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Who’s Liable in a Single Vehicle Accident?

Who's Liable in a Single Vehicle Accident?

Though accidents involving multiple vehicles are common, there are actually more accidents that happen involving a single vehicle. Nationwide, 55% of all fatal accidents in 2020 were single vehicle accidents. 

However, just because there is only one car involved in these accidents doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver of that car is automatically the one at fault. There are situations where another party can be held liable for a single vehicle accident. 

If you or a loved one are involved in a single vehicle accident and need help with your car accident claim, our team can assist you. Just because you were the one driving and the only car involved does not mean you aren’t entitled to compensation. One of our attorneys can review your case and offer you guidance to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.  

How Do Single Vehicle Accidents Happen?

While driver error is the most common cause of most car accidents, it is entirely possible for another party to be at fault for a variety of reasons. Some examples of causes of single vehicle accidents that can be the result of another party’s negligence include the following:

It’s important to note that even if the accident was caused by one of the above factors and it was not your fault, you should still stay at the scene and call the authorities to report the accident. Leaving the scene of a single car accident, even when it’s not your fault, could get you in trouble.

When in doubt, always stay put until the police give you the go-ahead to leave. It’s also helpful to remain at the scene so you can gather evidence, such as photos or video footage of what happened or what caused the accident, which can be used to help prove that you were not at fault for the purpose of filing an insurance claim. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Single Vehicle Accident?

If you as the driver made an error, such as speeding, driving while intoxicated, or driving while distracted, then you will likely be the one held liable. However, if you made no error and the accident happened for some other reason, such as one of the reasons listed above, then it may be possible for you to hold another party responsible. 

Potentially liable third parties in single vehicle accidents claims include:

  • Another person or driver: Though there might not have been another car directly involved in the accident, it is still possible for another driver to be liable. For example, if something fell off of another vehicle and you crashed because of that item being on the road, that other driver could be held responsible. Or if you swerved to avoid a pedestrian or bicyclist on the road that did not have the right-of-way, that person could also be held liable instead of you. 
  • The car manufacturer: If the accident occurs as a result of a defect with your car, it is possible to trace the fault back to the vehicle manufacturer. 
  • A public entity or local municipality: If the accident was the result of something like poor road design, lack of signage, broken traffic lights, or lack of road maintenance, then you may be able to hold the public entity or local municipality responsible for addressing those concerns liable. 
  • A construction company: Some single vehicle accidents happen due to construction, such as things being left behind on the road by construction crews or a crew failing to follow the rules and keep the area safe for drivers to pass through. If this is the case, the construction company could potentially be held responsible for your accident. 

Single Car Accident Insurance Claims: Does Liability Insurance Cover Single Car Accidents?

The short and simple answer to this question is yes, but it depends on the individual circumstances involved in your case and your individual insurance policy. 

Kentucky is a “choice no-fault state,” which means that drivers have the option to choose “no-fault” insurance coverage, or they can opt out and go with the standard “fault-based” policy.  

If you opted in for no-fault coverage and you were the one responsible for the single vehicle accident, you can file a first-party insurance claim with your own insurance company. In this case, you would receive PIP benefits, which can cover up to $10,000 of your medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. 

If you opt out of the no-fault insurance, you would then need to file a third-party fault claim against the guilty party. This would allow you to recover compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, physical pain & suffering, emotional distress, and more. 

However, in order to win a case against a third party, you must have sufficient evidence to prove that the other party was responsible for what happened. If you cannot provide evidence that another party caused your accident, then your claim may be denied, or you might only recover a small portion of the compensation you deserve. 

This is where having a personal injury attorney can be highly beneficial. An attorney can handle the case for you, help you gather evidence, protect your rights, and deal with negotiations to ensure you are fully and fairly compensated. 

How Our Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Central Kentucky Can Help

At McCoy & Sparks, our team of attorneys has years of experience handling challenging cases, including those involving single vehicle accidents. Whether you want to ensure your insurance company pays you the full no-fault benefits you deserve, or you need to file a claim against a third party, we are here to help. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our Kentucky car accident attorneys today.