In general, most single-car accidents are the result of the driver being negligent or “at fault” in causing the accident themselves. However, there are some situations when a single-car accident may not be caused by the driver’s negligence. Even more so, there are some situations when a driver of a single-car accident may be cited as “contributing to the collision” for purposes of the police officer’s accident report, or cited for a particular traffic violation, but after an independent investigation into the accident it is discovered that there were other factors and third parties negligent in causing the driver’s accident.
SOME COMMON CAUSES OF SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENTS
Automotive Defects: An automotive defect can cause a single-car accident that was not the result of the driver being negligent. For example, if your tire blows out because it was improperly manufactured or designed, you may have grounds to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer, designer or dealership to recover damages for your injuries.
Other common types of automotive defects that may lead to single-car accidents include various unintended acceleration issues, brake failures, exploding gas tanks in certain vehicle makes and models, or any other automotive part that may fail or malfunction and contribute to an accident or injury.
Automotive defects also come into play even when the driver of the accident is negligent. If certain safety mechanisms fail to properly protect you during the course of an accident, even if you were negligent in causing that accident, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For example, if you are involved in a head-on collision and your airbag fails to deploy, that malfunction would likely contribute significantly to the cause of your injuries.
If you believe your accident or injuries were the result an automotive defect, it is absolutely imperative that you leave the car in its current condition and contact an experienced South Carolina product liability attorney who can investigate your vehicle and accident as soon as possible.
Negligent Mechanic Repairs: A mechanic or dealership’s negligent repair of your vehicle may also contribute to a single-car accident. Mechanics and dealerships owe a duty to their customers to undertake repairs with reasonable care so not to cause injury to their customers.
For example, if a mechanic negligently over-inflates your tires that causes a blowout, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Other types of negligent mechanic repairs include improperly installed drive shafts, steering columns, and lug nuts that can all lead to single-car accidents and injuries.
Highway Defects: In general, the South Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining South Carolina’s public roadways in a reasonably safe condition. If a pothole or worn roadway contributed to your single-car accident, you may have a claim against the State to recover compensation for your injuries. In most instances it is vital to prove some type of notice to the Department of Transportation to establish that they knew about the condition, or at least should have known about the condition, and failed to fix it.
There are numerous regulations that the South Carolina Department of Transportation must comply with in regards to shoulder construction, roadway grades, site-of-view distances at intersections, road sign locations, lighting, and many more. If you believe that any of these items contributed to your single-car accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your right to compensation.
Passenger Injuries: If you are a passenger of a single-car accident you may be entitled to recover money for your injuries if the driver was negligent. Most likely, that driver has liability insurance that would help compensate you for your injuries. You may also be entitled to recover from various underinsured policies depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident.
DON’T LET A SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENT PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING THE HELP YOU NEED
Often times, single-car accidents go uninvestigated because drivers simply assume they caused the accident. Moreover, the vast majority of attorneys won’t take on or investigate these potential cases because they require independent experts to investigate the vehicle or roadway, costing extensive time and money, and are generally very complex cases to litigate.
If you have been involved in a single-car accident in the Charleston area or anywhere in South Carolina, contact the Law Office of Jared C. Williams, LLC to discuss your case with an experienced auto accident attorney. Our firm has the resources to investigate your accident, vehicle, highway conditions, or any other possible contributing factors to determine if someone else may have contributed to your accident. If someone else is negligent in contributing to your accident then you deserve compensation for your injuries.