Hurricane Ian Flooded Cars and Trucks May Soon Be Sold in Indiana

That headline should concern anyone that is currently looking to purchase a used vehicle. Cars, trucks and even recreational vehicles that were flooded during the recent hurricane that ravaged Florida are being cleaned up and sold to unsuspecting consumers all over the country.

WRTV out of Indianapolis shared a statistic from Carfax that an estimated 400,000 vehicles on the road nationwide have waterlogged history. And that statistic was before Hurricane Ian hit.

And a consumer alert was issued by Kwame Raoul the Attorney General from Illinois, “Potentially thousands of vehicles have been damaged by the flooding caused by Hurricane Ian, and those vehicles could start appearing for sale across our state. Flooded cars are often shipped to places hundreds of miles from areas hit by storms and may be dangerous to drive or pose health risks. The current tight market for used cars can make buyers more likely to rush into a sale, but I urge consumers to investigate the condition of any vehicles they are considering purchasing.”

Here’s what happens when a vehicle is flooded.

  • It gets reported to the owner’s insurance company
  • The insurance company “totals the car” labeling it a loss.
  • The insurance company then brands the title as flood damage.
  • The insurance company will sell the flood damage vehicles to dealers in other States.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous people will unload those flood damage cars to uneducated consumers who are anxious to get a “good deal”. And those too-good-to-be-true deals will be advertised on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace as well as some not so ethical car dealer lots.

Those cars and trucks are dried up, made to smell all nice, and cleaned top to bottom to hide all remnants of water damage. These shysters try to disguise the musty smells flooded cars and trucks give off, so if there is a strong overpowering deodorizer or chemical odor that might be a sign the vehicle as mildew. And it’s best to have a trusted mechanic look over any vehicle you wish to purchase. They will inspect for rust and corrosion and make sure the vehicle is safe to drive.

So how does flood damage cars relate to personal injury?

Vehicles that experienced flood damage might appear clean and safe, however water can infiltrate the electrical systems and crucial safety systems. Those systems might include airbag and anti-lock brake systems. Meaning the ability to stop in an adequate time may be diminished and non-functioning airbags mean increase injuries to passengers.

Imagine if you were the one who bought such a vehicle and didn’t have the proper inspection done prior to purchase and that vehicle lost all control while driving. Sounds scary doesn’t it. Now imagine if that out of control car smashed into other vehicles injuring or killing the passengers. Or let’s flip the scenario and you were the one in the other car being injured by another driver.

Or perhaps you bought a flood damaged EV car. And the battery has corrosion on it due to the car being submerged under water too long. And that corrosion causes a fire. And the car burst in flames while you are driving it.

Bottom line: If you buy a flood damaged car without doing your due diligence you may be liable for injuries.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Merrillville, Crown Point, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Portage, Valparaiso, or in Lake or Porter County, or any part of northwest Indiana, contact our firm for help. We put our experience and resources to work for car crash injury victims throughout northwest Indiana with one objective: maximizing your compensation.

The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.

The firm concentrates on personal injury cases, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, communicate regularly and clearly, and obtain prompt and favorable results while adhering to the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients, whom we often regard as friends. Call our number (219)736-9700 for assistance today.

*If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read “Fighting for Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight into What It Takes to Win,” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom, giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.

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