On October 3, 2017, US 90 in San Antonio was closed for hours as crews cleared debris from a single-vehicle accident that killed one person when she drifted and hit the guardrail. Other drivers struck the car as it flipped, but no other vehicle played a role in the accident itself. The woman was taken to University Hospital with critical injuries, but no one else was harmed. This type of accident is depressingly common in Texas and indeed in the U.S., for a myriad of reasons, and while no other drivers were harmed in this recent example, it is also depressingly common for injuries and fatalities to other drivers to be caused by these single-vehicle accidents.
Causes of Single-Vehicle Accidents
As one might imagine, there are many reasons single-vehicle accidents happen, though some are more foreseeable than others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a series of statistics and fact sheets on this topic and found a variety of factors that can contribute to single-vehicle crashes. The most common issue was substance abuse, especially alcohol, but many other issues such as poor road maintenance, speeding, weather conditions, or driver fatigue were also found to help cause these accidents.
It is also a fact that while a crash may be classified as a single-vehicle accident, another vehicle may have played a role. While it does not appear this was the case in the October 3 accident, a driver may, for example, be operating their vehicle in a reckless manner, causing others to take action that can turn hazardous in their attempts to get out of the way. It is even possible that a driver could lead another driver to take evasive or dangerous action without being aware of the fact.
If You Are Affected
While most auto accidents are brought into court as a question between two drivers, it is entirely plausible that an injured passenger might bring suit against the driver of their own car, if their harms occurred in a single-vehicle crash. While this can feel awkward, you are generally within your rights – just as drivers have a duty of care toward other drivers on the road, they also have a duty to exercise all due care vis-à-vis their passengers.
If you are injured when your vehicle is hit by debris or if you strike the rolled car, your likelihood of obtaining any kind of damages is much less simply because if such a thing occurs, it almost always happens immediately in the seconds following the single-vehicle accident. The possibility of damage at that juncture is not foreseeable, and generally unavoidable given the sheer minuscule time frame to react. If you were to bring suit against the owner of the car in the single-vehicle accident, it is likely that it would fail because causation could not be proven – in other words, it could likely not be shown that but for the injured driver’s actions, your injuries and/or property damage would not have occurred.
Our Single Vehicle Accident Lawyers Can Help
A single-vehicle accident is not always due solely to driver negligence, though in this case in San Antonio, the consensus seems to be that it was. If you have been in a single vehicle accident with a different outcome, an attorney may be able to help you seek compensation. The New Braunfels auto accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm can sit down with you and try to help you determine the best path to take for you and your family. Contact our office today to set up an initial consultation.