If you have been involved in a single car accident, you may not be at fault.
When you are involved in a single car accident, you might wrongly assume that you are at fault. After all, if there wasn’t another car involved, then who else could be responsible for your incident?
There are times, however, when a single car accident is not the driver’s fault. Specific questions need to be answered to ascribe fault in single car accident cases. The answer to them can discern whether you are liable either criminally, or otherwise, for any injuries or property damage that can result. To best sort out the details, it is an excellent idea to retain the help of a St. Louis auto accident lawyer.
What is a Single Car Accident?
A single car accident is one that involves only one vehicle. An example of a single car accident would be if someone hit a light pole while swerving to avoid an animal or hit a traffic light while they were driving while intoxicated. Most of the time, single car accidents are the fault of the vehicle operator, but not always. There are times when they can be the result of someone else’s negligence. If you can prove that you were not the person who was at fault, then you can recover your damages from a third party.
Poor Road Maintenance or Design
If your car accident was caused by poor roadway conditions or something like a stop light not working properly, then you may be able to sue the municipality where the accident took place. If the road was poorly maintained resulting in a pothole or other hazard on the road, then you might not be at fault for the accident. A St. Louis auto accident attorney can assist you to decipher whether a city or government agency is at fault.
There are times when accidents can be the result of a defect by your car manufacturer. If your brakes fail to work or the car alignment was off, making your car unstable, it might be the case that the vehicle was not properly designed. If that is the case, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer to recover for any property damages or medical bills incurred. Technically, if there was a defect with your vehicle, then the car manufacturer may be negligent and liable. Consult a St. Louis auto accident lawyer if you believe that the accident was unavoidable due to a vehicle defect.
An Unavoidable Accident
Sometimes an accident is caused by things that are outside of the control of the driver. Single car accidents can involve things like bicyclists or other people walking, which can force someone off the roadway or to make split second decisions that can result in an accident. Negligence laws in St. Louis allow you to sue third party participants if they were at fault and caused an avoidable accident. A St. Louis car accident lawyer will know what your obligations are if it was an unavoidable accident.
There are a few situations where you may not entirely liable for a single vehicle accident and are instead eligible for compensation. The best way to decide if that is is the case is to talk to a St. Louis auto accident lawyer. First, you should educate yourself on the subject and get a base level of understanding.
Though these crashes can be caused by a variety of factors, there are three common culprits the watch out for. First, there is intoxication. Drunk drivers tend to make mistakes on the road, and one of them is driving off of it. When they do, they frequently hit objects like trees and street signs. Second, the same effect is seen for distracted drivers. They often take their eyes off of the road and end up hitting something. Lastly, poor weather plays a role. In areas where there is rain, snow, or ice on the streets, drivers are prone to losing control of their vehicles. When they do, single car accidents happen.
One thing you should certainly understand is that if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated and you hit something, you are at fault and might be held liable to pay for any restitution or damages to property or people. Because the accident was caused by your criminal behavior, you are at fault.
The general rule is that in these types of accidents, the driver is fully liable. You can understand why by looking at the most common causes above. Each of those is either a negligent act or an accident, but either way, there is nobody to blame but the driver.
Exceptions to the Rule
Though the general rule is that the driver is liable, there are also exceptions. The most common of them are listed below.
Poor Road Maintenance – If you live in an area that experiences snow or ice on the roads, there is always a chance that you lose control of your car. When this happens, you may have a case against whoever is supposed to tend to those roads.
Vehicle Defects – If a vehicle defect causes your crash, you could have a case against the manufacturer of your car. That could mean faulty brakes, steering difficulty, or any other issue that is related to the way your car was built.
Driver Negligence – Sometimes, another driver will act in an unsafe way while near you. To avoid an accident with them, you make an evasive maneuver. Unfortunately, this can lead to a single vehicle car accident. If this is the case, that other driver could still be found liable.
There are times when you are involved in a single car accident, and it isn’t your fault. Having a St. Louis car accident attorney review your case is the best way to determine liability. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.