligence a free, no-obligation first meeting and case review.

HOW WILL AN ACCIDENT LAWYER HELP YOU?

Your attorney will consider the details of the case and recommend the best way for you to move forward, which might be a personal injury lawsuit.

Do not be intimidated by the idea of a lawsuit. If you take that legal action, you will pay your attorney no fees until that attorney obtains a settlement or a verdict on your behalf.

You may not even have to enter a courtroom. Most personal injury claims in Florida are settled outside of the courtroom in private negotiations between the attorneys for both sides.

It is imperative to take your case to a reputable personal injury attorney as quickly as possible if you sustain any injury in a traffic collision in South Florida. It’s your health, your future, and your right.