Who is Liable in a Single Vehicle Accident?

Single vehicle accidents may have only one vehicle involved, but that does not mean that the driver of the vehicle was responsible for the incident. These types of incidents usually involve one vehicle striking a tree or other fixed object, spinning out of control and rolling, running off the road, or flip-overs without another vehicle involved. Determining liability in these types of motor vehicle accidents is complicated. Insurance companies will attempt to hold you, the driver, responsible for the incident because yours was the only vehicle involved.

However, there are instances when a single vehicle accident is not the fault of the driver, and there may be a second party liable.

Car Accident Attorneys Serving Victims of Single Vehicle Incidents throughout Indianapolis

As a driver, you are required to obey all traffic laws, and you owe a duty to drive safely. Therefore, after an accident, you are subject to liability from your insurer and law enforcement. You may be issued a traffic citation if officers feel that you were driving recklessly or if you caused the incident out of your own negligence.

Instances When Another Party is At-Fault

While the driver is typically to blame in these types of incidents, there are situations in which a driver may not be liable for the accident. These include:

  • Product Defects: If a manufacturing defect on the vehicle caused the accident, then the company that manufactured the vehicle or the defective component may be liable instead of the driver. If, for example, the vehicle was using defective tires and a defective tire caused the incident. The tire’s manufacturer and the company that sold the defective tire would potentially pay compensation to the driver for causing the incident.
  • Dangerous Road Conditions: If an object in the road caused the accident, the party that placed that hazardous object would be liable. For example, debris that fell off a truck and caused an accident would leave the driver of the truck, and possibly his or her employer, at fault.
  • Another Vehicle: A vehicle can run another vehicle off the road (intentionally or unintentionally). For example, if a driver was not paying attention and changed lanes and, to avoid an accident, you veered off to the side of the road and struck a tree. The other vehicle continued driving on, unaware that he or she caused an accident. In this case, he or she is liable for the accident.

Defending Yourself After a Single Vehicle Incident

Because law enforcement and insurers are quick to place the blame on the driver of the single-vehicle incident, you must protect yourself after an accident occurs. Take photographs of any road conditions or causes of the incident. If another driver ran you off the road, try to write down details about the vehicle involved (such as the make, model, color, and license plate).

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Now

Contact an accident attorney if your single-vehicle accident was caused by a defective vehicle component or another unidentified vehicle. You must protect yourself from insurers and law enforcement holding you accountable for an accident that you didn’t cause.

For assistance with your accident, contact the team at Jacobs Law, LLC. We offer free initial consultations, so contact us online to get started.