While many single vehicle accidents are caused by driver error, some are caused by another party. The latter is what “single car liability” means. Although only one car was involved in the crash, someone else may be held liable for damages. Our car accident lawyers can help you understand your options after a single car crash and pursue the correct party for damages.
How do you determine liability in a single car crash?
Accidents involving only one vehicle are common. In fact, over half of U.S. motorist deaths in 2019 were from single-vehicle crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, determining liability in any car accident involves investigating all factors that contributed. If you were in a single vehicle accident, you are not automatically at fault.
We can evaluate several factors that could have played a role, such as if:
- You were attempting to avoid an accident
- There was a problem with your vehicle
- Road conditions contributed to your accident
- Several variables had an impact on the crash
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you may be a victim of someone else’s negligence. To get to the bottom of it, we will compile evidence from your crash, such as:
- Photos of the scene
- Traffic camera footage
- Witness statements
- Damage to your vehicle
- Type and extent of your injuries
- Accident reconstruction
- Expert analysis
You should not have to shoulder your accident-related expenses if the liability for your single car crash rests on someone else.
What constitutes negligence?
Who is held liable in a car accident depends on who acted without care, causing harm. The four pillars of negligence are:
- Duty of care: The responsibility of drivers to exercise caution and remain attentive
- Breach of duty: When a driver behaves in a way that is reckless or inattentive
- Causation: When the driver’s behavior causes an accident that results in injury
- Damages: When the injured party has a right to compensation for what they suffered
These essential points can apply in single vehicle accidents as much as they do in multi-vehicle collisions.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
Who can be held liable?
Each case is unique, but a few common liable parties for single car accidents include:
- Other drivers
- Product manufacturers
- Private property owners
Identifying the correct negligent party is important not only to help you pursue damages to pay for losses, but also to know which deadlines apply to your case. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit varies depending on which party is responsible.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that the critical reason for 94 percent of all crashes is driver error. Even if they didn’t hit you, another driver’s error could be responsible in your case. This is called proximate cause.
For example, if a texting driver veered into your lane, risking a head-on collision, you would naturally try to avoid the crash. If your vehicle went off the road, that texting driver can be held responsible for any accident-related expenses.
These types of crashes can result from several negligent behaviors, including:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Illegal turns
- Running lights or signs
- Failure to yield
In these situations, even though the driver didn’t hit you, they clearly caused the accident. Generally, you have two years to file a personal injury suit after this type of crash, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33.
Sometimes, your own vehicle causes an accident. Equipment failures, defective parts, or maintenance errors can all contribute to a single vehicle crash. We can determine if mistakes were made by:
- Tire manufacturers
- Car designers
- Auto part manufacturers
- Car maintenance shops
An auto shop may have cut corners in making repairs on your car. Your car’s design may be prone to rollovers. The tires on your vehicle may have been faulty. These are examples of product liability. Like personal injury lawsuits, you typically have two years to file a lawsuit.
The fault could lie with whoever maintained the road where your crash occurred. This could include private property owners as well as governments. If the responsible party knew or should have known about a hazard on their property and didn’t act to prevent an accident, they can be held liable.
Depending on who owned the property, you may have a different timeline for filing a lawsuit. The deadlines are generally:
- Private owners: Two years
- City: Six months
- County: One year
- State: One year
Talk to the team at Kaine Law to discuss your options.
We help sort out single vehicle accident liability
If you still have questions about what single car liability means in your case, call Kaine Law at (404) 214-2001. We can talk about your crash during a free consultation and plan your next steps. Call today!