Car accidents usually involve two or more vehicles. When the accident involves only one vehicle, it is called a single-car accident. These remain to be as dangerous as car accidents involving more vehicles than one because it can still result in deaths. There are many instances of single-car accidents, which includes when the car:
- hits an animal
- hits a pedestrian
- collides with a pole, tree, wall, or other stationary objects
- spins out of control
- runs off the side of the road
- flips over without any other vehicle involved
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that in 2017, Michigan, Indiana, and Minnesota tied for the lowest percentage of deaths in single-vehicle crashes at 49%. While it is positive that the state got the lowest percentage, 509 deaths are still too many. Single-car accidents are avoidable, but sometimes, there are instances where the crash is not the driver’s fault.
Cases Where the Driver is Liable
According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, there were 534,223 cases in 2018, where the driver was distracted, which caused a crash or property damage. There are other reasons why the driver could have caused the accident.
- Distracted driving – The driver is at fault if the accident happened because they were looking at a map, cellphone, their children, or at the backseat. Other instances, such as putting on make-up or changing the radio station, count as distracted driving,
- Driver negligence – If the driver happened to be under prescription medication that heavily affects the driving, they would be held liable for the collision. This rule also applies to driving while fatigued.
- Inappropriate speed – Speed limits are in place to ensure road safety, but going over the limit can cause unforeseen accidents. Driving too fast under certain conditions like poor weather and low visibility can also cause crashes.
- OWI/OWVI – Operating while intoxicated (called “driving under the influence” in other states) or operating while visibly impaired can increase the risk for accidents. The driver will not be fully aware of the surroundings, leading to a vehicle crash.
Avoiding these is a simple solution to a potentially deadly accident. The driver must abide by all the rules to keep himself (and other drivers and pedestrians) safe.
Cases Where the Driver is Not Liable
The driver is almost always at fault in single-car accidents. Still, there are some circumstances when the driver would not be held liable because there were other variables that caused the crash. It can be the negligence of the local government, car manufacturer, or other drivers.
- Poor road maintenance – If the accident were due to deep potholes or other defects, the driver would not be held liable. The city or country is responsible for ensuring that the roads are safe for their constituents. Any dangerous road conditions or defects should be properly indicated using barriers or traffic cones.
- Vehicle defects – The manufacturer would be liable if the accident were due to a defect in the vehicle. Defects in tires or brakes can lead to collisions or cause the car to run over the side of the road. Some flaws aren’t under the owner’s control, like the manufacturing of the brakes or tires.
- Other drivers – When another person or another driver does something that forces you to act quickly without thinking, resulting in a collision, they can be held liable. Instances like this can be when a motorist suddenly swerves into the lane, when objects suddenly fell off of a pick-up truck, or when some people did not follow pedestrian rules.
- Defective signs and signals – If a traffic signal was malfunctioning, a road sign was accidentally covered by trees or some other blockage, or road lines become too faded for a driver to notice, the crash would not be the driver’s fault. If these signs were adequately maintained, the single-car accident could have been prevented.
The victim may be entitled to damages if the single-car accident was not their fault and was due to another party’s negligence.
For a Free Consultation, Contact The Clark Law Office
There are many variables to consider when it comes to single-car accidents, and it is best to discuss the instance with licensed attorneys. Contact the best personal injury lawyers in Michigan. Review the situation with a free legal consultation and recover damages should one be entitled to it. The Clark Law Office ensures that the case will be handled with professionalism and expertise.