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Single-Vehicle Accident FAQs

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What Is a Single-Vehicle Accident?

A single-vehicle accident involves only one car. These types of accidents are typically caused by driver errors, such as distracted driving, drunk or drowsy driving, speeding, or rubbernecking. Cars in single-vehicle accidents typically end up hitting a roadside object such as a tree or a guard rail.

If a driver’s negligence, recklessness, or violation of traffic laws caused the single-vehicle accident, then they cannot sue for damages, and may themselves be cited or fined. If the driver was drunk, they may face jail time and heft fines. But single-vehicle accidents are not always the fault of the driver of the car. 

“Car hits tree. Ouch” by I Bird 2 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


Who Else Could Be Held Liable in a Single-Vehicle Accident?

In some cases, it may be that no one is responsible for the single-vehicle accident. This can occur when:

      • A deer or other large animal causes the accident
      • Inclimate weather, acts of nature, or bright sunlight causes the accident

In other cases, another party may eventually be found liable to have caused the accident. This can happen in cases where:

      • A pedestrian or cyclist is negligent or reckless and causes the accident through their actions, such as when a cyclist ignores traffic laws.
      • A public entity, (such as a city, county, or state) who is responsible for designing and maintaining the roads is negligent in their duties and thusly caused the accident. 
      • Another driver’s recklessness or negligence causes the single-vehicle to swerve and hit a roadside object
      • The manufacturer of the vehicle knew about a defect that caused the accident and did not alert the driver
      • A load falls off of a truck into the roadway and causes an accident


Can I Receive Compensation for a Single-Vehicle Accident?

Most people assume that single-vehicle accidents are caused by driver error, and this is certainly true in the majority of cases. However, if someone else is found liable for the single-vehicle accident, such as in the above mentioned scenarios, it is possible for the driver of the damaged vehicle to receive compensation. 


How Does Insurance Handle Single-Vehicle Accidents Where No One Is Liable?

If the accident was caused by acts of nature, such as a flash flood or a tree branch in the roadway, a driver cannot sue for damages. However, the driver’s collision insurance may end up covering the vehicle damages. In this instance, it’s better to contact your insurance agent, rather than reaching out to an experienced attorney.


How Does Comparative Negligence Affect Single-Vehicle Accidents in New Jersey?

New Jersey uses comparative negligence when assessing damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Comparative negligence takes into account just exactly how much at fault each party involved is, and then assigns responsibility accordingly. 

If you are found to be more at fault than the other party that caused the single vehicle accident, then you are not eligible to hold them liable for damages. Comparative negligence only works if you are found to be equally at fault, or less at fault than the other driver or entity. If you are considered 50% at fault, then you will only be awarded half of the damages you incurred from the other driver’s insurance. If you are considered 10% at fault, then you will receive 90% of the damages that are related to the accident. 

“Teen Texting vs. Telephone Pole” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Do I Need a Lawyer for a Single-Vehicle Accident?

If the driver of the vehicle involved in the single-vehicle accident was negligent or reckless, or was in violation of traffic laws, then it is usually advisable to go through their insurance company to handle the damages. Likewise, any accident caused by acts of nature or large animals should also be handled through your insurance. 

But if you suspect that someone else’s negligence or recklessness was responsible for your accident, you should immediately get in touch with an experienced personal car accident attorney. In cases where you suspect that a government entity was negligent in maintaining roadways, or the manufacturer of your vehicle hid known defects, you will need a skilled lawyer by your side to help you navigate these complex scenarios.

The attorneys at Richard Hollawell can offer you a free consultation to help you determine how to move forward after your single-vehicle accident. Call us today at 1-800-681-3550 or use the contact form on our website. 




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