Panama City Single-Vehicle Collision Attorneys
If you were injured in a single-vehicle accident, the Panama City car accident attorneys at The Bruner Law Firm can help you understand your rights and your options for compensation.
Single-vehicle collisions are, as the name implies, an accident that involves only one vehicle. One example of a single-vehicle collision is losing control of your car due to a pothole and hitting a guardrail. Another example is another vehicle moving unexpectedly into your lane, forcing you to veer off the road and collide with a tree.
Single-vehicle collisions happen more than you might think in Panama City and throughout Florida, and they can lead to serious injuries or worse. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiled data for 2018 that showed 1,621 fatalities in Florida were the result of single-vehicle accidents, which was 52% of all deaths from vehicle accidents.
If you were hurt in a single-vehicle collision, you may believe that you are at fault and not entitled to recover compensation, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, other parties are often to blame for single-vehicle accidents. A knowledgeable attorney from The Bruner Law Firm can help you understand your legal options and ensure your rights are protected.
You should contact us today by calling (850) 243-2222 or completing our online form. We can schedule a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your accident and what type of compensation may be available to you.
Why You Need The Bruner Law Firm for Your Single-Vehicle Collision Claim
There are many factors to consider after a single-vehicle collision in order to decide on the appropriate course of action. Other parties may be responsible for what happened to you, and you should be aware of all of your rights. Consulting with an attorney who has experience with filing insurance claims for this type of accident will provide you with an opportunity to discover the full compensation you may be entitled to. The Bruner Law Firm will scrutinize the circumstances of the accident and get to the bottom of what actually caused it.
When you have The Bruner Law Firm by your side after a single-vehicle collision, you can feel confident that your claim is in good hands. We have been solely dedicated to handling personal injury cases for over 25 years, and we are committed to pursuing the best possible outcomes for our clients.
How Single-Vehicle Collisions Occur
While accidents involving only one vehicle can occur because of an error the driver makes, they often result from factors that are outside the driver’s control. Some of the more typical single-vehicle collisions include these scenarios:
- Running off the road – A vehicle veers from the lane it should be traveling in and ends up in a median, roadside, shoulder, or an unpaved area not suitable for driving.
- Hitting an object – A vehicle makes contact with something that comes into its path that shouldn’t be there, such as fallen debris, animals, vehicle parts, potholes, or trees.
- Roll-overs – A driver loses control of the vehicle, and it rolls over onto its side or roof. These are dangerous and often fatal for the vehicle occupants.
Even those who drive with extreme caution can end up in a single-vehicle accident when they are confronted with issues outside of their control that cause unsafe driving conditions. These contributing factors can include:
- Road hazards due to poorly maintained roads
- Missing or diminished visibility of road signs
- Malfunction of vehicle equipment
- Weather conditions that lead to impaired visibility or dangerous roads
- Flying objects
- Animals in the roadway
- Negligence of a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist
Liability in Single-Vehicle Collisions
All drivers are responsible for adhering to traffic regulations and driving safely. When a driver fails to abide by the laws and drives too fast or while distracted or intoxicated, they will be seen as negligent and held liable for the damages and injuries that result. Negligence is the term used to describe failing to use the proper level of care that should be applied by a reasonable person in the situation. Oftentimes in single-vehicle accidents, it is the negligence of another party that causes the accident and not the actions of the driver involved in the accident.
Once negligence is established, there is the prospect of recovering damages for a variety of losses, including medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. There may be an opportunity to obtain this compensation by filing a claim against the following parties:
A driver who wasn’t affected by the impact of the crash can still be responsible for the accident if they acted negligently. A distracted driver who veered into your lane and forced you to swerve into an object, or a pedestrian or cyclist who darted illegally in front of your car are potentially liable parties.
Vehicle or parts manufacturer
Accidents can happen when a defective part in a vehicle malfunctions. Manufacturers have criteria they are required to meet to ensure their products are stable and safe. When errors are made, mechanisms can fail. Defective parts that may cause single-vehicle accidents include:
- Steering systems
- Brake systems
Bringing a claim against a manufacturer is feasible when an accident occurs due to a defective part or vehicle. In these situations, you should start working with an attorney right away to build your case and preserve the evidence. You should also have your vehicle inspected promptly by a qualified mechanic to have documentation of any defects that could have caused the accident.
The safety and upkeep of public roads is the responsibility of local, state, or even federal government agencies. When proper road and signage maintenance is not performed, hazards can be created and cause single-vehicle collisions. Examples of these conditions include:
- Missing, fallen, obstructed, or illegible signs
- Missing or malfunctioning traffic lights
- Insufficient warning signs
- Lack of guardrails
- Blind curves
- Inadequate lighting
- Faded lane or other road markings
When government entities fail to preserve the conditions of roadways, there may be the option of holding them accountable for damages. Pursuing compensation from a government entity can be difficult, so it’s important to have a skilled attorney who understands how the system works to handle your claim.
Frequently Asked Questions About Single-Vehicle Collisions
Auto accidents are always upsetting experiences, even if your car is the only one involved, and you probably have many questions about what it means for you. Meeting with a single-vehicle collision lawyer is the best way to learn all the specific information you need, but here are some answers to general questions you may be thinking about:
What should I do after a single-vehicle collision?
There are things all drivers should do after a collision, and motorists involved in accidents with just their vehicle should take the following actions:
- Call the police to report the accident
- Take photos of your vehicle and the accident scene
- Seek prompt medical attention
- Notify your insurance company
- Gather contact information for any witnesses
- Document the details of the accident
- Contact a personal injury attorney
If you believe there is another party who bears some responsibility for your accident, it is very important that you gather and protect the evidence that can prove this. Your claim will be more viable if you report the accident to the proper agencies and have detailed documentation to support your accusations.
What if I am the only one responsible for my single-vehicle collision?
Your own insurance policy has provisions that will allow you to obtain compensation for your injuries, even if the accident was your fault. In Florida, all motorists are required to carry no-fault, personal injury protection (PIP), which covers losses up to a certain dollar amount.
Does a single-vehicle accident have to be reported to the police?
Florida law requires that motorists immediately report any accident where the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that results in:
- Death or injury to any vehicle occupants
- Property damage of over $500
- Inoperability of the vehicle
The report should be made to the local police or the nearest Florida Highway Patrol station.
Am I required to report my single-vehicle collision to my insurance company?
You are not obligated by Florida law to report an auto accident to your insurance company, but your insurance policy may require that all accidents be reported.
Do I need a lawyer for my single-vehicle collision?
It would be a wise decision to contact a lawyer if the circumstances of your accident involve the following:
- You were injured in the accident
- Someone else contributed to or was at fault
- Your vehicle had to be towed away
- You were accused of being under the influence
- Damage occurred to another person’s property
Consult With an Experienced Single-Vehicle Collision Attorney
Insurance claims are rarely ever simple. Even if you are filing a claim for personal injury protection with your own insurance provider, you need guidance from a lawyer who understands how the process works in Florida. The Bruner Law Firm represents Panama City clients just like you, and we will thoroughly review your situation to determine if you have compensation opportunities available and the best strategy for your case. Please contact us today for a free consultation by calling (850) 243-2222 or using our convenient online form.