Who is Liable for a Single Vehicle Accident?

Determining who is liable for a single vehicle accident is not always easy. By definition, a single car accident involves just one vehicle; however, this does not always translate to just one party being liable for the accident.  For this reason, if you have been injured you should consult an attorney to learn your rights as soon as possible. Call us at (713) 932-0777 for a free consultation.

Common Causes of Solo Accident

car crash with treeCausal common factors associated with these types of accidents

  • Driver Negligence
  • Dangerous Weather Conditions
  • Dangerous Road Conditions
  • Passenger Distraction
  • Mechanical Malfunction
  • Drowsy Driving
  • Intoxicated Driving

Below we will discuss multiple scenarios in which there are many factors contributing to an accident with just one car, as well as the legal implications associated with each one.

Driver Negligence

The most common cause is driver negligence. A serious problem we face today is driver’s distracting themselves by texting and driving, reading emails or doing other activities on cellular devices.  Failing to keep a proper lookout is a common cause of collisions today.

Dangerous Road and Weather Conditions

In 2016, the Texas Department of Transportation reported over 21,000 crashes involving one of the following road conditions:

  • Ice
  • Sand, Mud, Dirt
  • Slush
  • Snow
  • Standing Water
  • Wet

Partly due to the unpredictable nature of weather in Texas, drivers must always be prepared for weather to be a factor when driving on the road. There are specific legal doctrines that address liability when drivers are confronted with dangerous weather conditions.  Drivers have a duty to follow the Rules of the Road. This includes driving at a safe speed so that they can maintain control of their vehicle under the existing weather conditions. Driving too fast for the conditions can occur even when you are driving under the posted speed limit. Thus, you should consult an attorney even when the weather conditions contribute to an accident.

Just as common, dangerous road conditions are presented to Texas drivers every day. From construction zones, pot holes and debris in the road, the potential for danger can be significantly reduced when drivers provide their undivided attention to the road in front of them. Consult an attorney if you suspect your driver was not driving safe under the conditions resulting in a single car wreck.

Passenger Distraction

Another common cause of single vehicle accidents comes from within the car itself. Often, drivers will look away from the road to deal with the passengers in the car. This is a negligent action that, if resulting in a car accident, may result liability being placed on the driver for allowing themselves to be distracted at all.

In other cases, passengers may intentionally act to distract the driver. One should be very cautious about alleging that someone intentionally distracted their driver and/or intentionally caused a collision. Most auto policies exclude coverage on accidents caused by intentional acts.

Mechanical Malfunctions

There is nothing more important when it comes to roadway safety than driving a safe and fully functioning vehicle. No matter what the reason, everyone deserves the right to know the vehicle they are driving is safe. Unfortunately, there are times where drivers who do take the appropriate precautions find themselves severely injured because their vehicle was defective. Examples of vehicle defects include:

  • Air bag failure
  • Brake failure
  • Defective tires
  • Seat belt failure

Defects may be present when the car is purchased, or they may occur as the result of maintenance performed by a negligent maintenance or repair shop worker.  One example of this is when a tire store fails to replace the lug nuts after switching out a tire.

Repair malfunctions present another complicated scenario because it must be determined who is at fault for causing the accident to occur. These instances require proper investigation to ensure the correct party is placed at fault.

Talk to an Auto Accident Attorney

When you are injured due to the negligence of another party, you may have a right to be compensated for the damages you’ve suffered.  If you were a negligence-free passenger in an accident or a driver injured due to a suspected mechanical defect, call us to learn more about your rights today or visit our car accident page. Call (713) 932-0777 for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer.


Paul Cannon