Car accidents are often traumatic, but they can be especially stressful if you are the only one involved. If you crash your car and then get out to discover no one else was involved, you may immediately worry that you will be held responsible for all of the damage. This is not always the case, as other parties can be negligent and cause or contribute to your single-car collision. The following are some examples of common causes of single-car collisions:
Automotive defects – When you purchase a vehicle, you should be able to trust that it has been safely designed and manufactured so that it is safe for you to operate. However, cars have many different parts and manufacturers can make mistakes like anyone else. When an auto manufacturer negligently sells a vehicle with defective parts, there is the risk that the part may malfunction and lead to an accident and this is often the cause of single-car collisions. If you are driving and your tire suddenly blows out or your brakes unexpectedly fail, you may understandably lose control and crash your car. In such situations, the manufacturer responsible for the defective part should be held liable for your losses under the legal principle of products liability.1
Road defects – Another common reason a driver may lose control of a vehicle is a defect or hazard in the roadway. The government has the duty to keep roads safe for use and free from possibly dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, some entities fail to properly inspect the roads to identify potential issues or to maintain problems when they do arise. Allowing large cracks, potholes, uneven lanes, or obstacles in the roadway can easily cause a driver to crash their car. Additionally, if a road is designed with dangerous curves, dangerous intersections, speed limits that are too high, or other defects, single-car collisions can occur. Bringing a legal case against the government can be complicated and can have different deadlines and procedures due to the applicable Florida laws,2 so it is important to have an attorney who understands this type of case.
Other negligent drivers – Even if you are the only one who actually crashes, another driver may still be at fault for the crash. For example, a distracted driver or drunk driver may accidentally veer into your lane, causing you to swerve to avoid a collision with them and sending your vehicle off the road. This type of case is difficult, however, because often the negligent driver may not even realize their actions and may simply keep driving, making it nearly impossible to identify them and hold them responsible. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it may cover your damage though the company will often have specific requirements for single-car accidents caused by such “phantom vehicles.” For example, you must report the incident almost immediately to your insurance company and/or law enforcement. Additionally, your insurer will usually require some type of corroboration of your claim that a phantom vehicle caused the crash. An experienced Florida attorney can help you navigate the insurance claim process and a civil suit if appropriate in your case.
No matter what caused your single-car collision, a resulting legal claim can be complicated. With the help of a qualified attorney, however, you have the chance to receive the same compensation you would deserve in any type of auto accident.
Call our experienced St. Petersburg auto accident attorneys for assistance today
At the Dolman Law Group, we understand that there are many different potentially negligent parties in every type of accident. We never assume that a driver is at fault simply because they were involved in a single-car accident. Instead, we listen thoroughly to your version of events and conduct an investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding your collision, including other drivers, road conditions, possible vehicle defects, and more. We gather evidence such as video surveillance, photos, witness interviews, and expert analysis in order to sufficiently prove the negligence of another party so that you can fully recover financially. We offer free consultations, so please call today our office in St. Pete at 727-222-6922 to find out how we can help you.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712