Most of the time, car accidents involve at least two vehicles. As such, the claims process usually involves conducting an investigation to determine which driver was at fault for the accident, and then the at-fault driver’s liability insurance offering a settlement to the not-at-fault party for damages.
But what happens if your vehicle is the only one involved in a crash?
At the law office of MG Law, we understand that if you’ve been in a single-vehicle crash, you may have questions about what your rights are, what the process looks like, and whether or not you can recover compensation for any damages you’ve suffered. Here’s what you should know about single-vehicle car accidents and how our law firm can help.
Types of Single-Vehicle Accidents
While single-vehicle accidents may be less common than accidents involving two or more cars, they do happen. Some of the most common types of single-vehicle accidents include:
- Rollovers. Rollover crashes are devastating, and are one of the most fatal accident types, especially if those involved aren’t wearing their seatbelts. Rollover crashes can occur because a vehicle “trips” over an object, because a driver takes a turn too quickly, or as a result of erratic driving. A rollover crash could be the fault of the involved driver themself, or may be a result of another party’s error – such as a municipality or county failing to put up notice of a sharp curve or steep grade.
- Collision with objects or animals. Another type of single-vehicle accident is a collision with an object or animal accident. These types of accidents are exactly what they sound like – the driver of a vehicle fails to see an object or an animal in the road and collides with it as such. Running into a mailbox, hitting a light post, backing into a wall, and more are all examples of this type of accident. While these accidents may happen at low speeds, such as while the car is in a parking lot or driveway, they can also happen at high speeds. High-speed crashes are much more dangerous.
- Run-off-road accidents. When a vehicle runs off the road, it could result in the vehicle colliding with a stationary object, such as a tree or the median, or it could result in a rollover. Sometimes, though, it results in other types of damage to the vehicle, such as a popped tire or damage to the vehicle’s undercarriage. Single-vehicle accidents, including run-off-road accidents and collisions with objects, can be caused by a variety of factors, including the negligence of the involved driver.
What to Do After a Single-Vehicle Crash
If you’ve been in a single-vehicle crash, knowing what steps to take can help to protect your right to damages during the claims process.
- Report the accident. The first thing that you should do after being involved in a single-vehicle accident is to report the accident to the police and to your insurance company. If you fail to do either of these, it is very unlikely that your insurance company will be open to processing your claim and offering you a settlement later on.
- Get medical care. One of the most important things to do after a crash is to get medical care, even if you don’t think that your injuries are serious. Seeking medical care is important for numerous reasons, including a) that it helps to ensure that you get the level of treatment and care you need to heal from your injuries, and b) because seeking medical care after a crash establishes an element of causation. This means that by getting medical care, you are creating a link between the accident and your injuries.
- Review your insurance policy. As stated above, in accidents involving two or more vehicles, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy is usually what pays out a settlement to an injured driver or vehicle occupant. But what happens if you’re the only one involved? Can you still seek coverage? The answer is that it depends on your insurance policy. If you were at fault for the accident but you have certain coverage types, then you can still file a claim. For example, medical payments coverage will pay for your medical bills after a crash regardless of fault, and collision coverage can pay for damages sustained to your vehicle if you collide with an object. Of course, if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s also possible to bring a claim against the at-fault party, such as a vehicle part manufacturer or a party responsible for road maintenance.
- Talk to an attorney. Talking to an attorney may feel like overkill after a crash, especially if you haven’t been seriously injured. But single-vehicle accident claims are complex, and you can be certain that your insurance company will not willingly offer you the amount that you deserve. An attorney can investigate your case to determine what happened, calculate the value of your damages, review your insurance policy, advise you in regards to which party (your insurance company or another) you should file a claim against, and negotiate a settlement offer. Because a car accident attorney works on a contingency fee basis, you don’t have to pay for the attorney’s counsel if the attorney is unsuccessful in recovering a settlement on your behalf.
Call the Office of MG Law Today
Single-vehicle crashes are scary, and the aftermath of these crashes can be confusing and complicated, too, especially if you’re not sure what your rights are and whether or not you’re eligible for compensation. Before you accept a settlement offer from your insurance company–and certainly before you decide not to pursue damages at all–reach out to our experienced Georgia car accident attorneys at the office of MG Law for a free consultation. We are here to talk to you about your accident and your options and provide you with initial legal advice free of charge. You can schedule your free consultation with our car accident law firm by calling us directly or sending us a message.