Being involved in an auto accident can change an individual’s entire life in a matter of seconds. The financial expenses combined with potential physical and emotional trauma can impact savings, disrupt life plans, and negatively affect a person’s mental health.
A single-vehicle accident applies only to collisions in which those in the primary vehicle are the only ones injured. Single-vehicle auto accidents can also impact pedestrians or bicyclists. Accidents that involve damage to others’ property, such as a building or a parked car, are not considered single-vehicle collisions.
Examples of single-vehicle accidents include:
- Driving off the road
- Running over objects or debris on the road
- Rolling the vehicle
- Hitting animals
- Colliding with rocks or trees
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Distracted driving
Do not leave the scene of a single-vehicle auto accident
Even if there are no injuries or property damage, it is still a misdemeanor to flee the scene of a single-car accident before there is an official record. Drivers should carefully document the details of the crash and get their car towed to a mechanic from the site, especially if there is a chance the accident might not be deemed the driver’s fault.
If the collision does damage property or hurts someone, leaving the scene becomes a criminal matter. This will result in a hit-and-run felony charge, which can be punishable by jail time depending on the damage or injury caused.
Approaching Insurance Claims
Single-car accidents are covered with collision insurance, which helps contribute to the cost of vehicle repairs or replacements when the car is damaged in an accident. Comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by other events the driver has no control over, such as theft, weather, or vandalism. The driver must have some type of coverage and ample information to prove the cause of the accident to file a successful claim.
More often than not, the liability of a single-vehicle accident is assigned to the driver of the primary vehicle as it’s assumed they were in the best position to have avoided the collision because of speeding, fatigue, negligence of traffic laws, and more.
There are situations, however, in which the driver can evade fault due to third party influences, such as:
- Environmental factors
- Narrow roads
- Sharp curves
- Defective car parts
- Defects in a roadway
- Obstacles placed in the road in unexpected locations
To shift the liability, it must be proven that duty was assigned and either missed or ignored by another party, resulting in an injury to the driver. Trying to navigate the ideal course of action directly after a traumatic incident becomes more difficult when nobody else was present at the scene. That’s why the actions of the single driver following the auto accident are critical.
What to Do After a Single-Vehicle Accident
Once local law enforcement is notified, an insurance claim can be filed if they believe that a third party is at fault for the crash that otherwise could have been avoided. A single-car accident insurance claim can also be made directly with their insurance company if the outside influence was not a specific entity, such as unpredictable weather or barriers.
Filing a claim requires that the driver properly document the accident, get their vehicle inspected, and report it to the local authorities. Although it’s possible to receive money from a claim with less information, chances of success increase proportionally with evidence.
Preparing a Case
If the insurance company denies the appeal for support, but the driver’s attorney believes there is sufficient reason to continue pursuing the claim, they can file a lawsuit with an experienced auto accident attorney against the insurance company. The driver’s legal team must prove that the driver involved in the single-car accident is not at fault with some type of settlement a typical outcome.
Hiring an auto accident or personal injury attorney who understands the process of communicating and negotiating with an insurance company can make a significant difference. If you or a loved one have been involved in a single-vehicle accident or any type of auto accident, the experienced attorneys at Bashore Green can help. Call 248-209-6009 to learn more.