The Common Causes for Single Vehicle Crashes

You diligently practice safe driving habits every time you get behind the wheel; you actively watch the road and try to anticipate other drivers' next moves. 

You’re familiar with the common causes of multi-vehicle car wrecks, but what about if your vehicle is the only one involved? Do you know the common factors leading to single-vehicle crashes?

Knowing what commonly causes a single-vehicle accident can help you avoid being involved in an accidental collision.

Common Factors Leading Up to Single-Vehicle Accidents

Florida is well-known for its breathtaking scenery; from sandy beaches and blue ocean water to the deep green of the Everglades, there’s almost always a reason to glance out of the window. However, taking your eyes off the road is a form of distracted driving, even if it’s only for a second. 

A lot can happen in a brief second, including hitting an object with your vehicle—however, distracted driving can cause far more than just property damage. According to statistics from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 333 fatalities in distracted driving accidents in 2022.

While distracted driving is a common factor leading up to single-vehicle wrecks, it’s not the only one. Some of the other common causes are:

  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Speeding
  • Fatigued or drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Vehicle defects or defective parts
  • Poor vehicle maintenance

Road quality can also lead to a single-car collision. Potholes can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Objects on the road can also result in a single-vehicle accident.

You May Not Be the Responsible Driver

In single-car wrecks, it’s often presumed the driver is automatically at fault, however, this isn’t always true. If the accident is caused by a defective vehicle part, you may have the grounds for a product liability claim. For example, the vehicle’s steering goes out due to a faulty component causing an accident. In this instance, you’re not the at-fault driver.

However, if you run off the road while glancing at your smartphone you’re responsible for the accident. Every single vehicle accident is different, so it’s always best to consult with an accident attorney before accepting blame.

Don’t forget Florida is a modified comparative fault state—yes, this sounds a little confusing but the law can work in your favor. The law basically states that as long as you’re not more than 50% to blame for the accident, you can file a compensation claim. 

Who you file the claim against will depend on the other responsible party. Your claim can include the vehicle manufacturer, an auto repair shop, or another driver, to name a few examples.

Types of Compensation You May Be Eligible to Receive

Depending on the specifics of your single-vehicle accident case, you may be eligible to file a claim for damages. Your PIP (personal injury protection) policy will cover some of your damages. 

However, PIP has caps that often mean you’re still stuck with expenses. As long as you’re not 51% responsible for the single-car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost and future wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
  • Property damage and/or replacement

You may also be entitled to non-economic damages, which can include pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.

What to Do After a Single-Car Accident

If you’re involved in a single-vehicle wreck, taking a few steps can help protect your personal injury claim. However, before you start worrying about financial damages, check yourself for any injuries. Your health is what matters the most.

Contact the authorities, your insurance adjuster is going to want a copy of the accident report. If you’re not the at-fault driver or only partially responsible, the accident report will help support your case. 

Never admit fault to the responding authorities or accept any blame. This can be used against you if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Even if you don’t have any noticeable injuries, still see a physician.

Some injuries may not exhibit signs or symptoms for several days. You’ll also need your medical reports for compensation. You may even be able to claim the doctor’s visit, even if you don’t have any injuries.

Before you start negotiating with an insurance company, contact a personal injury attorney—don’t accept a settlement offer before getting legal advice. Once the offer is accepted, you can’t go back and file another claim.

You May Not Be At Fault in a Single-Car Accident

A single-vehicle accident does not necessarily imply culpability on the part of the driver; various external factors like road conditions or mechanical failures could be responsible. 

Therefore, consulting with an accident attorney is crucial to assess your case thoroughly and explore potential avenues for getting the compensation you deserve.