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Determining Fault In Single-Car Crashes

Contrary to popular belief, single-car crashes are not always simple—it's not always the driver's fault. As any driver knows, there are so many variables—many of them unpredictable—when driving down any road. If you or a loved one got into a single-car accident, consider first who is really at fault for the accident. The facts may surprise you.

When Is The Driver Not At-Fault For A Single-Car Accident?

Naturally, if the accident is the result of the driver's neglect to follow safe driving rules and laws, they are liable for the accident. In such a case, you don't need to worry since your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage will cover the damages and medical costs resulting from your accident.

However, Florida laws acknowledge that the driver is not always liable for a single-car accident. If the accident was caused by an external factor that the driver could not control, they may not be considered liable for the accident. Here are examples of instances when the driver may not be considered liable for a single-car accident:

Potholes, Faulty Stoplights, Incorrect Signage, Or Dangerous Road Conditions

It is an undeniable fact that not all roads in North Port are perfect—many of them are not maintained to optimal condition. If you did your part in driving carefully and still got into an accident because of a pothole, a misplaced or missing sign, inconsistent stoplights, or unmitigated dangerous road conditions, the government may be held liable for the accident. The government—county or city—is responsible for keeping roads at optimal condition, so if they fail to do this, it is only right that they be held accountable.
Phantom Crash

Phantom crashes occur when the driver swerves and crashes their car in an attempt to avoid another accident. This is applicable when the car nearby causes you to swerve because they were swerving or are about to hit your car. Since you lost of your car due to another driver's negligence, they may be held liable for your damages.

Pedestrians, Motorcycles, And Animals In The Wrong Place

It is not uncommon for drivers to swerve and crash their car while trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian, a motorcycle, bike, or animal that suddenly appeared in front of them. These elements are often difficult to predict and have often caused accidents by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. By crashing your car, you may have saved somebody's life, and for that you will not be held liable.

Animals, however, are a different story. If the single-car accident was caused by an attempt to avoid a small animal, you will be held liable. You should prioritize your and your passengers' safety over small animals. However, when it comes to larger animals like deer, horses, and cows, which could cause significant damage, you will not be held liable for crashing your car to avoid them.

Falling Debris

Falling or flying objects are never safe, and they are certainly difficult to dodge. So, if your single-car accident were caused by an object falling onto your windshield, you will not be held liable for it. The vehicle carrying the flying or falling object will be the one held liable for not properly securing its load.

Vehicle Malfunction

Every so often, a vehicle is recalled for a manufacturing defect that makes the vehicle unsafe. If your car is one of these, meaning it did not operate properly despite proper care on your part, your car manufacturer may be held liable for the single-car accident. Consider manufacturing defects like brake failure, unintended acceleration, and faulty tires.

Do You Believe The Accident Is Not Your Fault?

If the single-car accident you were in was caused by any of these scenarios described, then you have grounds to get compensation from the at-fault party. In most cases, the fault is not easy to attribute. An experienced North Port car crash lawyer can help you determine who is truly at-fault for your single-car accident and help you get compensation.