Not all car accidents involve two motor vehicles. Many auto crashes involve only one vehicle hitting a fixed object. Trees, utility poles, and traffic barriers are common objects that are struck in these collisions and can result in victims suffering life-altering injuries or death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 20 percent of motor vehicle fatalities are caused by crashes with stationary objects.
Who Is Liable in a Single-Vehicle Crash With an Object?
Driver negligence is frequently the cause of single-vehicle crashes. Some of the reasons that drivers crash into trees and other objects include:
- Distracted driving
- Not driving for weather conditions
If the driver’s negligence was the cause of his wreck, he would have no other party to hold responsible for compensating him other than himself. However, in other cases, another party may be at fault, such as the following:
- Manufacturer. If a vehicle’s defective part, such as the brakes, caused a driver to veer off the road into an object, the accident victims could have a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle and defective part.
- Other driver. In some cases, the actions of another driver can cause a fixed-object accident even if the negligent driver’s vehicle does not collide with one crashing into the object. For example, a driver who is speeding and tailgating another vehicle could cause that driver to speed up, lose control of his car, and crash into a nearby tree.
- Road conditions. Some fixed-object wrecks are caused by the defective design of the road, lack of maintenance, or lack of warnings about dangerous road conditions. A municipality or other local governmental agency could be at fault in this situation. These claims may have special notice of claim and other complex issues, so it is important to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your wreck.
Did you suffer injuries in a collision with a fixed object? You need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney to identify the liable parties and fight for the compensation that you deserve. Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation with a member of our car accident team.