Most automobile accidents involve two or more vehicles. This is, however, not always the case. Single-car accidents are more common than most Americans would believe. In fact, a recent report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that, in 2016, single-vehicle accidents accounted for nearly 55 percent of nationwide motor vehicle deaths.
Every year, numerous Americans are injured in single-vehicle accidents. They suffer a wide range of injuries, from minor to severe. And because single-vehicle accidents involve only one vehicle, many injured parties incorrectly assume that they are not entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Single-vehicle accidents most often result from negligence. A driver’s negligence may cause the accident and subsequent injuries—but this is not always the case. Other times, these accidents occur as a result of another party’s negligence. Whenever a single-vehicle accident results from another person’s negligence, the victim may recover damages from the responsible party.
What Is Negligence?
As a society, we owe an objective and reasonable duty of care to others. Generally, this duty is a promise that we will not act in a manner that can result harm to others. Negligence occurs whenever an individual or business breaches this duty of care.
Different standards of negligence developed from a need to establish greater protections—such as safeguarding consumers from dangerous and unsafe products. These different standards may assist an injured party in recovering damages in the case of a single-vehicle accident. Some examples include:
- Manufacturer or design defect - A manufacturing defect may cause an accident. The defect causing the accident can be part of the design of the vehicle itself or a defective part of the vehicle. For example, a defective tire may lead to an accident. A tire that suddenly blows out can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle and strike another object. The accident would not have taken place but for the defective tire.
- Another driver’s negligence - Although a single-car accident involves only one vehicle, another driver may still cause it. Our streets are, unfortunately, filled with negligent drivers who may force others off the road or into fixed objects. The impact of these collisions can result in injuries or even death.
- Negligently designed or maintained roads - Sometimes dangerous road conditions cause accidents. These are not weather-related accidents. Instead, they take place because a government entity has negligently failed to address a known danger. Failing to address conditions on dangerous hills and failing to install safety barriers in dangerous areas, for example, can lead to single-car accidents.
Driver Negligence and Passenger Injuries
Sometimes a driver, who fails to exercise the duty of care to drive responsibly and safely, will get into a single-vehicle crash and injure a passenger in the car. Among other things, intoxication, eating, adjusting the stereo, or using a phone (particularly texting) can all constitute driver negligence that can injure a passenger. In these cases, the passenger may purse compensation for any injuries caused by the accident. Contact a personal injury lawyer at Emroch & Kilduff for help with these claims, too.
Contact a Richmond Auto Accident Attorney
Virginia law may entitle you to compensation if you are injured in a single-car accident. The knowledgeable and experienced automobile accident attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff are here to help. Our attorneys have the experience and skill required to successfully handle single-car accident cases. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve. Schedule your initial consultation today by calling (804) 358-1568 or contacting us online.