Although most auto accidents generally involve more than one party, not every crash will include another driver. Many situations could cause you to be in a single-car accident, and these types of collisions are more common than you may realize. When you’re in a single-vehicle accident, you might assume you’re automatically at fault and that you have to pay for your own damages.
That isn’t necessarily always the case. Sometimes, you have a right to recover from another party that causes your single-vehicle accident. It’s crucial for drivers to understand the legalities and options for recovery after single-car auto accidents to ensure they are protected if ever in this situation. Here’s what to know about single-car collisions and liability.
What Is a Single-Vehicle Accident
A single-vehicle accident is any accident that causes damage to only one vehicle. Even if another driver may have contributed to the accident taking place, if your crash involves only your automobile and no one else’s, it’s considered a single-vehicle accident.
For example, if you spin out of control and hit a stop sign, that’s a single-vehicle accident. If someone pulls out in front of you and you drive off the road and hit a tree instead of hitting their vehicle, that’s also a single-vehicle accident. A single-vehicle accident can involve property, but it involves only one automobile.
When Is a Driver Liable for a Single Vehicle Accident?
A driver is liable for a single-vehicle accident when their actions are the proximate cause of a crash. Proximate cause means that their actions put the events in motion to cause the crash.
For example, if it’s a rainy day and you’re driving too fast for conditions, you’re liable for the crash. If you’re just driving too fast and you lose control, that’s another way you’re responsible for an accident. Any time that you make a driving error or act in a way that isn’t careful enough, you’re liable for your accident.
Possible Outcomes When a Driver Is Liable
When you’re liable for your accident, there are a number of ways that your case may resolve. You might receive a ticket from law enforcement for one or more violations of Nevada traffic law. You have the right to contest your ticket in court and the opportunity to tell your side of the story to a judge. You may also receive points on your driver’s license.
If you have personal injury protection insurance, you may look to your own policy for recovery. If there’s damage to someone else’s property, they might look to you or your insurance for compensation.
Before you assume that your insurance company won’t help because you’re at fault, check to see whether you have personal injury protection coverage. Nevada law requires all drivers to have some coverage for property damage, so you should get some help from your insurance company if you struck and damaged someone else’s property.
Paying Your Own Bills
Unless you have insurance to cover it, when you’re responsible for your injuries, you may have to pay your own medical bills and other losses. Nevada law only allows accident victims to recover from others when others are the cause of their injuries. However, it’s important to speak with an attorney before you decide you don’t have a case.
If you’re at fault for a single vehicle accident, you may find yourself facing criminal charges. Drunk driving and reckless driving are two of the more common criminal traffic charges. If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s important to contact an attorney quickly to protect your rights and defend your freedom.
Don’t Assume You’re at Fault
Although in most cases a driver is responsible for a single-vehicle accident, it’s not always the case. There are times that a perfectly careful driver might still end up in a crash. When that happens to you, you may have the right to recover from the responsible party. Knowing your rights after a single-vehicle accident can make all the difference for a deserving victim.
When Is a Driver Not Liable for a Single-Vehicle Accident?
Perhaps someone pulled out in front of you, and you drove off into a tree rather than hit the other vehicle. Maybe another vehicle weaved into your lane, and you had to take evasive action. Perhaps your accident happened because of a vehicle malfunction rather than because of anything you did wrong. These are all very real situations where you may not be liable for a single-vehicle accident.
Possible Outcomes When a Driver Isn’t Liable
When you’re not liable, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for your damage. The responsible party might be another person on the roads, or it may be a vehicle manufacturer. It might also be a government entity.
A Claim Against Another Driver or Other Person on the Roads
If another person’s negligence causes you to get in a crash, they can still be liable for your injuries even if you never hit them. A person can act negligently without necessarily being involved in the actual impact of the crash. When that’s the case, you can still bring a claim against them in a Nevada court or seek recovery from their insurance.
When the crash occurs because of a defective or faulty vehicle, you may be able to bring a claim against the vehicle manufacturer. When a company produces a vehicle with an inadequate design or they make an error in the manufacturing process, they’re liable for the injuries that they cause. It’s important to preserve evidence and work with an attorney quickly to preserve evidence to build proof of the malfunction.
Suing the Government
Various entities of government maintain the public roads. When they don’t do their job correctly, you may be able to hold them accountable for your damages. There are a few things you need to know and do to bring this type of claim. It isn’t easy to sue the government, but it’s not impossible.
Preparing Your Claim
When you’re in a single-vehicle accident, you may be surprised to learn that you can still hold a responsible party accountable for your injuries. It’s helpful to preserve evidence by taking photos of the accident scene and protecting your vehicle for inspection. There are many different aspects to consider after these types of accidents to effectively protect your rights. The best thing to do after a single-vehicle accident is to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
A qualified Las Vegas car accident attorney can help you delve into the details of your case to determine questions of liability. Even if the circumstances of the crash lead you to believe you will be considered at fault, an attorney’s expertise can help you determine all available options. Working with an attorney as quickly as possible can help you evaluate your case and advance your interests under Nevada law.