When car accidents happen, it typically involves one or more vehicles. Therefore, most auto accident lawyers in Douglasville often handle vehicle collision cases involving two or more drivers. In such cases, there is usually an at-fault party and a victim.
Based on Georgia laws, the victim can file a compensation claim against the negligent driver. If the claim succeeds, they will get economic and non-economic damages, and sometimes punitive damages. But this might not be the case where there’s only one person involved in an accident.
Those involved in a single-car crash often wonder if they can sue to recover compensation. This article will explain a solo auto collision and instances when you can file an action to recover compensation.
What Is a Single-Car Collision?
As the name implies, a single-vehicle crash is one where only one car crashes. Usually, the vehicle collides against a stationary object like a tree, a fence, a mailbox, a utility pole, etc. It is also a solo crash where the car hits an animal or veers off the road to strike a road divider or culvert or rolls over.
Several factors contribute to a solo auto crash. They include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Mechanical failure
- Bad roads
- Adverse weather condition
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Animal crossings
- Flying objects
A driver can also drive when trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle or a jaywalking pedestrian. However, when this accident occurs, there is usually no one for the driver to sue. Also, they cannot rely on their auto liability insurance.
Auto liability insurance pays for an accident victim’s economic and non-economic damages. However, it does not cover the injury treatment of the policyholder, who might also be the at-fault party. As such, a person involved in a solo car crash can only get their insurer to compensate them if they buy an additional policy.
So you need personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in such an instance. PIP covers injury treatment to a specific amount and extends to rehabilitation and loss of income. In addition, when the driver in a solo car accident dies, the PIP insurance will cover their funeral and burial expenses.
Can You Sue After a Single-Car Accident? Auto Accident Lawyers in Douglasville Explain
Yes, you can commence legal action after a solo car accident in Douglasville, Georgia. There are specific instances where this happens, and we discussed them below.
Mechanical failure may not be as common as drunk or distracted driving, but it is one of the leading causes of road traffic accidents, single or multiple. A car is said to have experienced mechanical failure if one of its components malfunctions or does not perform optimally.
Some common examples of mechanical failure are:
- Brake Issues: These often involve brake failure or slow brake time and are dangerous as the driver cannot control speed.
- Suspension Problems: It causes the car to vibrate and shake, ultimately leading the driver to lose control.
- Tire Problems: This could result from blowouts or skidding from worn tire treads.
- Transmission and Engine Issues: These problems often cause slow accelerations and breakdowns.
- Steering Issues: This involves difficulty turning the wheel, especially at rest or lower speeds. It is mostly caused by a problem with power steering, low power steering fluid, a fluid leak, or worn parts.
When mechanical failure causes a solo crash, you can sue the manufacturer for a design defect or your mechanic if inadequate maintenance caused the accident. In either case, you need an auto accident lawyer in Douglasville to help you determine the proper party and get maximum compensation.
Bad Road Condition
The condition of the road, to a large extent, contributes to car accidents. The following are examples of road conditions that cause single-vehicle accidents:
- Potholes: If large chunks of asphalt or blacktop are missing from the roadway, it could cause a car accident.
- Ice Patches: There can be ice patches on the roadway, even without rain or snow, forming an isolated area on the road.
- Shoulder Drop-Off: A pavement or shoulder drop-off traversal occurs when a driver inadvertently leaves the travel lane and drops onto a lower shoulder. It is quite dangerous and could cause a collision.
- Construction Work Zones: Construction zones are known for lane shifts and uneven roads, which could cause drivers to crash.
- Slick Roads: Slick roads cause cars to hydroplane, another factor contributing to accidents.
When a bad road condition causes an accident, you can file a lawsuit against the road maintenance agency, which is usually a governmental body. However, filing a personal injury claim against the government is difficult as such actions are subject to different rules. Therefore, contact a personal injury lawyer to help you commence the process and avoid mistakes that will jeopardize your claim.
A single-car accident sometimes involves other vehicles but without contact. For example, you may be maintaining your lane when another car suddenly veers in front of you. To avoid a rear-end collision, you might swerve and crash it into a center divider if there is one.
Depending on your traveling speed and how you swerved, you might also get involved in a rollover accident. In such cases, you can sue the driver who created the event that led to the crash.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect a Single-Car Accident Claim?
Under comparative negligence rules, an accident victim’s compensation is minus their fault percentage. So, suppose a pothole caused the collision. If there is evidence that you could have avoided the accident, if not for the fact that you were distracted, you will lose some of your compensation.
So, if you were 30% at fault, you would only receive 70% of the awarded settlement. The comparative negligence rule also applies to single-vehicle crashes where you are solely responsible for the crash. In this instance, if you apply for compensation under PIP, the insurer will consider your liability percentage before paying you a settlement.
Book a Free Consultation With Auto Accident Lawyers in Douglasville
Most solo car victims do not think they are entitled to compensation due to the nature of the crash. However, as discussed, there are instances when you can sue after a single-vehicle collision. Our legal team at Hartley, Rowe, and Fowler will review your case to determine whether you have the right to sue.
We will gather the required evidence and commence a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party if you do. Book a free case review with our personal injury lawyer in Douglasville today.