Car accidents commonly involve two or more vehicles hitting each other. However, car crashes involving a single vehicle are just as common. In many cases, these accidents are the result of issues like defective vehicle parts or poorly maintained roads, often entitling victims to compensation for their losses.
These accidents are not only common, but they can also end tragically. In 2019, nationwide statistics show that 53 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths occurred in single-vehicle crashes. Texas deaths by single-vehicle accidents are almost as common as deaths by multiple-vehicle crashes (49% versus 51%, respectively).
It is important to be aware of common scenarios involving single-car accidents and to know what to do when a single-vehicle accident occurs.
What’s In This Guide
- Why Single-Vehicle Accidents Happen
- How to Prevent Single-Vehicle Crashes
- Damages in Single-Vehicle Accidents
- The Value of Legal Guidance
Why Single-Vehicle Accidents Happen
Texas single-vehicle accidents involving damage to only one vehicle commonly occur for the following reasons:
- to avoid crashing into an object, pedestrian, cyclist, or animal
- reckless driving such as driving at unpredictable speed; drunk driving
- losing traction or control of your vehicle
- car mechanical failure
- inclement weather and poor road conditions
How to Prevent Single-Vehicle Crashes
- find a safe place to stop and pull over if you are feeling drowsy behind the wheel
- if you are in the broken-down vehicle, remember to remain claim, pull over as safely as possible using your hazard lights and call for help.
- put your phone and any major distractions away while you drive
- when the weather is dangerous, make other arrangements to get to your destination
- remain cautious when crossing through areas with pedestrians, animals, and cyclist
When single-vehicle accidents occur, it is important to seek legal help sooner than later.
For example, you may need help navigating legal issues around filing an insurance claim with insurance companies to cover the cost of your losses or damages.
Damages in Single-Vehicle Accidents
It can be challenging to determine single-vehicle accident liability as there is no dispute between two or multiple drivers. Although it may seem as though it would be easier to resolve, determining liability in a single-vehicle accident can be more challenging than it seems. If you have been injured in a single-vehicle crash, you may be wondering how to determine liability.
- Stay at the scene: remain at the location of the accident
- Document: While you are at the scene, take photos of damages
- Seek medical attention: immediately seek medical attention as some injuries take time to develop. For example, a headache may turn into something far more severe later down the road.
If you have been injured in a single-vehicle accident, you may be wondering if and how you can successfully be compensated for your losses. It depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the accident in such a situation. Ultimately, if you were at fault for your accident, you will need to pursue a claim under your own policy. On the other hand, if someone else’s negligence caused your crash, you may be able to file a claim against that party.
Your Auto Insurance Policy
If you are at fault for the single-vehicle crash, then you will have to cover the cost of your losses through your auto insurance or pay out-of-pocket. This is unlike cases involving another driver where Texas follows a modified comparative negligence approach for assigning the percentage of fault and damages between the parties.
Instead, as the at-fault driver in a single-vehicle accident, your options to have some of your own costs are limited to what is covered under your auto insurance terms. For example, if the accident damages were avoidable, then collision coverage likely applies. If, on the other hand, the damage could not be prevented, then you may be able to turn to comprehensive coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Texas is among a handful of states that automatically includes PIP coverage in your auto coverage. Where your car accident results in injuries, your PIP insurance policy should cover $2,500 per person. Your PIP coverage can be used even if you are at fault.
Another sub-type of auto coverage that pays medical costs is called Medical Payments (Med-Pay), including doctor and hospital visits. Some of the highlights of Med-Pay include how quickly it can cover your costs and how much cheaper it can be in comparison to your health insurance’s deductible and co-pays.
The Value of Legal Guidance
A Texas personal injury attorney is critical to ensuring your rights to full compensation are protected, even in the case of a single-vehicle accident. Importantly, an Austin, Texas-licensed car accident lawyer will know your various legal options to cover damages, including health care expenses, loss of income, and other damages including to your vehicle. For example, there may be someone else at fault, even if your vehicle was the only one involved in the accident.
In the event that your accident was the result of negligence on the part of the government agency responsible for the road, you may be able to file a claim under the Texas Tort Claims Act (TTCA). Claims under the TTCA are subject to special rules, including strict time limits regarding how soon a case must be filed. For this reason, if you believe you have a claim against the government, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as you can.
To learn more about what your auto insurance covers and how to put it to use, ask your attorney to review the specific provisions of your policy. Additionally, you can also familiarize yourself with the terms as Texas law requires your insurance policy to provide you with these details in a Consumer Bill of Rights.
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Speak to an Austin Single-Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have sustained an injury or injuries in a single-vehicle Texas car accident, you need experienced attorneys by your side. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Patel Firm have extensive experience in Texas personal injury cases involving single-vehicle accidents. We are committed to helping you and/or loved ones impacted by the accident receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t delay! Contact us at (361) 400-2036 to schedule a free evaluation where we will discuss the details of your case and your legal options.