Recently, a man in his sixties sustained “potentially serious injuries” when his car flipped over a guardrail on North I-35, landing 20 feet below on the service road. As of this writing, it does not appear that there were any other vehicles involved, but this does not mean that another driver did not play a role. Single-vehicle accidents are common and can be deadly, but this can be somewhat of a misnomer, given that it is possible in some cases to hold another person liable for your injuries.
Causes Differ Wildly
Most of the time, law enforcement will immediately assume that you are responsible for your own single-vehicle crash, with no other causes involved. However, this is not always the case – and even if you do wind up being held liable for part of your own injuries, you are still able to recover as long as your percentage of fault is below 50 percent. For example, if the court finds that you were 30 percent responsible for your own injuries, you would still, in theory, be able to recover up to 70 percent of your damages.
Besides driver negligence, there are several other potential causes of single-vehicle crashes. Defective parts may be one – some defect in your vehicle or one of its parts can lead to serious accidents. Other causes often have to do with road defects, which in Texas will often be the responsibility of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) or another state or city-based governmental organization. Poor lighting, potholes, badly maintained construction areas, and the like can all be major contributing factors.
While it is certainly not impossible to successfully bring suit against a negligent driver or government entity, it can be difficult, especially in the case of a driver who did not stop to render aid at a scene. Leaving the scene of an accident where death or injury results is actually a crime in Texas; if it can be shown that a driver, say, swerved in a way where your car had to take evasive action, and you wind up striking a guardrail, they may wind up facing both civil and criminal charges if it can be shown that they should have known an accident occurred.
If you believe that TxDOT or another governmental entity played a role in your injuries, it is important to keep in mind that your case must be able to overcome sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a concept that dates back to English common law, and it formerly protected the government from all forms of suit. In this day and age, most states (Texas included) have adopted limited forms of the doctrine, which grant certain exceptions that permit the average person to sue the government or its agencies – but you must be certain that your case fits in one of them. Contacting an attorney is a good idea.
Call a New Braunfels Car Accident Attorney
As of this writing, the man whose car fell off North I-35 appears to be in stable condition, but time will tell. If you have been through a single-vehicle accident on Texas roads, you may not, however, be so lucky. The dedicated New Braunfels car crash attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are ready to sit down with you and try to work out a game plan for you and your family going forward. Call our office today at 888-392-0039 to set up a free consultation.