Single-vehicle crashes are relatively common in the United States. In 2016, the last year for which data is available, there were 3,623 fatal crashes in California. Of these, 2,623 or 57 percent were single-vehicle crashes. There are many reasons a collision of this type occurs. Some are due to driver error, while others happen when mechanical defects or poor road maintenance exists.
If you’ve been involved a single-vehicle crash in Los Angeles or Southern California and need immediate help, call the Law Offices of David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 for a free review of your important case or fill out the case review form.
Below you’ll learn more about why and how single-vehicle crashes occur, and what steps you can take to avoid higher insurance premiums or out-of-pocket expenses.
A Single Vehicle Accident Law Firm That Fights for You
David Azizi has handled a variety of auto accidents since he started to practice personal injury law in California 25 years ago. He has seen drivers who have been injured in a single vehicle crash bear the expense of the accident even though the fault was not theirs. By thoroughly investigating the crash, David has been able to determine the cause of the accident, saving the driver the expense of an at-fault accident.
Driver Error in a Single Vehicle Crash
Some driver errors commonly seen with a single vehicle crash are:
- Impaired driver: Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol can cause a single vehicle crash. Often, the driver will lose control of their vehicle or pass out and hit a stationary object such as a parked car or a tree.
- Driver fatigue: Many drivers today are too tired to drive, yet the pressures of life may urge them to get behind the wheel. When this happens, it is relatively easy for the driver to fall asleep while driving. Even a moment’s lapse can end in a single vehicle crash.
- Distracted driving: Drivers need to focus on the road when driving. Yet, given the many mechanical temptations such as cell phones or navigation systems in today’s vehicles, drivers place their focus elsewhere. Even a single text message can rob the driver of his or her necessary driving attention and cause an accident.
- Speeding: Drivers who speed are generally unable to maintain control of their vehicle, resulting in single vehicle crashes. Many such crashes are those where the vehicle goes off the road, resulting in a high incidence of rollovers.
Mechanical Defects in a Single Vehicle Crash
There are times when a single vehicle crash is not the driver’s fault. This can be due to mechanical defects such as faulty brakes or tires. For instance, if the brakes are defective and do not work when pressure is applied, chances are the driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and strike a stationary object or moving object if they are in the driver’s path. This needs to be differentiated from failing brakes due to lack of maintenance the driver has control over.
In cases of poor or no maintenance, the driver will be held liable for the crash. However, increasingly, drivers do maintain their vehicles only to be in a crash due to brake failure. A manufacturer’s defect can cause this and the manufacturer can be held liable for the damages.
How Damages Are Paid for in a Single Vehicle Crash
Generally, if driver error was the cause of a single vehicle crash, the driver pays for any damage to his or her vehicle, medical costs and damages to another’s property. If the driver has collision coverage, they can use their own insurance to pay for damages to their vehicle. Likewise, if they have Med Pay or health insurance, their medical bills may be covered up to the limit of their policy. However, using your insurance may mean paying a deductible or experiencing higher insurance premiums. Alternatively, if the fault does not lie with the driver, a lawsuit can be filed against the offending entity.
Defective tires can cause blowouts that lead to a single vehicle crash. This can occur due to mistakes in the manufacturing, designing or shipping processes or failure to warn of hazards inherent in the product. It is possible to examine the tires for defects and experts are often called upon during a lawsuit to provide information about the defect. While tire maintenance is part of a driver/owner obligation, defective tires are the providence of the companies involved in getting the product to the marketplace.
It is relatively common for trucks and other vehicles to drop cargo/debris on the road. If the debris is left on the roadway, the chance that a single vehicle will hit is increased, mainly if there is little room to avoid it such as on a busy highway or when the encounter happens at night. Often the vehicle will spin out and end up hitting a tree or other object.
Who Is Responsible for a Single Vehicle Crash Due to Roadway Debris?
The response of the driver is often cited as the reason the accident happened. However, leaving the debris on the road in California is addressed in Vehicle Code 23113. Not adhering to this rule is grounds for a lawsuit by someone involved in an accident due to debris against the party that allowed it to remain on the road. When a driver is injured in an accident due to road debris, he or she can file a lawsuit against this negligent party that could include the government entity responsible for keeping the roads passable.
How a Lawyer Can Help in a Single Vehicle Crash Due to Road Debris
Without the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer, a driver may not realize that his or her right of way was violated and end up filing a single vehicle accident claim with their insurance company, costing them a higher premium and a deductible payment. If the driver was speeding or did not see the debris due to distraction, he or she may be partly responsible for the accident. However, due to California’s status as a comparative liability state where more than one driver can share liability, the injured person can still claim a portion of the damages.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Manufacturer for Defects
When defective brakes, tires or other vehicular parts are defective and cause a single vehicle crash, the driver can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the part. This type of lawsuit, called a product liability claim, differs from others in California in that the plaintiff does not have to prove negligence. This is referred to as the law of strict liability. In such cases, the plaintiff has only to verify that the product was defective and caused his or her injuries when it was used in a way for which it was intended.
Not having to prove negligence is a cost-saving step and one which gives consumers a higher chance of pursuing their claim. The suit is filed against anyone in the chain of bringing the product to market, including the designer, manufacturer and retail establishment that sells it. It also includes failure to provide full disclosure and proper warning of hazards involved in the use of the product.
How a Los Angeles Single Vehicle Accident Lawyer Can Help
Drivers involved in a single vehicle crash often assume the burden of paying for medical expenses and lost wages as well as property restoration and other damages caused by the accident. Many are unaware or cannot investigate the accident to see if defective elements or roadway debris of any kind could have precipitated the collision. A personal injury lawyer will examine the accident to determine where the fault lies.
Using forensic experts to examine the crash site, investigating to see if a defective product was involved or determining if road debris was present when the crash happened, the attorney can research causation. Since a driver either pays out-of-pocket or uses the collision portion of their insurance to cover damages for a single vehicle crash, the chance that the accident was not due to driver error will eliminate having to deal with higher insurance premiums, a deductible or other financial loss.
Free Case Review With the Law Offices of David Azizi
The law firm of David Azizi aggressively protects its clients’ rights in a single vehicle accident. Even if driver error is involved, other extenuating circumstances may have had a part in the accident. David can investigate the crash site and other aspects of the accident to see precisely what happened.
Call David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 any time to set up a free case review. You’ll learn why both legal ranking companies Expertise.com and Super Lawyers call David one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. David is a powerful advocate for the rights of those injured in an accident and offers only quality services. You can also contact him by using his convenient contact form on his web site. It costs you nothing to get David’s opinion and hear about your options. You will never pay anything until you win.