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March 15th, 2021
A car accident doesn’t always involve two cars colliding. In fact, 58% of all fatal car crashes in Louisiana in 2018 were single-car accidents, meaning only one car was involved.
If you were injured or if someone you love was killed in a single-car accident, you likely need help paying your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. You’re also likely wondering if it is possible to get compensation for your losses. This depends entirely on how the accident occurred and what type of coverage you have.
In most cases, the driver in a single-car accident will be considered at fault for their own injuries and can’t sue for damages. This is true even when the driver wasn’t breaking a traffic law (such as speeding or driving under the influence) and when the cause of the accident was beyond their control. This is because drivers are expected to take potential hazards into consideration and take precautions to prevent accidents.
For example, while a driver may have been obeying all traffic laws before hydroplaning on a rainy day or hitting an animal that crossed the road in front of their vehicle, they are also expected to slow down and be extra cautious in bad weather or after passing a deer crossing sign, when they know their crash risk is higher.
Yes, there are a handful of cases where a single car accident could be the fault of another person. If someone else is potentially at fault, it is possible to sue for compensation. These cases include:
Miss-and-run accidents: A miss-and-run is a type of accident where a reckless driver causes another driver to crash (usually by swerving to avoid the reckless driver). There is no contact between the vehicles, but the reckless driver could be considered at fault for the crash. If the reckless driver (who typically leaves the scene) can be identified, it may be possible to hold them liable for your damages.
Defective auto parts: When a vehicle or any parts used in a vehicle are defective and lead to injuries or crashes, the manufacturer can be held liable for those injuries in a defective product lawsuit. Some common examples of defective auto parts that can cause crashes are brakes, ignition switches, steering control systems, and tires.
If a vehicle is repaired incorrectly or with defective parts, the auto shop that made the faulty repairs or the manufacturer of the faulty aftermarket parts could potentially also be held liable.
Dangerous Road Conditions: When road conditions are dangerous or a road is poorly designed, it may be possible to sue the entity responsible for maintaining the road. Examples of this include roads that are missing a guardrail or traffic sign where one was necessary.
Objects in the road: If poorly secured objects fall off the back of a vehicle and hit another vehicle, it might be possible to pursue the owner of the object for compensation for their negligence in poorly securing their cargo.
Sometimes a single-car accident occurs where the driver isn’t at fault for their own crash, but no one else is, either. For example, maybe you were injured when a tree landed on your vehicle in a storm, causing you to crash.
In this case, you would need to file a claim through your own collision or comprehensive vehicle insurance to cover your vehicle repairs.
You likely would not be able to get any compensation for your medical bills unless you have medical payment coverage. This is a type of auto insurance coverage that we highly recommend purchasing. Although it is not required coverage in Louisiana, MedPay insurance will pay up to the purchased amount in medical expenses after a car accident, including ambulance transportation, surgery, follow-up visits, and so on, regardless of who is at fault.
When you or someone you love is injured in single-car accident, we recommend contacting an experienced Louisiana auto accident attorney right away. This is because it is extremely difficult to prove that the driver of a single-car accident was not at fault. Contact the team at Dudley DeBosier today for a free consultation; we want to hear about your accident, and we’ll let you know if you have a case.