Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Firm News / “Retro” Safety Features in Your Car Are a Legal Liability

“Retro” Safety Features in Your Car Are a Legal Liability

Old cars are undeniably cool to look at, but newer cars are much safer.  You might wish to feel like a young James Dean, racing down the road in a classic car, but then you should remember that most cars in the 1950s didn’t have seatbelts, and thus James Dean, like so many young men of his generation, never made it past the springtime of his life.  Looker cool is arguably an even higher priority in Florida than it is in other states, and thus people customize their cars with all manner of status symbols, including some that were state-of-the-art in previous decades but have since been replaced by safer features.  As a recent news story shows, driving a car that prioritizes old-school cool over current safety standards can be a legal liability.  If the owner of the car where you were riding at the time of your accident ignored current safety requirements in the name of fashion, it could strengthen your case in a Florida car accident lawsuit.

Kevin Hart and the Classic Plymouth Barracuda

Before it crashed on September 1, the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda belonging to comic actor Kevin Hart was a sight to see.  Hart had done extensive modifications on the car so that it would have the same features as it had originally had in 1970.  That means that it had no airbags, as well as no safety harnesses; its only seatbelts were the lap belts typically found in early 70s cars.  During the accident on September 1, Hart was riding in the front seat of the car; he sustained injuries serious enough to keep him hospitalized for ten days.  The driver was also seriously injured, and the passenger in the back seat suffered minor injuries.  It is likely that, if the car had had airbags and safety harnesses, all the injuries would have been much less serious.  All three people who were in the car have hired lawyers.

The Legal Issues

If the police and the insurance companies determine that the man driving Hart’s car was at fault for the crash, Hart can sue him for negligence.  Much of the media coverage about the accident, though, indicates that Hart anticipates going to court as a defendant.  The people injured in his car can sue him for negligence since he was the one who had his car modified to be less safe than it would have been without the custom modifications he ordered.  Hart had a duty of care to make his car safe for the people riding in it; even though he was not driving, the car is his responsibility, since he owns it.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

The classic cars of Florida look majestic, but they can do serious damage to their passengers’ health in an accident.  If you have been injured in an accident with an old-fashioned car, you might have grounds for a lawsuit.  Contact Palm Beach Gardens car accident attorneys at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Injury Lawyers for a consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn