Is the Driver Always at Fault in a Single Car Accident?
Upon first consideration, it would seem obvious that a car crash involving only one car would be pretty cut-and-dry, with the driver being at fault. However, this is not always the case. This article goes over some of the situations where the driver in a single car accident may not actually be at fault. There are a number of situations where this may be the case, which is why it is so important that, if you have been injured in a single car accident, you consult with an attorney and have them review your case to determine if there are other parties who are actually responsible. If you are in New Jersey and are looking for a law firm with over 50 years of experience helping clients win their personal injury cases, The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman is able to provide you the dedicated, personalized advocacy you deserve. Contact us today to get a free consultation regarding your auto accident and personal injury claim.
The Types of Single Car Accidents Where the Driver May Not Be at Fault
In most single car accidents, the driver is found to be at fault. However, the driver is not always entirely to blame for an accident. When it comes to collecting compensation after an accident, establishing fault is essential. Here are the main types of single car accidents where the driver may actually not be at fault:
#1: Unavoidable Accidents
Sometimes an accident is unavoidable. For example, if a bicyclist rides out in front of your car without looking, which causes you to swerve and crash into a pole, the cyclist may be responsible for the accident. Negligence law in New Jersey states that you would be able to seek damages from the cyclist and receive the percent of the claim equivalent to what percent of fault they are found responsible for.
#2: Vehicle Defects
Car and car part manufacturers are responsible for the quality of their products. Tires or defective engine components can cause car accidents, and, if that is determined to be the case, the manufacturer may be liable.
#3: Hit & Run
If a car drives you off the road or sideswipes you and then drives away from the scene, they will be responsible for the accident and liable for all injuries that occurred in the process.
#4: Faulty Road Design or Maintenance
If you get in a single person car accident due to road defects like potholes, dangerous designs, or a missing road-shoulder, the government of the city limits you are within may be responsible for the accident and subsequent medical and other forms of compensation.
Can a Passenger Ever Be at Fault in a Car Accident?
If you got in a single car accident due to a loud, distracting passenger, can they be found legally responsible? Actually, yes — but only in some very specific situations. If the passenger is using drugs, encouraging you to speed, arguing with you, or distracting you in any other way, the driver will still be held responsible for any accidents that occur. However, if the passenger grabs hold of the wheel, pulls the park brake, or somehow incapacitates the driver, they would be fully responsible for the accident instead of the driver. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to prove that this is the case when it occurs, as it can easily become a matter of ‘he said, she said.’
So, in most cases, it will be the driver who is found at fault — rarely the passenger. That’s why it’s important to not let passengers ride with you who you don’t trust or who are in a mindset that could lead to greater risk of you getting in an accident; at the end of the day, you will be the one who is held responsible.
How to Deal With a Single Car Accident
A single car accident may not just be the driver’s fault. It’s crucial that you consult with a car accident attorney to investigate even single car accidents, as there may be other parties who are responsible for your accident — and your injuries. If you are in New Jersey and are looking for a law firm with over 40 years of successful personal injury and car accident litigation experience, contact Fredson Statmore Bitterman LLC and schedule your free consultation today. Fredson Statmore Bitterman attorneys all have extensive experience helping our New Jersey clients get fair, full compensation for the injuries they have sustained from car accidents as well as other types of injuries.