A 2011 case in front of the New South Wales courts has highlighted the duty of care that an owner of a vehicle has towards the driver.
Driving in New South Wales can be a dangerous endeavour. This is compounded when a vehicle is not in a road worthy state. In cases like these it is essential you talk to a compensation lawyer, who can help you meet the costs of your medical bills that arise from a crash involving a poorly maintained vehicle.
But who is responsible for a crash if you are not the owner of the car you are driving? A 2011 case before the New South Wales Court of Appeal can help people understand the obligations of car owners when someone else is driving their vehicle.
Driving crashes increasing in New South Wales
With so many people on the road, New South Wales drivers face a number of hazards that sit outside of their control.
Figures released by the state government show there was a 21 per cent increase in road deaths between February 2015 and 2016 – rising by 61.
This comes off the back of a report from the ABC that used figures from the New South Wale government to highlight 2015 had the highest road toll in three years.
“There’s an increasing number of people who are distracted and texting,” said NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay, according to the article.
With the ever increasing risks posed by hazardous drivers, you need to be on your toes. But if something does go wrong, it is important to contact an injury lawyer who can advise you on your options.
But other drivers are not the only issue that can lead to a crash and serious injury. In some instances, the mechanical condition of the car can have a major impact on a driver’s ability.
Bald tyres lead to major crash
A 2011 case that was taken to the New South Wales Court of Appeal highlighted the responsibilities and obligations a driver and owner in relation to one another.
The Judge considered whether it was the responsibility of the driver to check the condition of a car before driving it. The plaintiff was asked by the defendant to drive his vehicle because the defendant was too intoxicated.
While the plaintiff was driving through a roundabout, he lost control and crashed into a telegraph pole. The reason for the loss of control was blamed on the condition of the tyres, which were bald at the time.
The Court of Appeal decided the owner had a responsibility to ensure the defective vehicle was not driven. This is due to the owner having the best knowledge of the condition of the car, while the driver was unaware that the tyres were in need of replacing.
Defective car can lead to owner liability
In cases where a owner is aware that aspects of the vehicle are faulty, they have a duty of care towards the driver. While the defendant did warn the driver that the tyres were bald, he failed to satisfy the obligation of care by preventing the driver from operating the vehicle.
Additionally, the court found that if the driver did not have reasonable cause to doubt the integrity of the vehicle, they are not required to ask the owner whether the care is roadworthy, thus avoiding liability for any accidents.
What can we learn from the case?
The accident is noteworthy because it highlights that vehicle owners have a duty of care to drivers and any issues around road worthiness are their responsibility not that of the drivers.
In cases like these, it is essential that drivers seek assistance of an experienced compensation lawyer. With serious injury and associated medical costs, a car accident can lead to physical, emotional and financial loss.
At PK Simpson, we offer a no win, no fee policy that can ensure you are properly compensated for your injury, with our costs deducted from a winning settlement. If you would like to know more, contact PK Simpson today.