It’s no secret that car accidents can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Seemingly out of nowhere, you may find yourself at the scene of a crash, disoriented and injured, wondering what just happened. We tend to think of vehicle collisions as involving two or more cars, but there are times when a single vehicle veers off the road and crashes into a guardrail, pillar, or other structure. These incidents called single-vehicle accidents, can cause severe injuries that require costly medical treatments and lengthy recovery periods. When you are the only driver involved in an accident, you may assume that you cannot collect compensation to support your recovery. However, not every single vehicle accident involves a negligent or reckless driver. There are other factors that may have caused the accident, such as an erratic pedestrian, a defective vehicle, or hazardous road conditions.
If you suffered an injury in a single-vehicle crash and you know the collision was not your fault, reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable Temecula auto accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Your attorney will assess every detail of the situation and help you determine the most strategic path forward. This post will explore common causes of single-vehicle accidents and what steps you can take to maximize your chances of securing compensation to support your recovery.
What Causes Single-Vehicle Accidents in California?
Accidents involving two vehicles often result from one inattentive or reckless driver failing to uphold their duty of care behind the wheel and colliding with another car or truck. For example, someone who is looking down at their phone instead of keeping their eyes on the road may blow through a red light and collide with another vehicle. In such a situation, the distracted driver would likely be found liable for causing the accident and the injuries the other party suffered as a result of the at-fault driver’s inattentive behavior. When it comes to single-vehicle accidents, many people assume that the only driver involved must be to blame for the crash. This is true in many cases; a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that most single-vehicle accidents involved drivers who were drowsy, intoxicated, traveling at excessive speeds, inexperienced behind the wheel, or engaging in distracted driving behavior (i.e., texting). An estimated 30 percent of all car accidents are single-vehicle crashes, according to the NHTSA.
Other Causes of Single-Vehicle Collisions
While driver behavior like inattention or recklessness plays a role in many single-vehicle collisions, there are other factors that may contribute to these types of accidents. For example, adverse weather conditions may impair driver visibility or make the roadways unsafe for vehicles. Sometimes, a manufacturer makes a faulty part that’s installed in your vehicle–this defect may lead to dangerous issues like engine failure or brakes that do not respond when necessary. Inadequately marked roadways may fail to inform you of a road hazard up ahead, causing your vehicle to slide off the road or fall into a sinkhole. Under these circumstances, you may be able to hold another party responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. The process of determining fault in single-vehicle accidents can be complicated, so it’s best to enlist the guidance of a skilled Murrieta car accident lawyer to support your efforts.
Identifying the At-Fault Party That Caused Your Accident
As previously mentioned, determining the party responsible for a single-vehicle accident can be cumbersome and complex. Most accidents are caused by some combination of factors, so you will need to approach this process from a nuanced perspective. You can work with your attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding the collision. As you move through this process, you may identify the party you can hold responsible for your injuries. Let’s take a look at a few of these possibilities.
An Erratic Pedestrian or Another Reckless Driver
Just because you are the only driver involved in the accident does not mean other people had nothing to do with it. Many single-vehicle collisions happen when a pedestrian darts into the street, crosses unlawfully (outside of dedicated pedestrian crossings), or moves unpredictably in the road ahead. As a driver, you are forced to veer your vehicle out of the way to avoid hitting the pedestrian, which may cause you to collide with a nearby barrier or building. In some cases, a reckless driver that swerves into your lane can compel you to veer your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid crashing into your car (and, as a result, you end up crashing your vehicle into a nearby barrier). In either situation, the reckless behavior of another person caused the accident.
Auto Parts Manufacturers
As consumers, we trust that our vehicles are free from defective parts or known safety risks. Unfortunately, a defective part in a particular vehicle can lead to devastating consequences. For example, faulty tires or a leaking engine part could trigger a dramatic event on the road, causing you to react quickly to the hazard and steer to the side of the road as quickly as possible to avoid catastrophe. If a defective part is to blame for your single-vehicle accident, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Other Entities or Governmental Agencies
The city and state we live in are responsible for maintaining publicly-owned roadways and ensuring their safety. If the city has failed to maintain a roadway, leading to crumbling asphalt, poor water drainage, or sinkholes, these hazards may contribute to a single-vehicle collision. Your auto accident attorney can help you identify the entity responsible for failing to maintain the roadway’s safety and take legal action against it to secure the compensation you need to support your recovery.
Get Started With a Temecula Auto Accident Lawyer Today
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when coping with an auto accident injury. However, you do not have to go through this challenging time alone. Reach out to a dedicated and compassionate Riverside County personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing and securing the compensation you need to support your recovery.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident in Temecula or Murrieta, you have the right to seek compensation to support your recovery. Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to discuss your case with a dedicated and caring auto accident attorney.