A Failed Vehicle Inspection Can Affect Your Accident Case

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Vehicle inspections are something every car, SUV, and truck owner must go through once every 12 months in New York. While the inspections can be time-consuming and frustrating if your car fails, they serve a vital purpose. The inspections help ensure your vehicle is road-safe and its emissions are at environmentally acceptable levels. 

Unfortunately, negligence cases linked to car inspection failures are on the rise. This means not every vehicle owner is resolving issues discovered during the inspection. If you’re involved in a vehicle collision, a failed inspection can impact your accident case.

Vehicle Inspection Can Affect Your Accident Case

Are Vehicle Inspections Mandatory in New York

If you’re driving around New York, your vehicle must have a valid inspection sticker. The sticker indicates your vehicle is both road and environmentally safe, and this law can also apply to out-of-state drivers. 

For example, if you live in Pennsylvania but work and drive in New York State, a vehicle inspection may be added to your to-do list. Before you decide a trip to New York isn’t worth the time and effort, the inspection law only applies to vehicles registered in the state.

So, if you work in New York but your car is registered in another state, you’ll have to follow their inspection laws. However, if you’re driving a vehicle registered in New York, it may be time to get it inspected regardless of your state of residency.

However, there are a few exemptions to the inspection requirements, and some vehicles may be able to skip the inspection even when they’re registered in New York. Exemptions can include vehicles less than two years old. If your vehicle is over 25 years old, it may also be exempt. Electric vehicles and motorcycles can also skip the annual inspection, and some diesel-powered cars and trucks may also be able to avoid the annual inspections.

Since vehicle inspection laws can be a little vague and confusing, it’s a good idea to check with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find out more. They can let you know if the inspection sticker is a requirement or something you don’t need to worry about.

Potential Penalties for Skipping a Vehicle Inspection

Skipping a vehicle inspection is tempting, even if you’re positive your car will pass with flying colors. Lines are often long, even if you have an appointment. Yes, you can call and schedule a vehicle inspection at some sites. However, this doesn’t mean you can pull directly into a spot. There’s still a good chance you’ll find yourself waiting in line.

As annoying as a vehicle inspection can be, it’s still something you don’t want to skip since there are penalties for not staying current. Along with fines, you can also rack up parking tickets. Even if your vehicle is legally parked, you can still receive a ticket for a missing or expired inspection sticker. Failing to pay parking tickets can result in your vehicle being booted or even towed, and both of these are expensive to resolve.

Your vehicle inspection is also a requirement for vehicle registration. Failing to register your vehicle can lead to an automatic tow. Now you have towing and storage fees, along with fines. Getting your vehicle back may require registration, and this is almost impossible without passing an inspection.

Failed Vehicle Inspection and Accident Cases

Failing a vehicle inspection doesn’t mean you can’t drive away. The inspection site isn’t going to impound your vehicle. Instead, you’re instructed to make the necessary repairs and go through the test again.

However, while you’re waiting to pass the inspection, you’re still at risk for incurring fines and other penalties. If you’re involved in an accident, your failed vehicle inspection can indicate negligence. How are you negligent? Since you failed the inspection your vehicle isn’t deemed safe for New York roads.

New York is one of a handful of states, around 13, which follow pure comparative negligence guidelines—but, what is pure comparative negligence? This law allows you to pursue a damage claim against another driver even if you’re 99% responsible for the vehicle collision. This means even if the other driver runs a red light and slams into your vehicle they may still be able to recover at least 1% of their damages if your vehicle fails its inspection.

Are you still feeling a little confused? Don’t worry; negligence rules can be confusing. In simple terms, since your vehicle doesn’t have a current inspection sticker it’s not considered road-worthy. Since you’re the vehicle owner, you’re negligent for taking it out on the road. While being held around 1% responsible for the collision may not seem like a big deal, it can have far-reaching consequences you haven’t considered.

Potential Impacts of a Failed Vehicle Inspection

Okay, so you’re already aware of the potential fines and penalties. Yes, New York traffic officers routinely check vehicle inspection status. While they’re not going to wander into your driveway or open garage, if you’re parked or driving on public streets, be prepared to get a citation.

If this isn’t costly enough, a failed vehicle inspection can have additional consequences. If you’re involved in an accident and negligence is proven, you should expect a significant increase in your auto insurance rates. Even picking up too many tickets for an expired inspection sticker can eventually result in higher insurance premiums. This is because the insurance company views you as a high-risk driver.

Don’t forget about being found at least partially responsible for the accident, which will definitely raise your insurance rates. Your auto insurance is responsible for paying for at least part of the other involved driver’s damage, even if they run a stop sign or red light. 

This also means your compensation amount is reduced by the percentage of your blame. Your total settlement amount may not be enough to cover your damages.

Protecting Your Legal Rights in Negligence Accident Cases

Whether the issue is with your car having a failed inspection sticker or it’s the other driver’s problem, pinning down who’s at fault in a car crash can get pretty tricky. 

To make sure you’re not unfairly saddled with too much blame, it’s smart to have a lawyer on your side. They can help navigate the tricky waters of negligence and ensure that your side of the story is properly represented.

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