Can I Continue to Drive My Car After an Auto Accident in West Palm Beach?

After a car accident, you and your vehicle may not be at your best. But you probably have obligations to your family, friends, and employer that will push you to drive again.

Read on to learn some of the warning signs that you or your vehicle cannot drive after an auto accident in West Palm Beach.

Can You Continue to Drive?

You should first ask if you have the physical and mental ability to drive. Car accidents can cause all kinds of trauma. If you drive too soon, you could endanger your life and risk another car accident.

Some conditions that might prevent you from driving include:

Soft Tissue Injuries

If you suffered a strain, a sprain, or torn cartilage in your car accident, you probably have symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion

All of these symptoms will limit your ability to drive safely. They will also prevent you from reacting to traffic hazards.

Fractured Bones

The treatment for most fractured bones is immobilization in a cast or brace. The cast or brace will limit your flexibility. It can also inhibit your movement. Once again, you will not drive safely and will risk another accident.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD results when your mind recalibrates after a traumatic event like a car accident. The brain believes it can avoid another accident by becoming hypervigilant. As a result, your brain becomes oversensitized to triggers that remind you of the accident.

Some symptoms of PTSD that can affect your ability to drive include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Paranoia

If your car accident caused PTSD, you should work with a therapist before trying to drive again. If you drive too soon, you could suffer a debilitating anxiety attack and cause another accident.

Is Your Car Safe to Drive?

After you confirm your physical and mental ability to drive, you should consider whether you can safely drive your vehicle. An accident can damage your car in ways you cannot see. If you drive your vehicle without thoroughly checking its condition, you risk a traffic citation, a breakdown, or another accident.

Traffic Citations

A Florida police officer can issue you a traffic citation for driving an unsafe vehicle

Police have two standards for determining a vehicle to be unsafe:

  • The vehicle is in such a condition that it endangers people or property
  • The vehicle lacks the lights and equipment required by Florida law

If your vehicle meets either of these conditions, it is unsafe under Florida law, and you cannot drive it legally.

Breakdowns

Your vehicle can suffer mechanical damage that you might not detect. 

Some invisible types of damage that can cause a breakdown include:

  • Wheels out of alignment
  • Leaking radiator
  • Damaged tire

Finding these problems might require an inspection from a mechanic.

Vehicle Damage Can Cause Another Accident

An accident can damage your vehicle in a way that makes another accident likely. 

Some examples of this type of damage include:

  • Damaged or leaking brakes
  • Broken or leaking power steering
  • Broken hood latch
  • Broken windshield
  • Broken headlights, tail lights, or turn signals
  • Missing side mirror

These car problems not only violate Florida’s safety laws but could also cause another accident. More importantly, if you cause an accident while driving a damaged car, you might bear liability for the accident. Causing an accident may expose you to liability for resulting injuries and other damages.

This means that accident victims may be entitled to file a claim or personal injury lawsuit against you. Therefore, it’s best to ensure that both you and your vehicle are safe to drive after an auto accident in West Palm Beach to avoid another collision.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers at the location nearest you for a free consultation:

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 770-1308

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 287-0566

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 556-7873