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South Texas

The Deadly Nature of Single-Vehicle Accidents

According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, statewide in 2012, more than 1,300 people were killed in single-vehicle accidents in which the car left the road. While many people simply assume that single vehicle accidents are the fault of the drivers themselves – perhaps they were speeding, distracted by their cell phones, or they were inebriated. A closer examination often suggests there are other factors to consider.

Sometimes, the cause is a defect in the vehicle; perhaps a car was recalled and the vehicle owner didn’t follow up. Maybe the tires were defective; a large number of single-vehicle accidents are caused by a tire blowout. Many others are caused by brake failures, which can be due to a lack of maintenance, but also quite possibly a manufacturer’s defect or a faulty design. In those cases, the driver may be able to recover damages from the vehicle manufacturer or even a manufacturer responsible for the tires or other defective part.

One of the most common reasons for single-vehicle accidents these days is the condition of Texas roads and highways. Despite the fact that the state has a legal duty to design, construct and maintain the roads in safe condition, many roads throughout the state are in very dangerous condition these days, in part because the oil and gas boom in the state has increased large vehicle traffic in rural areas on roads not designed for that. Many roads are pitted and marked and sometimes the paving is haphazard and uneven. Other roads are rather makeshift and contain curves and other features that make them less than ideal for the average driver.

Single-vehicle accidents can be especially dangerous due to the tendency of many vehicles to roll over when they leave the road. The possibility of injury or death is greatly increased in a rollover accident, especially if the design and manufacture of the vehicle doesn’t properly support rollovers.

Regardless of the causes, there are far too many single-vehicle accidents in the state. Though these accidents involve one vehicle, they are no less dangerous than multi-vehicle accidents and, in fact, some studies suggest that a majority of fatal accidents involve single-vehicle wrecks.

Single-vehicle accidents only feature one driver who was in control of a vehicle, which means only one insurance company will be involved, and the driver and any passengers who were injured may be able to recover from the driver’s insurance. In some cases, however, if it can be shown that the accident may have been caused by some external factor and not the driver, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against those responsible for whichever defect led to the accident.

In Texas, if it can be shown that a defect in the road caused the accident, whether by poor design or a lack of maintenance, then it’s possible to hold the state, county or municipality liable for damages. Regardless of the situation, when there has been a single-vehicle accident, the victim or victims should have help in dealing with the insurance company. The Auto Accident Attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve, regardless of the responsible party. Contact us today for a free consultation, so that we can help you with that next step.