Not every accident involves two vehicles. Single-vehicle accidents occur frequently on Colorado’s roads and can be just as devastating to those inside the vehicle. If you were injured in a single-vehicle collision, you should carefully analyze whether you have a claim for compensation.
We can help. As experienced Grand Junction auto accident lawyers, we have represented the rights of injured motorists and passengers for years. You can often receive money to cover your economic and non-economic losses.
What are Single Vehicle Accidents?
A single vehicle accident is exactly what it sounds like—an accident that involves only one vehicle. For example, a vehicle might:
- Crash after leaving the road
- Strike something on the road, like an animal
These types of accidents are often just as serious as collisions involving multiple vehicles. Motorists and passengers can suffer devastating injuries, especially in rollover accidents.
Technically, a vehicle that strikes a pedestrian is a single-vehicle accident, though we normally consider that a “pedestrian accident” instead.
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What Causes Single Vehicle Accidents?
There are many causes. Sometimes, single-vehicle accidents are caused by malfunctioning parts on the vehicle, such as brake or steering failures. However, most are probably caused by driver error, such as:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving while texting;
- Drowsy driving;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Who Can Receive Compensation?
Colorado law allows someone injured by a negligent driver to receive compensation from the driver. In a single-vehicle accident, this person is usually a passenger in the vehicle that crashes. If the driver made a mistake while driving, then a passenger can usually sue for compensation:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress
You will need to submit a claim to the driver’s insurer, which will probably want to see medical bills and other proof of loss, like paystubs.
Sometimes, the driver could receive compensation if the vehicle malfunctioned. For example, if the steering column completely malfunctions, then the manufacturer could be to blame. You might be able to bring a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or another entity for compensation.
A driver might also be able to sue another motorist if another car forced you from the road. For example, someone might have swerved into your lane, forcing you onto the shoulder where you then collided with a tree or rolled over. In this situation, another driver is to blame even if they did not actually strike you. However, this driver might flee the scene since their vehicle was not damaged.
What if an Unsafe Road Caused My Accident?
This is another situation where a driver could receive compensation. Defects include potholes, uneven pavement, poorly constructed shoulders, and construction debris. If the government is responsible for an unsafe road, then you can often bring a claim for compensation against the government.
You should definitely meet with an attorney who has experience suing government entities. There are many hoops that you need to jump through, and any mistake on your part could prevent you from receiving compensation. Also, claims against the government must be brought quickly. An experienced lawyer will know how to protect your rights.
Do We Need to Call the Police?
You should, especially if a passenger was injured while riding in the car. An insurance company will want to see a police report that will contain the important “who, where, why, when” information. A police officer can also interview those in the car and any bystander who viewed the collision. The officer can then make a determination of what caused the accident.
How Do I Protect My Rights to Compensation?
As soon as possible after an accident, you should go to the doctor or hospital. Relay any symptoms you are feeling and tell the doctor what happened. Don’t be surprised if some symptoms don’t appear for a couple of days. If you feel unwell, then head back to the doctor. You could be showing delayed symptoms from the crash.
Also remember to hold onto copies of all medical bills, as well as receipts for prescription drugs or assistive devices. You can receive compensation for those expenses.
Meet with a Grand Junction Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Single-vehicle accidents can leave many people in dire need of compensation. As medical bills pile up, you might be unable to work. If this describes your situation, please call us. There are steps we can take to ensure that you receive a fair shake from the person or entity responsible for your injuries.
You can reach out to us at (970) 230-7656 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.