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Not all car accidents involve one negligent driver crashing into someone else. In some cases, a crash happens and only one car is involved. When this happens, it is called a “single-vehicle accident.”

Although it might sound unexpected, the driver in a single-vehicle accident might not be the one to blame. It is possible that a third party had a direct or indirect hand in the accident unfolding and, therefore, could be held liable through an injury claim.

Two parties that are often liable for a single-vehicle accident are:

  • Local departments of transportation: Many single-vehicle accidents are caused by some sort of defect with the road that causes the driver to lose control or suffer worse injuries than they would have had the road been in good condition. For example, potholes in the street can cause significant damage to a vehicle’s wheel and axle, up to the point that the damage wrests control of the vehicle from the driver. Other common and unsafe road defects are missing or damaged guardrails, which are meant to prevent vehicles from tumbling down ditches or into opposing traffic if a minor crash occurs. In both examples, a local or statewide department of transportation could be liable for the accident if it was in charge of maintaining the road and failed to do so through negligence.
  • Automakers or auto part manufacturers: In some single-vehicle accidents, the crash is caused by a sudden auto part failure that the driver had no idea was about to occur. For example, a tire that bursts without warning can and likely will cause the driver to lose control and crash, especially if they were traveling at highway speeds. If that happens, it is not right to blame the driver for the damages, not entirely, anyway. An investigation could uncover that the auto part was defective due to no fault of the driver, which could make the automaker or part manufacturer liable.

How Do You File a Single-Vehicle Accident Claim?

Filing a single-vehicle accident claim can be intimidating. If you tell your insurance company that you crashed and no other driver was involved, then they will simply blame you for it and tell you to use whatever collision coverage you have. Furthermore, if you try to file against the third party that you suspect is liable, then they will say the same thing and try to deter you from any further communications.

To make a single-vehicle accident claim with confidence, you should team up with a car accident attorney in your area. They will understand the nuances of your state’s liability laws, as well as what local public entities could be in charge of maintaining the roads.