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Single-Vehicle Accident in Manchester, New Hampshire: Are You Always at Fault?


Is the driver in a single-vehicle accident always the only one to blame? No, there are instances when the driver is not liable and may be entitled to compensation from another party, including other motorists, the government entity, auto manufacturer or mechanic, and others.

If you crashed in Manchester or elsewhere in New Hampshire and are wondering whether you are the only one at fault in your single-vehicle collision, talk to our Manchester car accident attorney at the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC.

When the Driver is Not at Fault for a Single-Vehicle Accident

According to a 2009 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 70% of all fatal single-vehicle crashes in the U.S. are run-off-road (ROR) crashes.

But is the driver always to blame for a single-vehicle collision? In other words, are there situations where a party other than the driver involved in the crash can be held liable for the motorist’s injury, pain and suffering, and other ensuing damages?

There are several situations in which a driver in a single-car crash might not be negligent and might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim.

  • Example #1. John is traveling south on a two-lane road, while Michael is headed north. John is driving above the speed limit and is texting, which causes him to drift into the northbound lane. Michael sees that John crossed the median line and swerved to avoid a collision. As a result, Michael lost control of his vehicle and ended up crashing into a tree. Technically, this is a single-vehicle accident, but it was not Michael’s fault. The fact that John was speeding, texting while driving, and crossed into Michael’s lane of travel was the cause of the crash.
  • Example #2. Let’s imagine that there are no other vehicles involved, only Michael’s. In this single-vehicle accident, Michael hits a tree just off the highway in Manchester. Anyone would presume that Michael is the only party at fault, but what if he lost control due to a pothole or any other dangerous condition of the highway? If that were the case, Michael might be able to sue the government agency responsible for maintaining the road.
  • Example #3. Again, let’s imagine that there are no other vehicles involved, only Michael’s. If Michael crashed into a tree or any other fixed object as a result of a vehicle defect or equipment failure, he might not be liabile for his single-vehicle crash. For example, if he just got his brakes repaired and the shop didn’t do the repair properly – causing the brakes to fail. However, if Michael was aware of the defect or failure and allowed it to get worse, or the vehicle was subject to a recall notice that Michael should have known about, Michael might be the only liable party because he chose to operate the car with the defect or equipment failure.

Discuss your particular case with our Manchester car accident attorney. Contact the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC to determine fault in your single-vehicle crash. Remember: Just because you were the only driver involved does not mean that you will have to pay for your expenses and damages on your own. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 603-624-7200 or 800-984-3151.





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