Injured in a Single Vehicle Accident? You Might Be Entitled to Damages

Across the United States, single-vehicle accidents are common. However, when people envision a typical car crash, they often think it involves two vehicles. As a result, one car accident where no one admits fault or no one else is involved is not usually perceived as a legal claim. After all, if the driver who caused harm (the defendant) and the driver who receives the injury (the plaintiff) are not both present during the accident, is it even a legal claim?

Single vehicle collisions occur with surprising frequency, and they do not always involve two vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in the United States, 9,973 deaths linked to single vehicle collisions occurred in 2019. As such, it is fair to say that single vehicle collisions are a problem area for major and minor car accidents that deserve more attention.

If you have an injury as the result of a single vehicle accident, you may find your case strategy requires a more skillful touch. For free lawyer consultation over the phone, Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 and connect to an experienced car accident attorney near you in our network.

Curious about single vehicle collisions?

Check out our short video on the subject below, or keep reading!

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Liability is Not Obvious in a Single Vehicle Accident

In a single-vehicle collision scenario, it’s not always obvious whether someone can be legally liable for injuries. This stands in stark contrast to car accident scenarios where liability is obvious, such as a drunk driver accident. Whereas in DUI cases, there is clearly a driver in the wrong. However, in a single vehicle crash, that is not always the case.


To determine liability, a comprehensive evaluation of evidence is necessary. In the early stages of any legal claim, assistance of an experienced car accident attorney is invaluable.

As the injured person, you might not realize that you have an actionable claim for damages under the law — but an attorney can determine who is potentially liable, and how much they potentially owe you. Naturally, this has an impact on your legal claims for a single car accident. No insurance? If you lack proper insurance coverage, it’s much more critical to work with an attorney, as you won’t have any benefits to fall back on if you don’t sue and recover damages.

Who Can You Sue in a Single Vehicle Collision?

In a single vehicle crash, there is no driver who collided with your vehicle. Thus, you’ll have to explore other avenues for damages recovery and legal compensation.


Many victims do not realize that there are many other parties who are potentially liable for their injuries. A few examples are:

  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Government or other public agency
  • Private business and/or property owner
  • Negligent drivers
  • And more

What are the Two Collisions that Happen in a Crash?

Two examples of one car accident cases where no one admits fault, yet another party is potentially responsible.

Tree Accident Example

For the first example, suppose you have an injury that resulted from a fallen tree while driving. Here’s what happened. The tree was located on City property, and it was poorly maintained. The City made no proper inspections, and thereby allowed the tree to become structurally damaged. As a result of improper maintenance, it fell on a nearby car. Specifically, the tree accident involved your car, the tree, and no other vehicle. If this happened to you, you could sue the City and recover compensation for the one car accident, even though it involved no one else.

DUI Crash Example

In the second example, imagine your injury was a single vehicle collision that resulted from a DUI crash. This is what happened. A drunk driver swerved into your lane, and you suddenly switched lanes to avoid a car reck. In turn, you lost control and crashed your vehicle. Under these circumstances, you can sue the drunk driver despite the fact taht they never actually touched your vehicle.

Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

Here’s an important single care collision advice:

If you’ve been in a single vehicle collision, avoid leaving the scene until you can do everything needed to preserve your legal claims. This may involve recording pictures and video evidence of the car crash scene, calling an attorney to help you physically evaluate the situation, and speaking to nearby witnesses to get their contact information. Many times, witnesses are a useful resource to prove that your version of events is correct.


Since environmental hazards and road defects cause many single-vehicle accidents, it is important to record that information in detail. When possible, collect video evidence, take pictures, and write down every detail you observe and remember from the car crash.


Also, be sure to secure medical assistance as soon as possible. Failure to seek timely medical assistance can undermine your legal claims. So, if you are seriously injured, do not delay. Get the medical attention you need.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 For Free Lawyer Consultation Over the Phone

If you had an injury as a result of a single vehicle accident, please call us today. In order to preserve your legal claim, it is important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Our network of highly skilled auto accident attorneys provide free lawyer consultation over the phone. After investigating the evidence, your lawyer will develop a case strategy that may potentially lead to recovery of damages. Consultations over the phone are confidential.


Call us now to get connected to an experienced car accident attorney in 10 minutes or less. Legal consultation is free and confidential. If you decide to not move forward with the case, there is no commitment.

single-vehicle accident

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is distracted driving awareness month, so we feel it’s important to take a moment to explore some basic issues, and to bring the facts to light.

Distracted driving is an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, even though it contributes to so many accidents. Given the widespread use of mobile phones over the last 20 years, car accidents are becoming more common due to inattentive or distracted drivers.

If you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian, you should be aware of the risks posed by distracted drivers, how to avoid them, and what you can do legally if you are injured.

How to Win Your Case

In auto accident cases, you are entitled to damages under certain circumstances. You’ll have to prove that the defendant not only hurt you, but also that he was negligent, reckless, or intentional.

Distracted driving is “negligent” or “reckless” conduct. In other words, the driver who caused your injuries didn’t mean to cause injuries, but he behaved recklessly under the circumstances. Their behavior increased the likelihood that someone would get hurt, and that’s exactly what happened.

For more information on: What is the Difference in Negligent vs. Reckless Driving?

To win a distracted driving case, you have to prove that the driver was distracted while he was driving, and that his behavior wasn’t justified under the circumstances.

Confused? Don’t worry, let’s use a brief example to clarify. 

When It Is Not Considered Distracted Driving  

Let’s say you’re injured in an auto accident. You believe the defendant was distracted while driving, which led to the collision (they weren’t paying attention to the road).

As you investigate the case further, you discover that the defendant-driver had their attention diverted because their passenger had a seizure. The seizure caused the passenger’s arms and hands to enter the driver’s field of view, and even interfere with their use of the steering wheel. The driver had to take a moment to deal with the situation, which distracted them from the road.

In these circumstances, the driver’s distraction would be justified. It would not be unreasonable. It might be a bit harder to win the case, or the damage recovery might be reduced.

On the other hand, suppose the driver was distracted because he was texting friends while driving. This behavior is unreasonable and unjustified, and qualifies as negligence or recklessness under the law, so you might be entitled to damages.

Statistics of Distracted Driving Infographic 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we have created an infographic to help the public better understand some important facts and statistics of distracted driving. Enjoy!

Click Here to Download

April is national distracted driving awareness month. Distracted Driving Infographic by 1800thelaw2.com

Examples of Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving can take on many forms, including: 

  • Texting while driving 
  • Cell phone use while driving 
  • Talking to other passengers while driving 
  • Inattentiveness (i.e., looking at the sidewalk instead of the road ahead) 
  • And more 

For example, while most people associate cell phone use with distracted driving, a driver can be drawn into conversation with his friend in the passenger seat. This conversation could distract the driver, causing them to make a mistake that leads to an accident.

Suppose the passenger contributed to the accident by distracting the driver. In that case, it may be possible to sue the passenger for damages. For a strategic approach, this makes it easier to secure the maximum possible compensation.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

If you’ve been in a car accident because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to significant damages. When pursuing your claim, you’ll want to work with a qualified attorney who can help you from start-to-finish.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our attorneys are standing by to help you. We have a network of lawyers who are experienced in handling distracted driving cases.

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation. We’ll connect you to an experienced attorney in 10 minutes or less. 

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Can You Recover Damages If You Were Not Wearing A Seatbelt?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident (due to the fault of another driver), but you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, then you may be wondering if you’re legally entitled to sue and recover damages. After all, failing to wear your seatbelt could have contributed significantly to your own injuries, and could be considered negligent behavior.

Whether you’re entitled to damages — and to what degree — depends in large part on the rules of the state in which your case will be litigated. It also depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your accident.

Except for a few states, however, you should be able to sue and recover damages in many no-seatbelt cases. As these cases can be a challenge to litigate, it’s important that you work with an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to navigate the strategic roadblocks. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a skilled attorney in our network today for a free legal consultation.

For now, let’s explore how fault works in accidents where both sides engaged in negligent behavior.

Comparative Fault and Contributory Fault Basics

States implement one of three fault doctrines when evaluating how to allocate fault after a car accident. So, if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of your accident, one of the following may apply:

Contributory Fault

Under the contributory fault doctrine, if you — the plaintiff — are even 1 percent at-fault for your own injuries, then you are prohibited from suing and recovering damages in a car accident. For example, if you failed to wear a seatbelt, and that failure contributed to your injuries, then the court would preclude you from obtaining any sort of compensation through a lawsuit.

As the contributory fault doctrine is extremely strict and anti-plaintiff, you’ll want to work closely with an attorney to ensure that you do not run afoul of the rule. There may be ways in which you can strategically develop the case (and present the facts) that show you are not responsible for your own injuries, even if you engaged in negligent activity at the time of the accident.

Pure Comparative Fault

Under the pure comparative fault doctrine, you can be 99 percent at-fault for your own injuries and still recover damages. The law would not prevent you from suing and obtaining compensation from the defendant, no matter how fault is allocated. However, it’s important to note that while you can sue and recover damages, those damages will be proportionally reduced by your contribution of fault.

How does this work?

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident in which you were not wearing a seatbelt. The court determines that you were 30 percent at-fault, due to your failure to wear a seatbelt. The total damages is roughly $100,000. You would be entitled to recover 70 percent of the total damages, or $70,000.

As such, even in pure comparative fault states, defendants have much to gain from showing that you were also at-fault — by doing so, they can reduce their damages’ liability to some degree.

Modified Comparative Fault

Under the modified comparative fault doctrine, you can sue and recover damages in a lawsuit against the defendant, but only if you were less than 50 percent at-fault. If you are 50 percent (or more) at-fault, then you will be prohibited from recovering damages entirely.

The modified comparative fault doctrine is thus a mix of pure comparative fault and contributory fault.

For example, suppose that you are injured in a car accident and were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The court finds that you were 60 percent at-fault, as if you had been wearing your seatbelt, you would not have sustained any significant injuries. Under modified comparative fault, you would not be entitled to recover any damages through a lawsuit. If the court found that you were 40 percent at-fault, however, then you would be entitled to recover damages.

Proving that the Defendant “Caused” the Injury

Whatever the particular “doctrine” of fault that applies in your state, you can reduce how much fault the court allocates to you by showing that your negligent acts were not actually connected to the injuries — and that it was the defendant’s negligent acts that caused your injuries.

This can be a bit difficult to understand, so let’s use a brief example for clarity.

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident, and you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the collision. The defendant-driver sideswiped you, causing you to sustain multiple fracture injuries on your left side.

Now, the defendant knows that you were not wearing your seatbelt, and they are attempting to paint that you as highly negligent. They want to prove that your failure to wear a seatbelt is what led to severe injury. In truth, however, your failure to wear a seatbelt — though negligent and somewhat irresponsible — is not linked to the injuries you sustained. It is not as though you were flung forward through your window.

Here, the same sideswipe injuries would have occurred had you been wearing your seatbelt. As such, your negligence in failing to wear a seatbelt did not actually contribute to your injuries (and thus, fault cannot be allocated to you in this context).

Contact A Car Accident Attorney In Your Area For A Free Consultation

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of experienced car accident attorneys who are standing by to provide assistance, whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Call us to get connected to a skilled accident lawyer in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s no downside to contacting us to schedule an initial consultation.

We look forward to speaking with you.

What NOT to Say After a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then the law may give you a right of action to sue and recover damages to cover your losses. Oftentimes, however, injured plaintiffs don’t fully understand how their legal claims could be impacted by the statements they make following an accident.

Even basic, amicable conversation (whether with an insurance adjuster, the opposing attorney, or the driver who caused the accident) can lead to disclosures that undermine your claims and prevent you from securing the compensation you deserve.

Of course, you should be careful about the statements that you make, but first-time plaintiffs may not realize what sort of statements qualify as “risky.” As such, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer who will take over your case and communicate on your behalf. This will prevent any potentially damaging disclosures. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to a lawyer today for free legal advice.

For now, however, let’s briefly explore some basic issues tied to verbal disclosures.

Disclosures Can Undermine Your Case

Disclosures can undermine your case in a number of different ways:

a) Disclosures that can be interpreted as an “admission of fault” can impact the allocation of fault and liability in the dispute; and
b) Disclosures that lead to an inconsistent interpretation of the facts (surrounding the accident) can weaken the proof of liability, or reduce the potential damages amount available to be claimed.

This may strike some readers as indecipherable “legalese,” so let’s explore a simple example for clarity.

Example

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident. Before you head to the hospital for diagnostic work and treatment for your injuries, you’re able to spend some time at the scene of the accident, speaking with the driver who caused the accident by rear-ending you. In your conversation with them, you apologize for having stepped on the brakes too suddenly, as you thought you saw something on the road — this may have contributed to the rear-end accident itself.

Though it may seem like an unproblematic apology, the truth is that your statements could be used in court to undermine your claims. After all, if you’re arguing that the defendant was liable for your injuries, then they could challenge that by arguing that you actually caused the accident by breaking suddenly, and at an inappropriate time.

Accidents are complicated. Instead of evaluating the accident yourself and speaking about it with others, it’s best to remain quiet about what you “think” happened and consult an attorney first.

Some Evidence Is Inadmissible In Court

If you did happen to accidentally make some statements at the scene of the accident, it’s worth noting that some of them will not be allowed into evidence. This will be significantly to your benefit.

Generally speaking, “hearsay” statements are inadmissible in court. Hearsay statements are those introduced to prove the matter at-hand.

So, for example, if the defendant is trying to prove that you were distracted from the road at the time of the accident and is trying to introduce evidence that you said you were in a heated conversation with your passenger (when they talked to you at the scene of the accident), then that could potentially be inadmissible. It likely qualifies as hearsay — a statement that is only meant to prove the fact.

However, it’s worth noting that there are a number of exceptions to the hearsay rule. Examples include:

A) If the statement was an “excited utterance” that you spontaneously made at the spur of the moment, that can be admitted into evidence;
B) If the statement was clearly against your own interest (i.e., a statement about how you were speeding);
C) If the statement was one that reflected a “present sense impression” of the situation at-hand;
D) And more.

Hearsay and its exceptions can be quite complex and challenging to argue. As such, we encourage you to get in touch with an experienced attorney who understands how to navigate the evidentiary record and ensure that problematic statements are not admitted into evidence.

For A Free Consultation, Contact An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Near You.

If you’ve been in a car accident, then there are a number of people (and entities) that you’ll be interacting with as you explore your recovery options. These interactions could lead to disclosures that undermine your damages claims, and prevent you from securing the maximum possible compensation. As such, it’s critical that you work with an attorney at an early stage in your case.

Your attorney will act as a “middleman,” ensuring that you can avoid the frustration and hassle of these legal interactions, while also avoiding potentially damaging disclosures.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our staff is standing by and ready to accept your calls. Contact us to get connected to an experienced car accident lawyer near you.

Get free legal advice now!

How to Write a Victim Impact Statement for a Car Accident

When you’re the victim of a car accident, it can have a devastating impact on your life. People experience painful injuries, lifelong physical injuries, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, stress, and more. Additionally, a victim could have lost a friend or loved one who was in the accident with them.

If you’re the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may want to pursue a lawsuit against the other party. One factor that can significantly impact your case is a victim impact statement. Keep reading for a full overview of what a victim impact statement for a car accident is, how to write one, some popular tips, and an example statement.

What is a Victim Impact Statement?

A victim impact statement is a personally written account of how the car accident affected you. Many times, a serious car accident can have long-standing consequences. It’s an opportunity for a victim to explain the full extent the car accident may have had. For example, a police report may mention that the victim had a broken leg. But, what might not be mentioned is the other consequences, like:

  • Time off of work
  • Hospital bills
  • Cost and time of physiotherapy appointments
  • Canceled vacations or plans
  • Stress, anxiety, or depression when it comes to driving
  • The impact of the injuries and accident on friends and family

Your victim statement is a comprehensive overview of how the individual’s life has changed due to the car accident.

How to Write a Victim Impact Statement

A victim impact statement for a car accident doesn’t need to focus on the details of the accident itself. You shouldn’t feel that this is the time to explain what happened and who is at fault. That will be covered in the legal proceedings. Instead, the victim impact statement should discuss the physical, mental, emotional, and financial impacts you’ve experienced.

Wrapping up the whole experience in a statement can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to walk you through the process:

  • Start with the emotional impact. You can discuss how you felt that day and how you feel now. You were probably scared and shocked on the day and might still feel anger and fear today. Describe these emotions in as much detail as you can so the jury can understand just how emotionally traumatizing the car accident was.
  • After covering the emotions, you can transition into your physical injuries and disabilities. You’ll want to cover how much these injuries hurt, how long and challenging recovery has been, if recovery made you take time off work, time lost with family, friends, hobbies, and other consequences. You may want to wrap this up in a personal story. Some common examples are having to cancel a booked and paid vacation because you were recovering. Or, having to become a burden and reliant on your family members during recovery, which impacted them as much as you. You need to go over these details, so the jury understands the full consequences of your injuries.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to emphasize the financial consequences. You can cover how much this accident cost you in terms of healthcare and recovery costs, wages lost at work, and more. This will help the jury decide the amount of compensation you and your family may deserve.

Do’s & Don’ts Of Writing A Victim Impact Statement for a Car Accident

While writing your victim statement, try to keep these common do’s and dont’s in mind:

  • Do: Write in “I feel” and “I believe” statements rather than definitive “The defendant did…” statements. You should only include what you believe to be true, as the defendant can question the legitimacy of your statements.
  • Don’t: Use this as an opportunity to go over the details of the accident and lay blame on the defendant.
  • Do: Express your emotions clearly, add details, and paint a picture of what you’ve been through.
  • Don’t: Mention the type of punishment you think or want the defendant to receive.
  • Do: Have someone review your statement for proper spelling and grammar.
  • Don’t: Swear in your statement; it can cause the jury to see you in a negative light.
  • Do: Staple and include related paperwork that can help verify your statements, such as receipts.

Example of A Victim Impact Statement

Your Honor,

On August 25, 2021, at the intersection of Fir Street and 96th Avenue in San Diego, California, I was in a car accident with Mr. Smith. The accident happened at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon. My car was totaled as a result of the accident and I walked away with a broken arm.

That day, I had left work for a brief period to go to a routine doctor’s appointment. It was easily the most shocking and traumatizing experience of my life having a car ram into the side of my driver’s door. I couldn’t get out of the car and I sat there shocked with my arm pinned under the wheel. The paramedics arrived on the scene and were able to pull me out. I remember screaming in pain like I have never screamed before. I was taken to the hospital and informed I had broken my arm.

It took nine weeks for me to fix my broken arm. I had to cancel a vacation I had booked for Mexico. I also had to move into my parent’s home, so my mom could take care of me. I became a burden to those I love most, needing help eating, changing my clothes, showering, and more. I couldn’t even go to the grocery store and take my debit card out of my wallet to pay for my groceries. I needed someone to come with me everywhere I went. I felt helpless, useless, and an annoyance to everyone.

During my recovery, I had to take a leave of absence from work, losing nine weeks of wages. The hospital bills alone were tremendous, but I have also been in six months of physiotherapy. Not only are those appointments expensive, but they take up my time every week.

Today, I still don’t have full use of my arm. There’s a dull pain that shoots down my arm constantly. More importantly, I haven’t driven a car since the accident. I still have trouble getting into a car. I experience flashbacks and sometimes have panic attacks.

This accident has shattered me in every single way – financially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I don’t know when I will be the same again, but it’s quite possible I’ve been changed forever. I ask the court to consider the full impact this accident has had on my life when deciding on a settlement. The jury needs to understand that I am not who I used to be and it’s been hard to reconcile that for myself, my family, and my friends.

Thank you for listening to me today.

Why Write A Victim Impact Statement?

The point of the victim impact statement is for the individual to present a more complete picture of how the car accident changed their lives, either for the short-term or the long-term. The added benefit is that writing and reading out a victim statement can feel very therapeutic. It allows the victim to feel heard and tell their side of the story to the person who caused the accident or to the court.

Lastly, a victim impact statement adds a personal touch to your lawsuit. It’s an opportunity to speak to the jury, so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Contact Us For Car Accident Legal Representation

If you’ve been in a car accident, consider getting legal representation so you and your family can get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our experienced car accident lawyers have helped thousands of injured drivers get their rightful compensation. We’ll help you in every step of the process, including your victim impact statement for your car accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Writing Victim Impact Statement