Can You Receive Compensation in a Single Car Accident?
When most people hear about single vehicle accidents, they assume the crash was caused by driver error. While this may be true most of the time, some single vehicle accidents happen due to forces beyond the driver’s control.
What is a Single Vehicle Accident?
Technically speaking, single vehicle accidents are those involving only one automobile. An example of this would be a car hitting a tree or telephone pole. Most of these accidents caused by driver error: cell phone use, rubbernecking, speeding, and drunk or drowsy driving can be major contributors to these types of collisions.
People in single-vehicle accidents due to their own actions or negligence cannot sue for damages. If anything, these motorists could be cited, if their actions were illegal. In cases of DUI, they may even go to jail.
Single Car Accidents Not Caused by Driver Error
There are of course, instances when a motorist obeying all traffic laws is injured in a single car accident through no fault of their own.
Some examples are acts of nature, such as a flash flood that causes a driver to lose control and crash, or a tree that falls in the road. In these cases, the driver cannot sue for damages, but the driver’s collision insurance may cover the vehicle damages. In cases like this, we generally advise accident victims to work directly with their insurance provider rather than engaging a car accident lawyer.
One exception is if an animal, such as a deer, that suddenly jumps out in front of the vehicle. If the driver swerves to avoid hitting the deer, and runs into a signpost, collision coverage would apply. However, due to the vagaries of insurance, if the driver collides with the deer directly, that is only covered if the driver’s policy includes comprehensive insurance coverage.
Single Vehicle Accidents that Are Compensable
Some single vehicle accidents are due to the actions or negligence of someone other than the driver. These are situations in which victims of single vehicle accidents victim would be able to sue for financial compensation.
These include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. SUV Rollover accident: Rollover accidents often occur due to a fault in the automobile’s design. These accidents are often fatal due to roof crush. In this case, the car maker is liable for product defect. Cars that are made to safety specifications do not topple over easily and the roofs are solid enough to withstand impact, sparing the lives of the drivers and passengers within the automobile.
2. Road Obstructions and Unmarked Hazards: Road signs that are obstructed or nonexistent can cause debilitating car wrecks as well. In this case, the entity responsible for maintaining the road is liable.
Items in the middle of a roadway can also cause single vehicle collisions, whether it is an automotive part that fell off another vehicle, or a cargo item that fell off a truck. While it may require some investigation, the driver or owner of the vehicle responsible for leaving that item can be held liable also.
3. Malfunctioning auto parts: When brakes, engines, or lights fail to work properly, this can put a driver in danger. A crash that is the result of a defective part can be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
If any of the above scenarios was the case in your single vehicle car wreck, you have legal recourse. Contact us today for a free consultation. Speak to one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to determine whether you are entitled to compensation in your single vehicle accident.
Call us toll free at 888.845.9696.