No one plans to be involved in a traffic collision. But with more than 3.8 million people in the city of Los Angeles, many motor vehicle accidents happen every day.
Following a crash, many drivers wonder if they can legally continue to drive their cars in the city. There is no universal answer to whether you can drive a car that has been in an accident.
Typically, the police officer who responds to the scene of your car accident can tell you if your vehicle is still street legal. In most cases, more vehicular damage makes it less likely that you will be able to drive your car following a collision.
If you have legal questions following a vehicular collision, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will help you pursue the financial compensation that you are owed.
Determining a Vehicle’s Condition After a Collision
No matter the type of collision that you have experienced, it is important to check the function of your car afterward. For your car to be legally driven, the safety features and equipment must work properly.
Some of the most important safety features on a modern vehicle include:
Headlights, Turn Signals, and Brake Lights
According to research from the National Institutes of Health, over 40% of fatal car crashes occur at night. Because of this, vehicles on the road must have functional lights.
Safety lights on modern passenger vehicles include:
- Brake lights
- Turn signals
- Side mirror lights
If you drive a car without functioning lights, you increase the risks of an additional crash. Turning or changing lanes without a turn signal makes it likely that a collision will occur. Without functioning headlights, vehicles do not have adequate visibility after dark.
Vehicular Steering System
Traffic collisions sometimes result in a vehicle’s steering system being damaged. If this happens, you may be unable to adequately control the car.
Typically, steering problems result from the wheels becoming misaligned after a crash. When the wheels are not properly aligned, the vehicle may pull toward one side.
Misalignment can cause a driver to veer into oncoming traffic or onto a sidewalk. Ensure your car’s steering system is properly working before you continue driving on the roads.
Damage to the Hood, Body, Doors, or License Plate
Vehicles often sustain damage to the body or frame when a traffic collision happens. This can cause the doors or hood to be unable to close properly.
If your hood, doors, or trunk open while driving, it may cause an additional accident or collision. Ensure that the closing and locking mechanisms function on every part of the vehicle.
Also, you should check to make sure that your license plate is still attached and visible after an accident. If your license plate is missing or covered, driving your car on the roads will be illegal.
Check for Leaks
You should only drive your vehicle after an accident if there are no leaks. If you see that fluids are dripping or spewing from the bottom of your car or truck, take it to a repair shop.
Dripping fluids could be:
- Brake fluid
If your vehicle is losing antifreeze, it may overheat. Cars and trucks that leak brake fluid may be unable to stop.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney After Your Collision
If another driver’s negligence caused your collision, you might be able to recover financial compensation for damages. Regardless of your car’s damage after an accident in Los Angeles, speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.