Can You Receive Compensation for a Single Vehicle Accident?
Most car accidents involve at least two vehicles colliding. Think of a car running a red light and T-boning another car as it passes through an intersection. Or imagine a speeding motorist smashing into the rear end of a car stopped to make a left-hand turn. These are common accidents we see all the time.
However, some accidents involve only one car, which is usually forced off the road or overturns without being hit. This is a single-vehicle car accident, and they are surprisingly common in Arizona.
One question people have after a single-vehicle crash is whether they can receive compensation. Legally, the answer is yes: you can receive compensation for a single-vehicle accident if someone else is responsible for your injuries. Nevertheless, there are practical problems involved with making an insurance claim, which our Phoenix car accident lawyer discusses below.
How Single Vehicle Accidents Happen
Common causes of these accidents include:
- Aggressive drivers. A motorist could cut you off, forcing you to swerve or yank the steering wheel. It is easy to drive off the road or collide with parked cars because you are trying to avoid a crash.
- Mechanical defects. Some malfunctioning part or parts of your car could cause you to lose control, like brakes that fail.
- Hydroplaning. This occurs when your tires can’t clear water off the road fast enough, and a lawyer of water builds up under the tire. Essentially, your car is now gliding on water.
- Road debris. Construction crews could leave debris like timber, tools, or ropes on the road. You might crash after striking this debris.
- Road defects. Potholes and other hazards make driving dangerous. A poorly constructed shoulder could cause your car to flip.
Most motorists suffer injuries when the car crashes into something—a tree, fire hydrant, building, or parked car. Or else they suffer injuries when the car flips on its hood or its side. Unsurprisingly, single-vehicle accidents can cause very serious injuries. Many of our clients are struggling to recover from whiplash, concussions, fractures, shoulder injuries, and nerve damage.
Accident victims also need to get their car fixed, or their car is totaled in the collision. In fact, single-vehicle car accidents probably cost as much as accidents involving two drivers.
Identifying Who is At Fault for the Crash
Before you can bring a claim for compensation, you need to know who is legally liable for your accident. For example, if your brakes fail, then a negligent mechanic could be to blame, or possibly the car was defective when you bought it from the manufacturer. Your attorney should have an expert inspect your vehicle to identify defects.
If road debris caused your wreck, then you need to identify who put it there. A contractor might have been responsible for failing to clear the road.
When road defects cause a crash, the government is often to blame for a failure to maintain the road. However, suing the government is a challenge in Arizona. You need an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer to fully evaluate the situation, collect evidence, and then
The Problem of Miss-and-Run Drivers
Many single-vehicle accidents are caused by aggressive drivers who almost hit you and then flee the scene. You might go crashing off the road or flip over, but the driver doesn’t stop to help. Nonetheless, they are at fault for your accident, even if they did not hit you.
These miss-and-run accidents create headaches for victims. For one thing, you don’t know the driver’s identity, since they have fled. Until you identify them, you can’t sue them or bring a claim on their insurance policy.
It is also difficult to get immediate medical attention when a driver flees. You might be knocked unconscious, or you are in intense pain so you cannot call an ambulance. Miss-and-runs often cause serious injuries to victims.
You might also face problems making a claim on your uninsured motorist policy. You can only make a claim if you were not at fault for the crash. But your insurer might be convinced you drove off the road negligently, possibly because you were distracted or fatigued or because you were going so fast you hydroplaned. Your insurer might fight your claim and refuse to offer any compensation.
Call Us for Assistance
If you were run off the road, now is the time to get the legal help you need. A car accident lawyer at Karnas Law can meet to review your case and, if hired, negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance company.