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West Palm Beach Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyers
If you suffered harm in a single-vehicle crash, you may be able to seek compensation to cover your injuries and losses. Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. has experience securing the maximum financial award for our clients, and we will dedicate ourselves to your case.
There are a number of factors that could cause a single-vehicle accident, and oftentimes, another party is to blame. If someone’s negligence led to your accident, you’re entitled to hold that party accountable for their action or inaction.
When you hire Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., we’ll fight assertively for the justice you deserve. You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of someone else’s mistakes. We’ll guide you through the entire legal process: we’ll thoroughly investigate your accident and gather the evidence needed to prove fault in order to develop a solid case.
Our West Palm Beach single-vehicle accident lawyers will work efficiently to resolve your case and reach a favorable outcome. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, call us at 561.689.8180.
Common Causes of Single-Vehicle Car Crashes
Most accidents involve at least two vehicles. It’s usually the result of driver error or inattention. However, there are times when only one vehicle is involved in an accident.
When that happens, you must determine if another party may be responsible for the crash, and how to pursue compensation from them in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Following are common causes of single-vehicle car accidents in which another party may be at fault:
Defective Car Parts
Manufacturers are supposed to build vehicle parts that meet specific specifications and are safe for drivers to use. If there’s a defect that causes it to malfunction, it can create a dangerous situation for a car’s occupants. Parts that often involved in a defect claim include the following:
- Brake system
- Brake system
- Steering system
Poor Street Lighting
Rural roadways can become dark at night. If there aren’t streetlights, it’s difficult for drivers to see where they’re going. They won’t notice a pedestrian crossing the street or a hazard in the middle of the road. If there are essential street signs, you won’t be able to see them. When your visibility is compromised, you won’t notice things such as:
- Warning signs
- Sharp turns
- Cracked pavement
- Line markings
- Upcoming stop sign
- Pedestrian or bicyclist at a crosswalk
Malfunctioning Traffic Signal
Traffic signals, such as stoplights, are necessary for the safe flow of traffic. When people walk across the street, motorists must know they’re supposed to stop and let pedestrians pass. If a traffic signal malfunctions, you could end up crossing an intersection at the same time as another vehicle. To avoid a collision, you might swerve out of the way and end up crashing into a telephone pole or guardrail. Damaged traffic signals can wreak havoc on the roadways and lead drivers into dangerous situations.
Roads suffer damage every day. Natural wear and tear, hazardous weather conditions, and other issues can cause dangerous defects. Unfortunately, many go unrepaired. When state and local entities fail to maintain roadways properly, accidents can occur. Common defects include:
- Poor lighting
- Blind curves
- Missing or obstructed signs
- Loose gravel
- Missing guardrails
- Faded paint
Traffic signs direct drivers safely to their destination. They’re useful in informing people of the speed limit, when they’re supposed to yield to others, and dangerous conditions ahead. Without them, accidents are more likely. Scenarios that could lead to single-vehicle crashes include:
- Fallen signs from severe weather
- Lack of warning signs around a construction site
- Missing stop sign at intersections
- Illegible signs due to damage or vandalism
- Inadequate signs at blind curves
How to Determine Liability After a Single-vehicle Accident
Sometimes the person involved in a single-vehicle crash is responsible for their own injuries. Distracted driving and errors can result in an accident. However, there are situations where another party can be responsible. If you discover you were the victim of someone else’s negligence, you can file an insurance or lawsuit for compensation.
Government entities are responsible for maintaining safe roadways and repairing damage. If your accident resulted from a pothole, missing traffic sign, or another defect, you could file a claim. Sovereign immunity protects government entities, agencies, and employees from most lawsuits. Certain exceptions that allow you to hold them liable for their actions include:
- Your injury was the result of another party’s negligence, wrongful act, or omission.
- You can be compensated for your losses with monetary damages.
- Under similar circumstances, you would be entitled to compensation if the negligent party wasn’t part of a government entity.
If your vehicle has a defective or recalled part that wasn’t working correctly at the time of your crash, you can file a claim against the manufacturer. They hold a duty to ensure the parts they provide to the public are in good working condition. If there are potential hazards that could cause harm, they must provide adequate warning labels. If parts leave the factory with a defect, the company could become liable for resulting injuries.
Even if your vehicle was the only one involved in the crash, someone else’s actions could be to blame. If another motorist’s actions caused you to swerve to avoid colliding with their car, you could seek financial compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Errors people make that can lead to a single-vehicle accident include:
- Pedestrians that cross the road where there isn’t a crosswalk
- Changing lanes without checking blind spots or using a turn signal
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
Third parties, such as construction companies, can create hazardous conditions that lead to accidents. If there’s a construction zone on the road, workers should place adequate warning signs, traffic cones, and concrete barriers on the road that guide drivers and help prevent accidents. If people aren’t aware of the upcoming construction zone, they won’t have time to slow down and navigate around the obstacles. Construction companies and employees can become financially responsible if they don’t take the necessary safety precautions to avoid causing harm to drivers.
What to Do After Getting Hurt in a Single-vehicle Accident
What you do after a car crash can impact the outcome of your case. If you want to make sure you can hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions and win a financial award, you should follow the steps below:
Step 1: Call 911 to report the crash. It’s the law to report accidents when they result in an injury, death, or property damage over $500. Wait for an officer to arrive and perform their investigation. They might ask you some questions about how it occurred and obtain your name, contact information, and auto insurance details.
Step 2: If you’re able to walk around, take photos of the scene. If a road defect caused the accident, take pictures of it for evidence. You should also take pictures of your vehicle and the damage caused by the crash.
Step 3: Talk to bystanders. If anyone witnessed what happened, write down their names and phone numbers. They could provide witness statements in an insurance claim or testify in court during a lawsuit.
Step 4: Seek medical treatment for your injuries. If the doctor refers you for follow up care, listen to their orders. You should continue treating until you make a full recovery or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). When a medical provider places their patient at MMI, it means further intervention won’t improve the medical condition.
Step 5: Maintain adequate records. If you receive letters from the insurance company or documentation from your doctors, keep them in a safe place. They can be useful during your legal case to prove you sustained injuries in the accident.
Step 6: Hire a West Palm Beach single-vehicle accident lawyer.
Filing an Insurance Claim to Seek Compensation for Your Damages
When you get hurt in a car accident, you can file an insurance claim for compensation for your damages. Damages are the expenses and intangible losses associated with an injury. There’s a no-fault system in Florida that requires injured victims to turn to their auto insurance company before seeking compensation from another party.
State laws require all motor vehicle owners and operators to carry auto insurance with a $10,000 minimum limit for personal injury protection (PIP). PIP provides payment for the accident victim’s medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was at fault. When you file a PIP claim, you can recover up to 80% of the limit for medical expenses and up to 60% of the limit for lost wages.
Similar to health insurance, your PIP coverage will pay for all medical treatment upfront. When you see your doctors, provide your auto insurance information so they can send your bills directly to the insurance company. You won’t have to pay out of pocket for your doctor appointments as long as you have adequate coverage.
Speak With an Experienced West Palm Beach Single-vehicle Accident Lawyer
Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. will make you a top priority when you hire us. We’ll maintain open and honest communication while your case is ongoing. Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys will be available 24/7 to provide the support and guidance you need. We know you’re suffering and want to put this traumatic ordeal behind you as soon as possible. We’ll work efficiently to recover the compensation you need so you can move forward with your life.
To find out more about our legal services or schedule a free consultation to discuss your single-vehicle car accident, call 561.689.8180.