What Victims of Maryland Single-Vehicle Accidents Need to Know About Seeking Compensation

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on May 11, 2023 and updated on June 1, 2023.

fallen tree on white carMost car accident lawsuits and insurance claims involve a collision between two or more vehicles. However, there are cases that involve just one vehicle. The victim may have been a passenger, or he or she may have been run off the road by another car.

Single-vehicle accidents can cause some of the same severe injuries as multi-vehicle crashes. That is why victims should contact an experienced lawyer to determine if they can file a lawsuit or insurance claim to seek compensation.

The licensed Maryland vehicle accident lawyers at our firm have been taking on auto insurance companies for decades. We have recovered millions for victims of auto accidents in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland.

Zero upfront fees or legal costs. Call 410-297-0271.

What is a Single-Vehicle Accident?

A single-vehicle crash is an accident that results in damage to only one vehicle. These accidents often involve a collision with a fixed object, such as a guardrail, tree or building. For example, the driver may have swerved to avoid a crash with a pedestrian, animal, road hazard or another car. These crashes often involve a vehicle being run off the road.

Another driver may have caused or contributed to the crash, but there was no collision between that driver’s vehicle and the victim’s vehicle. For example, you may have been run off the road when another driver recklessly moved into your lane, causing you to swerve to avoid a crash.

When Are Victims at Fault for a Single-Vehicle Crash?

Drivers are often at fault for single-vehicle collisions. Many Maryland single-vehicle crashes involve drunk or distracted drivers. Their inattention or intoxication caused them to lose control of their vehicles and crash into something.

Drivers could also be at fault for single-vehicle crashes because they were speeding or driving too fast in the rain. Speeding gives drivers less time to slow down or stop. A speeding driver may have had to swerve to avoid a rear-end collision, resulting in a crash with a tree or road sign.

What if You Were a Passenger in the Damaged Vehicle?

If you were a passenger in the vehicle that was damaged, you may be able to file a claim against the driver if he or she caused the crash. For example, maybe the driver was speeding or distracted.

Passengers who suffered injuries in car crashes should contact an experienced lawyer. At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, we know how to seek compensation for passengers who were victims of auto accidents. We secured $1,000,000 for a passenger in a van that ran off the road and hit a tree.

When Could Someone Besides the Driver Be at Fault?

Insurance companies and law enforcement are probably going to assume the driver is at fault because only one vehicle was damaged. While the driver is often at fault, sometimes other parties are liable.

For example, the driver of the damaged vehicle might not be at fault if he or she was:

Avoiding a Crash with a Negligent Driver

This is a common reason why single-vehicle accidents happen. For example, another driver may have forced you off the road, resulting in a crash with a fixed object. The driver may have started to change lanes and the only way for you to avoid a collision was for you to swerve out of the way.

You may have been traveling behind a vehicle that suddenly stopped, causing you to swerve and crash into something on the side of the road that was not another vehicle.

Another driver may have crossed the center line because he or she was drunk, and you had to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.

Traveling on a Road That Was Unreasonably Dangerous

Sometimes dangerous road conditions cause a single-vehicle accident in Maryland. You may have hit a large pothole that was unreasonably dangerous and should have been repaired. Maybe there was a hazard in the road, such as a piece of equipment that was being used by construction workers.

However, it is important to understand it may be tough to prove road conditions caused your crash. The government entity or municipality you file the claim against may say you should have been able to avoid the hazardous condition.

Driving a Vehicle With a Defective Part

Some single-vehicle accidents are caused by defective vehicle parts. For example, maybe your tire blew out because it was defective. Your brakes may have stopped working, causing you to jerk the wheel to avoid a crash with another vehicle. Defects with airbags, steering or acceleration could also cause a single-vehicle crash.

Product manufacturers fight hard to avoid accountability for defective products. That is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you seek compensation.

What Should You Do if the Crash Was Caused by Someone Else?

If your accident was caused by another driver, you may be able to seek compensation from that driver’s liability insurance. However, proving the other driver is to blame may be an uphill battle, as that driver’s vehicle did not suffer any damage. Another problem is the other driver may have fled the scene. In that situation, the other driver may not even be aware that he or she caused a crash.

These are just two reasons why you need to work with an experienced lawyer when seeking compensation.

There are various pieces of evidence your lawyer may be able to collect to help prove the other driver’s role in your single-vehicle accident, including:

  • Eyewitness accounts of the crash
  • Camera footage, such as footage from a dashboard camera, traffic camera or security camera
  • Pictures of the damage to your vehicle
  • Police report, especially if you got the license plate of the fleeing driver and the police found this person
  • Black box data from your vehicle

Steps to Take Right After the Crash

After the collision, make sure to move your vehicle away from moving traffic. If on a road should, be sure no part of your car is sticking out in traffic. You should also turn on your hazard lights to alert passing drivers that your vehicle is stopped.

Report any crash to the police. This is not just a good idea, it is often required by law, especially if the crash caused an injury or damage to property.

While waiting for the police to arrive, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any property damage caused by the collision.

When the police arrive, explain what happened and ask the officer how to obtain a copy of the report once it is completed.

Make sure to go to the hospital immediately so your injuries can be diagnosed and treated. This is vital to your health and also your claim for compensation. Waiting to seek treatment makes it harder to show the connection between your injuries and the accident.

Contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl for Legal Help

Were you injured in a car crash caused by another’s negligence?

You need experienced legal assistance. We do not recommend counting on the liable insurance company to provide fair compensation. Even if you have a catastrophic injury, the insurance company may deny your claim or offer you a small amount of compensation.

Our services come with no upfront cost. That means there is no cost for taking your case and no fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call us today to learn more about how we can help you.
Phone: 410-297-0271.