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Car Customization and Liability Risk

Customizing cars is a hobby almost as old as the automobile itself. The popularity of cable TV shows about custom shops, the availability of consumer aftermarket components, and the deep roots of American car culture combine to make custom cars an increasingly common sight on the road. Although customization is fun, its fans should take a moment to think about how it can affect their legal liability. There are a number of considerations worth bearing in mind.
  • Know your insurer’s position on customization.
If a custom modification causes an accident an insurer may not be willing to cover the resulting damages unless the insurance policy specifically allows for the custom work. Insurers like to know the details about the vehicles they insure. The vehicle identification number (VIN) provided to the insurer tells it much more than just the make and model of the car: it helps the insurer know exactly what the vehicle is equipped with and how much the vehicle is worth. A customization may alter the vehicle’s value but can also alter its performance. For example, installing an engine enhancer that increases horsepower could make the car more dangerous to drive. An insurer needs to know the kind of risk it is taking on so it can appropriately price its policies.
  • Installing aftermarket parts may complicate products liability protections.
When a consumer is injured as a consequence of design or manufacturing defects in a product the consumer can have the option to sue the manufacturer under a products liability theory. Changes to the stock configuration of the vehicle can free the manufacturer from responsibility. Instead, the manufacturer or installer of the custom part might be responsible. But determining who is at fault in such cases can be tricky, especially if the nature of the problem that caused the accident is difficult to determine.
  • Direct responsibility for unsafe modifications.
A hobbyist who does his or her own customization work often assumes the risk that some part of the work wasn’t completed correctly. Making changes to a car in a way that renders the car unsafe could expose the hobbyist to liability for any resulting injuries. Absent insurance that specifically covers it, the hobbyist could be left bearing all of the cost of the ensuing litigation and compensation to injured parties.

Ask an accident attorney about injuries from custom cars

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients injured in auto accidents in the Las Vegas area recover compensation. If you have questions about an accident involving a customized car, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Why Hire a Las Vegas Auto Accident Attorney?

A Las Vegas auto accident attorney can help guide you through the sometimes complicated legal process that occurs after you’ve been hurt in a traffic collision.

Although accidents involving cars, trucks or motorcycles are the most common kind of personal injury claim, every incident is different. If you are involved in a collision involving a truck, car or motorcycle, contact a Las Vegas auto accident attorney immediately. You should also:

  • Get medical attention for your injuries.
  • Obtain the names, drivers license numbers and insurance information of all drivers.
  • Seek eyewitnesses to the accident and get their names and phone numbers.
  • File a report with law enforcement authorities and include as complete an account of the accident as possible.

Since 1970, we’ve represented auto accident victims with integrity and a true commitment to aiding their recovery.

A Las Vegas Auto Accident Attorney to Represent Your Interests

A Las Vegas auto accident attorney will represent your interests if you’ve been injured in a traffic collision involving:

  • Distracted driving. Motorists who text, talk or scan the internet on cell phones while driving are increasingly responsible for traffic accidents. Applying makeup or eating are other reasons that drivers take their eyes off the road.
  • Speeding. There will always be motorists who break speed limit laws or drive faster than road conditions allow.
  • Reckless driving. Even if they are not speeding, motorists who are overly aggressive can cause accidents.
  • Driving under the influence. In spite of law enforcement efforts, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is still a problem. Some estimates place the percentage of accidents caused by drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs at 45 percent.
  • Factors outside the motorist’s control. Hazards on the road such as construction debris or inadequate signage are common causes of traffic accidents. Vehicle defects also play a role in some accidents.

When you have been hurt in a traffic collision and need a Las Vegas auto accident attorney, call the law firm of Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez a 702-388-GGRM (4476). We work on a contingency basis - you pay only if we are able to obtain monetary compensation for you.