A 28-year old woman was killed after a single-vehicle accident in New Braunfels on August 20, having struck a traffic light pole head-on. She was pronounced dead at the scene, but the crash is listed as still being investigated. Single-vehicle accidents, as this one appears to have been, are difficult to investigate fully, because so often there are factors that do not necessarily appear in a crime scene record. If you have been involved in a single-vehicle accident, it is important to understand that it is not necessarily as easy to hold someone liable for your injuries as it would be with a two or three-car crash.
Single-Vehicle Accidents Can Be Deadly
Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that as many as 55 percent of nationwide deaths in auto accidents occurred in single-vehicle crashes. Almost exactly half of Texas’ recorded crash fatalities fall into this category, with roughly 1900 deaths recorded in crashes like the one in New Braunfels. One might wonder why this would be the case, but there are multiple reasons why single-vehicle crashes can be so deadly. Perhaps the most common reason is that a higher proportion of single-vehicle accidents tend to be rollovers, where the vehicle winds up flipping, and rollover accidents are the single most deadly type of vehicle crash because of the lack of protection in most autos to guard against these crashes. In other words, rollover accidents damage vehicles in ways other types usually do not – for example, damage to the roof of the automobile – and as such, little protection is available.
Not Necessarily Your Fault
Perhaps the most single persistent myth about single-vehicle accidents is that if only one vehicle crashed, the driver of that vehicle must necessarily be liable for any injuries. This is just not always true – there are multiple potential outcomes that may lead to liability being elsewhere, with one of the most common being that there was another car nearby (or a motorcyclist, or a semi-truck) that took some kind of action that caused the crash, but that driver managed to avoid any damage to their vehicle. This may be discernible through tire tracks or other evidence at the scene, which is all the more reason why a single-vehicle accident must be investigated extensively.
Another potential cause of your accident may be poor infrastructure or road maintenance. If, for example, you sustained a flat tire from an unmarked pothole and then crashed, you might have a claim against the entity that maintains the road you crashed on, because they owe a duty to motorists to make potential hazards safe or at least to warn about their existence. However, under the requirements of the Texas Tort Claims Act, not every such claim will be actionable because your injury must have been caused by the government entity’s negligence, and the employee in question would have to be in a position where they would be liable to the plaintiff if they were a private person. This is simply not always going to be the case.
Call Our Auto Accident Lawyers Today
Whether you or your loved one have been involved in a single-vehicle accident, it is a good idea to enlist the services of an experienced attorney to guide you through what can be a time-consuming process. Our skilled New Braunfels car crash lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are happy to try and assist you with your case. Contact us to set up an appointment.