If you’re injured in a single-vehicle accident, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do. With standard liability coverage, your insurance is highly unlikely to pay out if you’re found at fault, and if you’re the only person involved with the crash, that’s most likely what will happen. So there’s nothing you can do to recoup the losses you’ll face from car repairs or replacements, medical bills, or lost wages, right? Wrong.
When you’re injured in a single-vehicle accident, there are many factors that could have contributed to the crash, despite you being the only one injured or with damage to your vehicle. With the help of experienced legal professionals, you may be able to identify the liable parties and pursue the damages owed to you.
What Factors Could be Responsible for Your Single-Car Crash?
There are a number of factors that could be liable for your crash. Some are certainly more rare than others, but you owe it to yourself to identify the liable parties. Some of the most common causes of accidents are:
Faulty manufacturing is a common culprit of single-vehicle accidents and may contribute to the injuries sustained. Given that cars are incredibly complex pieces of machinery, there are countless ways things can go wrong. However, some of the most common defects are:
- Tires: Properly inflated and functioning tires are crucial to safely operating a vehicle. However, if your tires wear out rapidly, or can’t maintain proper tire pressure, they could blowout, leading to an accident.
- Seat belts: While seat belts are one of the most basic and effective safety features of modern vehicles, they’re not infallible. Seat belts fail in accidents each year, leading to injuries and even death.
- Defective braking system: It comes as no surprise that when a 3,000 pound vehicle can’t stop, things get dangerous fast. Whether the issue lies with the brake pads, hydraulic system, or brake pedal, manufacturing errors can be deadly.
Keep in mind that these defects must be completely unexpected and unforeseen. If a manufacturer has recalled the mechanism responsible for your accident, you could be found liable if you haven’t addressed the safety concern. However, if one of these or any other vehicle defects contributed to your accident, you may be able to escape liability.
Poorly Maintained Roads and Signage
While it’s rare, poorly maintained roads can cause single vehicle accidents. In the case of uncleared roads or bad driving conditions due in large part to weather, claims that these factors led to the crash are often ineffective. These claims are likely to be met with the argument that the driver should have known better and was taking an unnecessary risk by driving.
However, there are circumstances in which you can successfully make a claim against the entity responsible for the road’s upkeep:
- Missing or malfunctioning signs, lights, or lane markings
- Large sinkholes
- Improperly covered utility construction
These claims against municipalities are highly complex, but if there’s evidence, there’s a possibility of avoiding liability in a single-car accident.
Other Drivers on the Road
Imagine you’re driving down a road on an idle Tuesday evening when there’s a flash of headlights and a vehicle darts out from a parking lot. They cut across two lanes and force you to cede them space, pushing you off the pavement onto a shoulder where you lose control of your vehicle before hitting the guardrails. Despite being a single-car crash, that doesn’t make this scenario your fault.
Reckless drivers in the Milwaukee and Waukesha areas may be liable for your accident or injuries without having been directly involved with the crash. The main challenge in this case is identifying the person whose driving caused your accident and finding out if they have insurance.
Documenting the Accident
After your accident, one of the most beneficial things you can do is document the scene. Photograph and take video of the car, the surroundings, the road condition, and any other kind of evidence that could be used to dispute a fault finding.
Additionally, if there were any witnesses, gather their contact information. If the accident occurred near businesses or in a residential area, there’s a chance the accident was documented on a doorbell or security camera.
Finally, don’t drive your car from the scene of the accident if you suspect any kind of faulty manufacturing caused the crash. Instead, have the vehicle promptly towed to a skilled mechanic who can perform a comprehensive inspection of your car.
Why is Determining Fault in a Single-Car Crash Important?
If you’re injured in a single-vehicle accident, determining fault is crucial to receiving the compensation you need to repair or replace your car, pay for medical bills, and replace the wages lost during your recovery. Without determining fault, your insurer will likely have no choice but to find you at fault for the accident. In this case, common liability insurance plans won’t provide any coverage, leaving you to foot the expenses out of pocket.
Pasternak and Zirgibel Can Help
When you’re injured in a single vehicle accident, there’s a lot on the line: your health, your ability to pay for medical treatments, and possibly even your job. Being found at fault for the accident can derail your life, but with the help of experienced legal professionals, you can dispute that fault finding.Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel are experienced and trusted personal injury attorneys with over 50 years of combined experience helping people injured or killed in accidents of all kinds. If you or a loved one have been injured in a single-vehicle accident and need help determining and proving fault, contact Pasternak and Zirgibel today.