Is the Driver Always Responsible for a Single-Vehicle Accident?


a woman talking on the phone after a car accidentMany people assume that the driver is always liable for a single-vehicle accident. While this is the case most of the time, there are actually certain situations where another party may be held responsible.

Understanding Liability in a Single-Vehicle Accident

When a driver’s negligence is determined to be the proximate cause of a car crash, they will be held liable for the damages resulting from the incident. This is true in various situations, even those outside a driver’s control, such as bad weather. For instance, bad weather alone cannot exempt a driver from liability in a single-vehicle accident. This is because drivers are expected to adapt their driving behavior so that it is safe in all conditions, including bad weather. In this situation, drivers would be expected to reduce their speed and increase their following distance from the vehicle in front of them to make up for reduced visibility and longer braking distance caused by bad weather. However, sometimes a driver’s negligence is not a factor in a single-vehicle accident. A couple of examples illustrate this:
  • Driver A and Driver B are traveling in opposite directions on a two-lane highway. Driver B is texting and driving, and swerves into Driver A’s way. Driver A then drives off the road to avoid contact with Driver B’s vehicle, and crashes into a light pole. In this single-vehicle accident, Driver B would be held liable because their distracted driving caused the crash.
  • A driver hits a large pothole in the ground, swerves off the road, and collides into a tree. The local road maintenance company, or the agency that is in charge of road maintenance, may be held liable for this single-vehicle accident by failing to keep the road in a reasonably safe condition to prevent an accident.

Injured in a Car Crash? We’re Here to Help

If you or someone you love has been injured in a single-vehicle accident or another type of car crash, our Kansas City and Topeka personal injury attorneys are here to help. Issues of liability can be complicated, particularly in complex situations. You need the legal guidance of a qualified attorney to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call DiPasquale Moore at (816) 888-7500 to schedule a free consultation.


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