What are the Most Common Car-Related Problems?

Most people depend on cars to get to work, to go to school, to run errands, and to take their children to sports and other activities. In addition, with fewer people traveling by airplane during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, cars have become the preferred mode of travel. Unfortunately, cars can break down or develop technical issues that can be stressful, costly, and increase the risk of a serious car wreck. However, many of these issues can be avoided if car owners take proper care of their vehicles and ensure that they are properly maintained. If a motorist fails to take the proper care of his or her vehicle, which leads to a serious accident, a skilled car wreck lawyer can review the details of the accident and recommend the best legal course of action.

What Mechanical Issues are Most Likely to Occur?

At some point, most car owners will have to deal with some type of mechanical issue, whether it is a minor problem such as a flat tire, or a more serious issue like brake failure. The best way to avoid common car problems is to have the vehicle checked by a professional mechanic who can check all the vehicle’s parts to make sure they are functioning properly and recommend any repairs that may be necessary. The following are examples of some of the most common mechanical issues that may arise:

  • Warning lights. The check engine light will come on if the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) detects an error triggered by a sensor. There are over 200 possible warning codes, so motorists are urged to have a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle to determine the source and recommend the necessary repairs.
  • Sputtering engine. If the fuel and ignition system components are not working together as they should, the engine may start to sputter or misfire. To prevent this from happening, the ignition system components should be replaced.
  • Poor fuel economy. If fuel system parts such as fuel filters, air filters, mass air flow sensors, and O2 sensors get dirty or wear out, it can cause the engine to consume more fuel than usual. This can be prevented with the proper servicing.
  • Dead battery. The typical car battery lasts for approximately three years or 50,000 miles, at which time it should be replaced. A damaged alternator, battery temperature sensor, or other charging components can cause a battery to lose its ability to maintain a charge.
  • Flat tires. In most cases, this occurs when a sharp object, such as a nail or a tack, punctures the tire. However, flat tires can also be caused by simple wear and tear. A mechanic can recommend when the tires should be rotate, and when they should be replaced.
  • Alternator failure. The alternator helps keep the vehicle’s electrical systems running smoothly and supplies a charge to the battery. If the alternator breaks, the battery will wear out more quickly and the car may not start. The alternator should be replaced before this happens.
  • Worn brake pads. When the vehicle’s brakes are not working properly, there is an increased risk of a serious car wreck if the motorist is unable to stop or slow down. Worn brakes will start to squawk or make other noises, which are a sign that they may need to be replaced.
  • Shaky steering wheel. This can occur when the vehicle’s suspension is worn out, or because of bad wheel bearings. If the wheel starts to shake when driving on smooth roads, the vehicle should be inspected by a mechanic. When checking the steering wheel, the mechanic should also inspect the tire pressure and the car’s alignment.
  • Slipping automatic transmission. If the transmission system becomes damaged, clogged with debris, or leaks, it can cause the transmission to slip. This problem can be avoided by staying on top of the recommended maintenance schedule.
  • If the coolant leaks, not enough coolant gets to the engine block. This can cause the engine to overheat. This can cause a range of issues, including further engine problems.
  • Headlight and taillight issues. When a headlight or taillight is broken, it can impact a driver’s visibility. It also makes it difficult for other drivers to see the vehicle at night. Lights should be inspected regularly and replaced if damaged or not working properly.

What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident Caused by a Mechanical Issue?

If a motorist is injured in a car accident, the first thing they should do is to call 911 so that police and emergency medical technicians can be sent to the accident scene. Once the police report has been filled out and the injured motorist has been examined by a medical professional, it is highly recommended that the motorist contact a skilled legal professional who will protect the victim’s rights, assist them with the claims process, and secure the financial compensation they deserve. The following are examples of how a lawyer can help victims of car wrecks:

  • Communicate with the insurance company. Getting into a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It can be difficult to navigate the claims process, particularly when trying to recover from injuries. A lawyer understands that insurance companies are in the business of making money, which means that they are going to use a range of tactics that will help them avoid paying a large settlement amount. A lawyer will handle the following:
    – Negotiate with the insurance adjuster
    – Oversee every step of the claims process
    – Prepare a carefully crafted statement on behalf of the injured motorist
    – Prioritize the legal rights of the injured motorist and seek the financial compensation he or she deserves
  • Obtain proof of liability. To have a successful claim, the injured party must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent. Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that if the injured victim is considered a mere one percent at fault for the accident, he or she will be ineligible to recover damages. A skilled lawyer will collect the evidence necessary to build a strong and successful case. This can include the following:
    – Consult with medical experts who can confirm the seriousness of the victim’s injuries
    – Reconstruct the scene of the accident
    – Obtain copies of the accident report
    – Collect medical records
    – Interview witnesses who were at the scene of the accident
  • Determine the financial losses associated with the injuries. The insurance company will do whatever they can to pay as little as possible, including convincing the injured party to accept a modest settlement offer. A skilled lawyer will determine the true value of the victim’s injuries and negotiate a financial settlement that covers the full extent of his or her losses, including the following:
    – Past and future medical bills
    – Lost wages and future lost income
    – Pain and suffering
  • Negotiate the best possible settlement. Experienced lawyers can anticipate the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid paying a fair settlement.
  • File a personal injury lawsuit. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement amount, a lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain the financial compensation his or her client deserves.
  • Explain every step of the claims process. The claims process can be confusing and overwhelming to someone who does not have a legal background. A lawyer understands the laws and regulations that apply to the accident and will thoroughly explain the legal options available to the client. The lawyer will work closely with the injured party and address all the client’s questions and concerns.

It is highly recommended that motorists contact a lawyer anytime they are involved in a car wreck. This will ensure that the victim has a skilled and dedicated legal team on their side who will work tirelessly to secure the best possible settlement offer. The following are situations in which it is particularly important that a car accident victim seek legal representation:

  • The victim suffered injuries in the car accident.
  • The injuries are serious, permanent, or long-lasting.
  • The other motorist denies fault.
  • The insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement.
  • The injured motorist has been asked to provide copies of medical records.
  • The insurance company offers an initial settlement amount that does not cover the expenses associated with the injuries.

Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist Clients with Every Step of the Claims Process

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car wreck involving a vehicle that had mechanical issues, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Motorists are responsible for ensuring that their vehicle is properly maintained. A failure to do so can cause the vehicle to become unsafe. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are conveniently located in BaltimoreColumbiaGlen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel CountyCarroll CountyHarford CountyHoward CountyMontgomery CountyPrince George’s CountyQueen Anne’s CountyMaryland’s Western CountiesSouthern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of CatonsvilleEssexHalethorpeMiddle RiverRosedale, Gwynn OakBrooklandvilleDundalkPikesvilleParkvilleNottinghamWindsor MillLuthervilleTimoniumSparrows PointRidgewood, and Elkridge.