Every state in the country enforces different laws pertaining to vehicle accidents and the rights and responsibilities of vehicle owners. Most states enforce inspection requirements that require drivers to submit their vehicles for annual safety and emissions testing. The purpose of these inspections is to ensure all vehicles on the roads are as safe as possible and do not pose extraneous environmental risks from excessive emissions.
The state does not enforce any strict car inspection laws. If a driver purchases a vehicle within the state, they are not required to conduct any annual safety or emissions inspections. Drivers are, however, required to address any discovered safety issues with their vehicles as soon as they appear. If a driver fails to acknowledge a known safety issue with their vehicle and they cause an accident, they can face many serious penalties alongside their liability for the victim’s damages.
If you are required to have your vehicle inspected, this is likely to entail a safety test and an emissions test. The safety test checks the various safety features of the vehicle, including the tires, braking system, head and taillights, seatbelts, and car horn. These safety features are designed to keep drivers and passengers as safe as possible, prevent accidents, or mitigate the severity of accidents if and when they occur.
Emissions testing is performed to check that a vehicle is not causing excessive environmental damage. The emissions tests verify that the combustion engine inside of the vehicle, the exhaust system, and the various fluid systems do not pose excessive environmental harm. If a vehicle fails an emissions test, the vehicle owner may need to pay for repairs or replacement parts that mitigate the environmental damage their vehicle may cause.
The benefits of vehicle inspections are increased driver safety and reduced environmental harm. Additionally, the fees collected for vehicle inspections not only benefit state agencies but also help local businesses that perform inspections for drivers. Additionally, if a driver’s vehicle needs an inspection, but they do not arrange for this before causing an accident, the penalties they face for the accident may increase.
Whether you believe a failure to arrange a vehicle inspection had anything to do with your recent accident, it is essential to know what you can do to recover from any type of car accident. Florida enforces the no-fault rule for car accidents, meaning all drivers must maintain their own insurance coverage and claim against their own policies when accidents happen, regardless of who is at fault. However, while your own insurance may be your first option for recovering your losses, you could also have grounds for legal action against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances.
If the damages you suffered in your recent accident exceed the amount of personal injury protection you have in your auto insurance policy and another driver is clearly at fault for the incident, you have the right to file a civil suit against them to seek compensation for the damages you suffered. A successful civil claim may yield compensation for vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering inflicted by the at-fault driver.
An experienced attorney is a great resource if you are unsure how to proceed with your recovery efforts following a car accident. If the other driver failed to meet their safety inspection requirements and they caused your accident due to a mechanical failure, this may impact your recovery in several ways. Your legal team can assist you with filing your auto insurance claim and exploring any other options for legal recourse that may be available to you.
A: Various state legislators in Florida have reduced vehicle inspection requirements over the past few decades, and the inspection requirement was entirely removed in 2000 by former Governor Jeb Bush. These changes were implemented due to the belief that mandatory vehicle inspections imposed unnecessary costs on state drivers and that the process itself was overly costly with minimal return on investment. Now, there are only certain situations in which vehicle safety and emissions testing are required.
A: You are only required to have your vehicle inspected in the state if you purchased it preowned from another owner or if you purchased the vehicle outside of the state. Failure to do so could prevent you from obtaining auto insurance for the vehicle, which is a requirement for every driver. You also cannot register a vehicle subject to inspection without producing proof that it has passed the required safety and emissions inspections.
A: Vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections are only required for vehicles with out-of-state titles. If a Florida driver purchases a vehicle outside the state, they must arrange a VIN inspection to obtain a state title and to insure the vehicle. Driving an unregistered vehicle and/or driving without auto insurance coverage can lead to serious penalties.
A: In most cases, if a vehicle fails any required safety inspection, it will need specific repairs to pass. The driver must pay for all required maintenance and repairs until the vehicle passes inspection. If the driver cannot afford the work immediately, the inspector can apply a failed inspection sticker to the vehicle, and the driver can take the vehicle home or to an authorized repair center to have the necessary work performed.
Florida has close to the most relaxed vehicle inspection rules in the country, but it is still crucial to ensure you meet any inspection requirements for your vehicle. If you were recently involved in a car accident and have questions or concerns about related insurance issues and how you can recover your losses, Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys can assist you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team.