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Liability in a Single Car Accident

man on phone next to car with hood up

Single vehicle accidents present unique difficulties when it comes to establishing liability. Without another vehicle or party involved, it can be difficult to determine who was at fault. In some cases, the answer may be obvious - for example, if the driver was speeding and lost control, it would be clear that the driver was liable. However, in other cases the cause of the accident may not be so clear.

Who is to Blame for a Single Car Accident?

In a single-car accident, finding fault can sometimes be difficult to determine. However, there are a few key factors that can help to point fingers in the right direction. By examining the common causes of single vehicle accidents, one can better establish where fault may be placed.

Driver Error

When two vehicles collide, it is important to identify which driver was at fault in order to determine who is liable for damages. In many cases, one driver will be clearly at fault, but there are also instances where both drivers may share responsibility. When determining fault, courts will often look at factors such as

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Making an illegal turn.

Poor Road Conditions

Poor road conditions can include a variety of hazards, such as potholes, large cracks, and ice or snow. If a driver hits one of these hazards and is injured as a result, there is a chance the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the road will be held liable. However, it will still be argued that the driver should have practiced safe driving to avoid such hazards.

Mechanical Error

To establish fault in cases of mechanical error, it is important to collect evidence and establish a clear chain of causation. For example, if a car's brakes fail and the driver hits another car, the mechanic who serviced the brakes may be found at fault. Similarly, if a car's tires are defective and cause a driver to lose control, the manufacturer of the tires may be held liable.

Accident During a Recall Period

If you are involved in a car accident during a recall period, you may be held liable for any damage or injuries that occur. This is because recall periods are designed to give manufacturers time to correct defects that could cause accidents. If you are aware of a recall and continue to drive your car, you could be held liable if an accident occurs.

However, if the defective part caused an accident before the recall was issued, the manufacturer may be held liable for failure to warn.

Medical Emergency

If you are involved in a car accident and it is later determined that the cause was a medical emergency, you may not be held liable for the accident. This is because medical emergencies are considered to be beyond your control. This applies to conditions where, through a medical investigation, it was shown that you would have had no reason to expect an unsafe driving environment.

However, if it can be shown that you were negligent in some way leading up to the accident, then you may be held liable. For example, if you knew that you had a medical condition that made it unsafe for you to drive, but chose to do so anyway, you could be held liable if an accident occurred.

Animal Crossing

Under most circumstances, if one is involved in a car accident caused by an animal, they may not be held liable. This is because animals are considered to be rogue actors which are not under the control of anyone. However, there are some circumstances in which an individual could be held responsible for an accident caused by an animal (reckless driving prior to collision.)

Personal Injury Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee

At Witherington Injury Law, our team of car accident attorneys has helped countless people who have been injured in car accidents. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a car accident can take on a person, and we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out our form online.