When there is only one vehicle involved in a collision, recovering compensation for damages may be more complex. Proving liability could be more difficult – another driver may have caused you to crash but that driver’s car did not suffer damage, so it is harder to link the driver to the accident.
Our car accident attorneys in Fort Worth offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options for recovering the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Below, we discuss who may be liable for a single-vehicle crash and how you may be able to file a claim for compensation.
How Do Single-Vehicle Accidents Happen?
Single-vehicle accidents happen more often than people think. In 2019 alone, Texas had more than 1,700 single-vehicle accidents. These types of auto accidents occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes fault may lie with the driver of another vehicle who does not stop. Single-vehicle crashes may also be caused by the negligence of the driver of the vehicle that crashes.
These are some of the most common scenarios that may result in a single-vehicle crash, and what may be the cause:
- Collisions with wildlife or domesticated animals are common. If an animal darts out in front of a vehicle, drivers usually have little to no time to react.
- When one driver cuts off another, the driver of the other car may swerve into an object like a median or tree to try to avoid a collision. At-fault drivers in these scenarios are frequently called “Phantom Drivers” since they often drive away from the scene of the crash.
- Drivers sometimes crash into fences, medians, trees and other non-vehicle objects. These crashes are often caused by speeding, driving under the influence, drowsiness, distractions or reckless driving.
- Bad weather can sometimes play a part in single-vehicle accidents if roads are slick or visibility is limited.
It would be in your best interest to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you were injured in a single-vehicle accident.
Who May Be Liable in a Single-Vehicle Accident?
In general, liability for damages in an accident boils down to who acted negligently. The same applies for single-vehicle accidents.
In scenarios involving phantom drivers, the driver whose vehicle collides with an inanimate object may not be at fault for the crash, but a passenger in his or her vehicle might be able to hold the driver liable for damages.
A passenger may also be able to hold a driver whose negligent actions, such as speeding or driving under the influence, resulted in a single-vehicle crash.
For scenarios involving wildlife, liability may be more difficult to establish, but it could come down to whether someone else’s negligent actions contributed to your injuries. If the animal on the road is a domestic animal, the owner could potentially be held liable if he or she failed to secure the animal on a property or keep it on a leash.
Filing a Claim as the Driver in a Single-Vehicle Crash
If you are the driver in a single-vehicle accident, recovering compensation for your damages may be more difficult.
If you are the one responsible for the accident, you are likely not going to be eligible for compensation, unless you purchased no-fault coverage in your insurance policy.
However, if someone else swerved into your lane or made another maneuver that caused you to swerve out of the way and collide with an inanimate object, and you can prove this, you may be able to file a claim with the Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage on your policy.
It is important to note that UM coverage is not mandatory coverage. Drivers can opt out of this coverage when signing up for insurance to save on their premiums.
If you do have UM coverage and you file a claim, you may be able to recover compensation for only your economic damages. This means your medical bills, lost wages and other costs associated with your injuries. However, you will not be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
To attempt to recover compensation for non-economic damages, you would need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Doing this may be difficult, as you first need to find out who the driver is, get his or her insurance information and then prove he or she is responsible for the crash. Fortunately, our attorneys have investigative tools and resources that may help you during this process.
Filing a Claim as a Passenger in a Single-Vehicle Crash
As the injured passenger in a single-vehicle accident, recovering compensation for both economic and non-economic damages may be more straightforward and similar to any other type of accident.
If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in at the time of the crash is the one who acted negligently, you may be able to file a claim with his or her liability insurance.
Filing the claim would generally work the same way as any other car accident claim, and you would still need to prove the driver’s negligent actions directly resulted in your injuries.
Accident victims who are passengers in a vehicle may hesitate to file a claim against the driver because they may have some sort of relationship with this person. However, you are not filing a claim against the driver. You are filing a claim against his or her insurance company. Injured passengers have the same right to pursue compensation for damages as drivers.
Schedule a Free Consultation. Call Today
If you were injured in a single-vehicle accident, you should call our experienced lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. The consultation is free and there are no fees unless we win.
For decades our attorneys have fought hard for our clients’ rights, and we have successfully recovered millions in compensation on their behalf.
Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule a free consultation today.