The single-vehicle crash accounts for many of the 341,000-plus auto accidents that the state of Florida experiences each year. These accidents are often non-fatal, but they can result in serious injuries.
You might think the motorist is automatically at-fault in all such cases and ineligible for compensation. If so, you’d be wrong. You can receive compensation for a single-vehicle crash, but there are some parameters that must first be established.
Cause Must Be Established
The first step to getting compensation for a single-vehicle auto accident is to establish the cause. This is vital if the accident was unavoidable and caused through no fault of your own. Below, we’ll examine three scenarios where this might occur.
Pedestrian Versus Vehicle
Laws tend to favor pedestrians when it comes to pedestrian-versus-vehicle accidents, as Florida is the most dangerous state in the US for pedestrians. That said, it’s not automatically the motorist’s fault when such an accident occurs. As you’ll learn later in this article, there are circumstances where the fault is not your own.
Vehicle Versus Property
Striking property with a vehicle is another case that brings with it a higher burden-of-proof on the motorist. Property isn’t going anywhere. It’s static and, thus, avoidable if you are paying attention to traffic laws. However, there are some scenarios where that may not be the case.
A rollover accident is another frequent cause of a car accident. These generally occur when one is traveling at a higher rate of speed, but again, there are contributing factors in which the motorist may not be at fault. In these cases, they are eligible for compensation.
Contributing Factors Must Be Established
Receiving compensation for a single-vehicle crash is as much about the contributing factors as it is the cause itself. Contributing factors are where you can argue your case and establish the accident as being the fault of a second party. Here are the most common contributing factors that will work in your favor.
Infrastructure issues can establish the fault of the accident on another party. For example, conditions on a property that violate code and instigate an accident can become the responsibility of the property owner instead of the motorist.
When speaking to your attorney, make sure you tell them about any circumstances that impaired visibility and made it difficult to proceed. Also, take pictures as soon as you can so you can capture the conditions of the infrastructure at the time of the accident.
Unaddressed Vehicle Hazards
Another case for car accident compensation in a single-vehicle accident can be made when there are defects with the automobile you were driving at the time. Particularly, undisclosed defects or malfunctions that have yet to be recalled and reported.
When this occurs, you would have a strong case against the auto manufacturer and, potentially, the individual or dealership from which you purchased. That’s provided the seller knew about the issues and did not disclose them.
Another contributing factor that can turn these cases in your favor is the presence of roadway objects. For example, let’s say that a logistics company is transporting a load that is not properly secured. If an object comes loose from the load and results in you plowing into a barrier or experiencing a rollover, then you would be eligible for auto accident compensation.
It’s also possible that a pedestrian could be considered at-fault in a single-vehicle accident. For starters, there is the question of whether they were using established crosswalks when attempting to pass in front of you.
You still have an obligation to avoid the pedestrian as a motorist. But if the pedestrian lunges out in front of your car and you were not exceeding the speed limit or violating any other rules of the road at the time, then you could be entitled to compensation.
Now that we’ve examined the pro-motorist situational aspects of a single-vehicle accident, it’s time to take action. Here are the steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
1. Do Not Admit Fault
The immediate aftermath of an accident, one vehicle or otherwise, can be a disorienting time. That’s particularly true if you’ve experienced an injury of some kind.
Never admit fault in the aftermath of a single-vehicle accident. Police might seize on this because it can make the reporting easier, but you owe it to your case to work back through your memories of the accident. Admitting fault puts you behind the 8-ball.
2. Obtain Police Report
The police report will have a specific rundown of the events, including any parties and properties involved. It also will have a record of any citations issued.
The issuance of a citation does not necessarily mean you are at fault. You can still fight the terms of the citation in court. A win there can influence the case in your favor and make you eligible for some type of compensation from whoever was responsible for the major contributing factor(s) of the accident.
3. Address Any Issues
Single-vehicle accidents are only going to be successful in your favor if you address the issues that are potentially holding back your case. That means challenging citations, collecting photographs of the contributing factors, and speaking to an attorney about any further research that your case will need.
4. File Your Claim
That brings us to the claim itself. Go ahead and file, but think about obtaining an attorney immediately as well. It’s always possible that an insurance adjuster will try taking the easy way out by going no-fault or taking the word of a faulty police report.
Attorneys experienced in fighting one-vehicle accident determinations will be able to help you steer through this situation. They can push back and get their clients the kind of representation they deserve.
A Single-Vehicle Crash Can Be Compensated
If a single-vehicle crash occurs, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to simply accept what the insurance company is willing to give you. Instead, seek out someone who has your interests at heart and is good at pushing back against the common traps that these types of accidents can experience.
In Tampa and the surrounding area, those attorneys are RHINO Lawyers. Contact us today to see what quality representation looks like.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.