Florida Mediation and Personal Injury Attorney


Can Being Handicap Can Affect Your Car Accident Claim?

handicap driver with a modified vehicle that impacts the car accident claim process
If you’re handicap and your car has been modified to suit your needs, it could impact your car insurance rates and the costs of damages in a car accident claim.

Do you have a disability as a handicap driver? Has your car been modified as a result? Are you wondering how these car modifications can impact you when filing a car accident claim in Florida?


If you answered yes to one or more of these questions—either for yourself or a loved one—it’s critical that you learn more about your rights and what to expect during the car accident insurance claims process.

Common ADA car modifications for handicap drivers

If you have any type of handicap that affects your ability to operate a motor vehicle, there may be a modification that can help.


Before we discuss the most common car modifications for ADA purposes, keep this in mind: all modifications should be completed by an authorized dealer. 


Here are some of the many ways you can modify a vehicle:


  • Automatic doors, to make it easier to enter and exit
  • Seat modifications, such as if you need to adjust your height
  • Adaptive ignition controls
  • Hand controls, to make it easier to turn the wheel
  • Wheelchair ramps and wheelchair lifts, for easier access
  • Left-foot accelerators, in the event that your right foot is injured


In regards to cost when requesting car modifications for handicap drivers, keep these two things in mind: 

  1. You’ll pay for the cost of parts.
  2. You’ll pay for the labor associated with the modification. 

Costs vary based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the type of modification, the area in which you live, and the dealer you choose.


The Simple Dollar shares the average cost of the most common car modifications:

  • Hand controls: $500 to $2,000.
  • Pedal extensions: $50 to $200.
  • Wheelchair accessibility: $10,000 to $24,000.
  • Amputee rings: $400 to $1,000.
  • Scooter lifts: $1,500 to $14,000.

Even though the cost of a modification can reach well into the thousands of dollars, it’s priceless when you consider what it will do for you. But how will these modifications impact you in the event of a car accident?

Who is at fault if a faulty ADA modification causes a car accident?

handicap vehicle damaged in car accident
Defective ADA modifications can cause a serious accident and different parties can be held responsible in a car accident claim.

If a faulty modification causes a car accident, several parties could be held at fault. Here are some of the possibilities: 


  • The parts manufacturer.
  • The dealer that made the modification.


For example, if a parts manufacturer sells a faulty product, it could fail while you’re driving, thus resulting in a serious accident.


Just the same, if a dealer doesn’t properly install the part, it also puts your safety and well-being at risk.


This is why it’s so important to collect the right evidence if you’re injured in a car accident. Doing so strengthens your car accident claim. 

The impact of an ADA-modified vehicle on car insurance rates

Even though there are laws in place to protect against insurance companies charging disabled individuals a higher premium, this can still come into play. This happens largely because the insurer considers you to be a high-risk driver.


In regards to ADA modifications, they can impact your insurance rate because these modifications can cost a lot of money to repair or replace.


If you have any modifications to your vehicle, consider adding supplementary coverage to your policy. Yes, this costs additional money, but it protects your equipment in the event of an accident.


Here’s what you need to ask your insurance company:

  • Do you require specific coverage—such as collision and comprehensive—to qualify for supplementary coverage?
  • How much additional coverage do you need to purchase?
  • How high can you increase your limit on custom equipment?
  • What impact will it have on your insurance premium?

An experienced Daytona Beach injury attorney can help mitigate the impact of handicap modifications in an accident claim

A car accident has the potential to turn your life upside down. In addition to injuries and long-term medical concerns, your vehicle could also suffer quite a bit of damage. And that holds true for any modifications you’ve made.


If your ADA-modified vehicle was damaged in a car accident, it’ll impact the accident claim process.


For example, the other party’s insurance company may argue that this equipment caused the accident.


Just the same, you’re likely to seek additional damages, as it’ll cost more money to repair or replace your modified vehicle.


Rather than go through this process on your own, consult with an experienced Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer who can provide guidance, protect your legal rights, and answer your questions. 

At Rick Kolodinsky, P.A., we have decades of experience helping individuals recover compensation after a car accident. Should you find yourself in this position, contact us online or give us a call right away.

Mr. Kolodinsky has been honored by his induction into this prestigious nationwide organization of trial lawyers. Of some 900 lawyers in Volusia Country there are four lawyers so honored.

- American Board of Trial Advocates
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