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Who Is Liable in a Single-Vehicle Accident?

Who Is Liable in a Single-Vehicle Accident?

shapiro.admin February 9, 2021 Car Accidents

Vehicle accidents are not uncommon throughout Arizona. Often, these incidents involve two more vehicles. However, that is not always the case. There are times when single-vehicle accidents occur and lead to severe injuries for those involved. Here, we want to discuss potential liability for a single-vehicle accident. At first glance, it may seem like the liability will fall squarely onto the shoulders of the driver of the crashed vehicle, but that is not always necessarily true. There are various scenarios in which other parties and may hold liability for a single-vehicle crash, including other drivers on the roadway, construction companies, governmental entities, and more.

Common causes of Arizona single-vehicle crashes

According to data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 18,660 total single-vehicle collisions reported during the latest year across the state. This data indicates that single-vehicle collisions made up approximately 14% of all crashes across the state during that year. There are various ways that single-vehicle collisions occur, and liability for these incidents could fall on multiple parties.

First, a single-vehicle collision could absolutely be caused by the driver of the vehicle. There are various ways that careless or reckless driving can lead to a single-vehicle crash, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to obey traffic laws
  • Driving while impaired

However, there are times when a single-vehicle crash occurs and is not caused by the driver but by something else. Some of the most common causes of single-vehicle collisions include the following:

  • Poorly constructed roadways
  • Poorly maintained roadways
  • Hazardous roadway conditions
  • Dangerous construction zones
  • Poorly placed roadway signs
  • Inadequately drained roads
  • Defective vehicles
  • Defective vehicle parts

For any of these causes of a single-vehicle collision, there may be other parties that are liable for the incident. For example, hazardous roadway conditions could be the fault of third party construction companies or even a government agency responsible for the roadway. Additionally, defective vehicles or vehicle parts could be the fault of vehicle companies or manufacturers as well as those who produce parts for the vehicles.

Single-vehicle collisions caused by other drivers

There are also times when a single-vehicle collision could be caused by other drivers on the roadway. It is not always necessary for one vehicle to collide with another in order for a collision to occur. It could be the case that a careless or reckless driver operated their vehicle in such a way that caused other drivers around them to have to take evasive actions. Unfortunately, when drivers have to avoid colliding with other vehicles, they often end up in single-vehicle collisions.

For example, suppose two vehicles are traveling in the same direction side-by-side in separate lanes. If one of those drivers is intoxicated by alcohol and suddenly swerves, this could cause the other driver to have to move their vehicle away quickly in order to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, this could lead to that vehicle leaving the roadway, causing a single-vehicle collision.

Single-vehicle accidents must be investigated

If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a single-vehicle collision and you believe that another party is responsible for the incident, you need to work with a Scottsdale car accident attorney as soon as possible. These incidents need to be fully investigated, and various types of evidence can be used to help determine liability. This can include the following:

  • Photographic evidence from the scene of the crash
  • Video surveillance captured on nearby cameras
  • Roadway maintenance records
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Police or accident reports

If necessary, an attorney can work with accident reconstruction experts to use the evidence that is available as well as their understanding of the mechanics of a crash in order to determine liability.

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