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South Florida Driving Safety: Flooded Vehicles, Hidden Dangers

Before purchasing a new car, you’re going to want to do your homework. This is especially important with the recent damages from Hurricane Sandy. We’re talking about damages to vehicles resulting from flooding.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), consumers are being warned to keep their eyes out for vehicles that are being sold without the disclosure regarding flood damage.

In the state of Florida, dealers are prohibited from making any kind of deceptive, misleading or false statements about the history or the condition of the vehicle in question. Dealers are also required to disclose “Salvage” vehicles to consumers. “Salvage” is the category that is used for vehicles than have been damaged in a flood. If sold without the proper disclosure, a dealer may violate Unfair Trade Practice laws and face some serious consequences.

Our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys understand a vehicle can appear to have no damage, but damage from flooding can seriously mess up a vehicle’s safety mechanisms as well as its computer. Both of these instances can serve as some serious safety hazards and dangers to a new owner. You have a right to know what you’re buying and sellers have an obligation to be honest with you.

We’re here with some tips to help you to look into a vehicle before purchasing:

-Be sure that, before purchase, you take the vehicle to a certified mechanic to get a thorough look at it.

-Keep your eye out for a deal that’s too good to be true. That’s one of the biggest red flags.

-Take the time to look at the vehicle yourself. Look inside and out.

-Take a peek at the engine. Look to see if there’s a high water mark on the radiator. This is a clear indication that the car has indeed been flooded.

-Inspect the engine for corrosion or rust on the wires on the engine and on other components under the hood.

-Look at the carpet. Keep an eye out for an odor or any kind of mildew.

-Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable dealership when car shopping.

-Be cautious of car auctions. These are where many flooded vehicles end up.

-Before you purchase a vehicle, ask the dealership if you can have a detailed report of the history of the vehicle.

Most importantly, you should be extra careful when dealing with private sales. Those who are selling a vehicle on the internet or through any other kind of advertisement are not regulated by the State of Florida, meaning that they aren’t required to let you in on this kind of information. Do your own research to avoid being duped.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Seat Belt Usage Up — Still Thousands Killed in Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 30, 2012

Helpful Civilian Sustains Lifelong Injuries in Roadside Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 26, 2012

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