Single Car Accidents

By Casey W. Stevens

Not all serious car accidents involve massive highway pileups, or even one other vehicle. It is possible to wreck your car all by yourself. While there are instances where a second party may be somewhat responsible for your single car accident (construction zones that do not provide proper warnings, manufacturing defects on your automobile’s equipment, etc.) and if you were a passenger in a car that was involved in a single car accident, you can sue the driver to receive compensation for your injuries. But what if you were driving alone and a wild animal ran out in front of you? Despite your best efforts, you strike the animal and total your car. You may even be injured as a result. How are you compensated? Who pays for your car repairs?

It’s all about insurance

Most states require a minimum amount of coverage for every vehicle that they license in their state in order to protect other drivers on the road. There are four main types of automobile coverage available through most insurance companies: Liability, Collision, No-Fault, and Comprehensive. Knowing what type of coverage you have and understanding the details of your policy are your first steps.

Question Everything

When you are making decisions about your insurance coverage, ask your agent questions about as many different scenarios as you can. The wording of these policies can be tricky, so you should try to have as clear of an understanding as possible about what you are paying for. Once you fully understand how your policies function, you may find that your coverage amounts need to be adjusted depending upon the different risks that your circumstances present.

How Insurance Works

Liability and No-Fault insurance are used to pay for injuries to the party that you collided with. Since it is unlikely that the animal that wrecked your car will file a claim, these two types of coverage will not help you recover your losses in a single car accident. However, Collision Coverage, which typically covers repairs to your vehicle after an accident, and Comprehensive Coverage, which usually covers any damage to your vehicle (including collision damage, vandalism, or acts of God) are both going to be your best bet for having the insurance company reimburse you or pay for your repairs.

Acts of God

You do not even have to be driving your car for it to be damaged or even totaled. As mentioned above, severe weather or other acts of God could damage your car. Anyone who has seen the aftermath of a flood, hail storm, or tornado understands the damage that these events can cause. Even a severe thunderstorm could cause a tree to fall and total your car. Damages from these events are typically covered under a Comprehensive policy.

When Liability Applies

Although not applicable for a collision with wild animal or an act of God, there are instances when your Liability Coverage may be needed in a single car accident. If there are passengers in your vehicle or if your collision was with a pedestrian, there are definite liability issues. Depending upon the circumstances there may also be criminal charges. If you strike a pedestrian with your vehicle, contact the police, your insurance agent, and an attorney.

The Law Offices of Casey W. Stevens (770) 408-6364